DISTINCT, YET similar music from the Agra Rangeela Gharana is not something you normally expect to hear in the vicinity of the Mylapore Tank.
Meera Savoor's Hindustani vocal recital sponsored by Aalaap provided one with this northern flavour on Sunday last. Some of the ragas Savoor presented to the relish of the listeners are known to followers of Carnatic music as Hamsaanandi, Hamirkalyani, Hamsadhwani and Sindhubhairavi.
As Savoor dwelt on the lyrics of the Khayaal in the vilambit mode (``Ghadiyaan ginata jaataa more tiharon milanke aasun,") she poured out the pathos inherent to raga Puriya. She then progressed into the madhyalay, weaving musical phrases around the text. Her calibre and controlled modulation of voice was in evidence as she delivered the dhrut with ease. Next to follow was a Chota Khayaal in raag Kedar. The choice was poignant as Kedar creates a mood in striking contrast to Puriya. The lyric ran thus: ``Chaturasutara balma tume khanaa milaa?" rendered in brisk tempo.
Faithful to her rich lineage, Savoor also presented the Thumri and a Khayaal composed by the illustrious Ustad Fiyaz Khan, exponent of the Agra Gharana. ``Karamanki gatiyaanri," Surdas bhajan in Hamsadhwani, was reminiscent of an identical Meera bhajan in the same raga.
One left the venue humming the Kabir composition in Bhairvi which Savoor rendered with elan at the end of a three-hour concert. Ustad Ram Jadhav on the tabla was easily and perhaps understandably the most noticeable among the accompanists.
C. Rajasekheran on the violin was enjoying himself as he played along with the vocalist. Jeyram Kilpadi was eloquent on the harmonium although the instrument played truant now and then. On the whole, it was an evening of serious and purposeful music at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
The occasion was reminiscent of a baithak, minus the vahvah and the bahutsahi from the audience.
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