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Continuing a great legacy



The Kalluri sisters, K. G. Jyothi and K. G. Shardha ... their range and improvisations in sargam reflected the musical tradition.

IT WAS as a tribute to Ustad Ahmed Hussain Khan when the music circle named after him organised a Hindustani classical concert by the Kalluri sisters, K. G. Jyothi and K. G. Shardha, daughters of guru Kalluri.

The Ahmed Hussain Khan Music Circle, headed by Sri Chander Mohan in close association with T. S. Gopal, holds sitar lessons at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. It was founded in 1970 by sitar maestro Ahmed Hussain Khan, of the Achpal Gharana, who promoted Hindustani classical music in this part of the country.

Since the Ustad's demise in 1994, Chander Mohan and Gopal have stayed with his legacy. Kalluri Subbarao, the author of "Indian Music: A profile", gave to his daughters, Jyothi and Shardha, the gift of Hindustani classical music.

The concert began with a sitar recital in raga Yaman by students of the school. The sisters then performed "Eri mein to prem diwani" in raga Bhopali Todi, with the "komal" alternative to Bhopali.

Their rendition had the stylistic features of the Gwalior Gharana, especially the use of middle tempo speed in the vilambit laya of bada khayal. This was a difficult composition in vilambit where each word is finely worked into the Bolbaants.

Jyothi and Shardha's range and improvisations in sargam bespoke a great musical tradition. "Hei kartar karo bera paar" in Ahir Bhairav produced a spiritual exultation. Their performance included meend in alap, swara figures, koot tans and sampooran tans. Meera bhajan in Bhairavi Mat, "Ja mat ja jogi", was sung with feeling and showed many years of sadhana.

Despite their southern diction, the sisters stood apart for their poise, spontaneity and fidelity to the classical idiom and the aftertaste of old time music that their concert evoked. Dharmarajan and Suryanarayan Sharma on the two tablas were impressive.

JYOTI NAIR BELLIAPPA

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