A delectable recital
Uma Garg is gifted with a mellifluous voice and her recent concert at New Delhi's Habitat Centre was pretty impressive.
MELODIC STRAINS Uma Garg impressed listeners with her voice and preparation.
Uma Garg is a Reader at Delhi University's Faculty of Music and Fine Arts. She received her early training in vocal music from her mother Asha Lata Das and later from Ustad Hafiz Ahmed Khan and Pandit Mani Prashad. She received further guidance from the Kirana maestro Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Gifted with a mellifluous voice, she did impress with her renderings in raga Jog of a recent origin, at the concert held recently at the India Habitat Centre. The slow tempo khayal, "Patiyaan piyaa ke desh", set to the time cycle of Ek tala was laced with pleasingly inserted alap-badhat and followed with well knit sargams and taan flourishes of varied permutations. She seemed to be more inclined to meander mostly in the middle and upper octaves although the raga's basic mood did demand frequent inroads into the lower octave as well. The madhya Teen tala composition "Saajan morey ghar aaye", a favourite of Agra gharana singers, was rendered with many a liltingly released melodic strain.
Her choice of the spring-time raga Basant was indeed good. The madhya Teen tala composition, "Phagawaa Brij dekhan ko chalo ri", would have pleased better had the rendering been more compact instead of prolonged and at times even repetitive.
Concluding her recital with a thumri would have been quite welcome but for her decision to render the same in the morning's raga Bhairavi. It is a common practice in the Maharashtra region to render Bhairavi at the end of a concert that usually commences late at night and ends in the wee hours of the next day. Uma would have done better to select any one of the several ragas from the Kafi thaat or mode to go well with the mood of the spring season and the coming Holi festival. She had excellent support on the harmonium by Mahmood Dhaulpuri, although one wished the tone of his instrument did not sound like that of a clarinet. Delhi's ace percussionist Akhtar Hasan with his tabla was a sheet anchor on the rhythm.
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