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Graceful alliance

The Bharatiya Sangeet Utsav had some memorable concerts

UNDERSTANDING Manasi and Smita’s recital was marked by admirable felicity

The Bharatiya Sangeet Utsav held recently in the city featured some spectacular concerts. Notable among them were the mohanveena recital of Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhat, followed by an awe-inspiring instrumental ensemble of the mohanveena, bansuri, tabla an d ghatam and the vocal jugalbandi concert of Smita Bellur and Manasi Prasad representing Hindustani and Carnatic traditions.

Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhat commenced his mohanveena recital with alap-jod-jhala in the beautiful late evening melody Rag Maru Bihag. His delineation of the raga was characterised by his inimitable meends which marked the alap and stylised landings on the ‘pakkad’ of this rag. Each landing on the note ‘rishab’ focussed on highlighting different aspects of the quintessential phrase ‘sa ga ma ri’ in the most alluring manner. Pt. Bhat used the two madhyam notes in this rag with great sensitivity and finesse. He was more appealing in his alap-jod-jhala in the non rhythmic or ‘anibaddha’, prefatory part of his exposition preceding the vilambit gat. The unique sawal- jawab between the Grammy award winner virtuoso and Pt. Yogesh Shamsi who accompanied him on the tabla enthralled the listeners.

The solo recital was followed by an instrumental ensemble. It was an impressive line up of stalwarts comprising of the legendary Vikku Vinayakaram on the ghatam, popular bansuri artiste Praveen Godkhindi, the maestro Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhat and Pt. Yogesh Shamsi. After a sombre, meditative alap in Rag Jog, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Godkhindi mesmerised the audience with a superb exposition of “Sajan more ghar aye”, the lilting chota khayal bandish in drut teental. Another noteworthy concert was the Hindustani-Carnatic vocal jugalbandi by Smita Bellur and Manasi Prasad. Both the vocalists are talented, established young artistes in Hindustani and Carnatic music circuits. Jugalbandi or a duet concert is a demanding proposition. A duet, as a presentation format, is fundamentally inconsistent with the meditative- contemplative character of Hindustani music. Being a predominantly improvised form, it can assume only one musician. In contrast, Carnatic music can support the duet format on a relatively larger scale, allow a larger orchestra. It goes to the credit of Smita Bellur and Manasi Prasad that they negotiated such complexities with admirable felicity and grace. In faithful adherence to the ‘prahara’ classification of ragas, Smita Bellur presented the afternoon raga Madhuvanti, its equivalent being Raga Dharmavati in the Carnatic tradtition which was explored by Manasi Prasad. The vocalists began with a slow meandering alap by turns followed by independent soulful ‘avartans’ filled in by Dr. Ravindra Katoti on the harmonium and Vidwan Dayakar on the violin . A masterful exposition of a traditional ‘tillana’ composition in Dharmavati by Manasi Prasad was matched by an equally spirited vivacious delineation of ‘nom tom’ alap in Madhuvanti by Smita Bellur embellished with nuanced phraseologies, melodiously creative landings on the shadj note of the higher octave. Her voice traversed the three octaves with ease, dazzling the audience. The synchronisation was perfect, thereby enhancing the euphonious appeal. This was followed by the rendition of a traditional chota khayal composition “Eri Ali koyaliya bole” in teental by Smita Bellur who succeeded in investing the bandish with a rich sense of emotional appeal. Manasi’s ingenuity as a creative ariste was ably demonstrated in the innovative composition that she presented as the counterpart: “Madhuvanti dharmavati kogile haaditu banadolu”.

Manasi Prasad’s rendition of “Radha Sameta Krishna”complemented the sringar rasa of the Kajri in perfect harmony. In their exemplary collaborative delineation of the sublime ragamalika composition “Kureyondrumille”, the artistes won the applause of the audience.

The creative dialogue between the two energetic percussionists, Pt .Rajendra Nakod on the tabla and Vidwan B.S. Anand on the mridangam had a tremendous magnetic appeal.


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