FRIDAY REVIEW

A recital pleasing in parts

JITENDRA PRATAP

POTENTIAL Priya Kanungo's concert showed her talent in taans and the development of alap.

POTENTIAL Priya Kanungo's concert showed her talent in taans and the development of alap.  

Kishori Amonker is well-known for taking her audience for granted by invariably appearing on the stage much behind the scheduled time. Priya Kanungo did something similar the other day by coming to the stage a more than 20 minutes late for a recital of only an hour-and-a-half's duration. Having done that, she took another 10 minutes or so for unsuccessful tuning of the two tanpuras.

Fortunately for all, her present guru, Pandit Debi Prashad Chatterjee, formerly of Delhi University's Faculty of Music and Arts, and currently on the teaching staff of the Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, happened to be present, and was thus obliged to take over the tuning of the tanpuras to perfection.

While introducing the artiste, the compere mentioned the names of at least half a dozen former gurus under whom she received training. Though one is not aware of the duration of her tutelage under the different gurus, one could still observe a lack of any distinct influence of any. In the bargain, she seems to have developed her own musical style.

One wished she had presented a more balanced fare for the evening rather than making it heavy at the beginning as also the end. Three compositions in raga Yaman and two Meera bhajans seemed rather odd. Perhaps, two compositions in the opening raga followed by one in some other raga and a bhajan at the end would have made for better fare.

Priya rendered the slow Ek tala composition in raga Yaman ("Bhaj le Hari naam") methodically and with tunefulness. The alap-badhat and the taan-paltas were well conceived. The following madhya and drut Teen tala compositions were pleasing only in parts.

The bhajan "Kria karo mana Manohar", based on the raga Bageshwari and the "Main Hari charanan ki daasi" in Raga Manjh Khamaj were tuneful and had devotional fervour. Her singing was notable for its clarity in enunciation of the lyrical contents, and impressive lungpower, though it had a bit of a nasal tinge.

She had ample support on the harmonium from Bimal Bairagi, and on the tabla from Abhay Kumar Roy.

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