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Some enticing variety

Patna denizens got more than a whiff of Hindustani music at two recitals in the city recently. A report.



Perfect training Shruti Sadolikar Katkar.

The variety in Hindustani music is enjoyable, but even more fascinating is its richness in style and shades of presentation. We have a number of gharanas and schools interpreting the same set of notes in a different manner. Listening to the different styles of rendition of these melodies one after the other canexpose you to their exclusive characteristics and beauty in a better manner. Connoisseurs of music in Patna recently had such an opportunity, to listen to at least two styles of Hindustani music, the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana and the Kirana gharana, at two music sessions held in the city. While Shruti Sadolikar Katkar presented Khayal singing of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana at a music session held by the Patna chapter of Spic Macay at the Bhartiya Nritya Kala Mandir auditorium, Rekha Ratnam rendered Khayal in the style of the Kirana school at the same auditorium at a concert organised by the Bihar Government’s Department of Culture.

Rarely heard

The vocalists of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana have been known for presenting uncommon or even rare ragas. In this concert, Shruti presented Poorvi, a lovely raga hardly heard these days at public functions. Even raga Tilak Kamod which followed the Poorvi bandishes is generally not preferred by artistes. Instead, they go for raga Desh.

Shruti has received initial training from her father, Pandit Wamanrao Sadolikar, who had learnt the art from the founder of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, Ustad Alladiya Khan. She also trained under Ustad Gullubhai Jasdanwalla who was known for his rich collection of compositions even in rare ragas. She also took taleem from Ustad Bhurji Khan’s son, Ustad Azeezuddin Khan. Presentations of a vilambit (slow tempo) composition in Teen tala of 16 beats and a madhya laya (medium tempo) composition in Ek tala of 12beats in Poorvi were evidence enough of the special emphasis on classicism in the style and her perfect training as well. The singer’s adept execution of both sharp and flat Ma notes deserves special mention. Then followed a madhya laya composition in yet another evening melody, Tilak Kamod of the Khamaj thaat, and a bhajan in raga Bhairavi. Giving her company on the tabla was Mithilesh Jha and on the sarangi was Santosh Mishra.

Rekha Ratnam’s Khayal rendition was an altogether different experience. Rekha has received training in the Kirana style of singing from Ustad Irhad Khan. A lecturer in the Vocal Department of Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir, Rekha is also deeply influenced by Prabha Atrre.

A sensitive portrayal of the ragas has been her forte, and here too Rekha drew attention with the melodic charm in her presentation of raga Yaman, an evening melody of the Kalyan thaat. There was a systematic exposition of notes in the alap, but all through the presentation sensitivity to their nuances was more dominant. Remarkably, this sensitivity to the notes and the mood remained dominant throughout her singing.

She presented vilambit laya and madhya laya compositions in Yaman. It was followed by a ragamalika, presenting hosts of melodies. She concluded her singing with a Meera bhajan, “Kahin dekho ri Ghanshyam”. Rekha was supported on the tabla by Shantanu, on the harmonium by Santosh and on the tanpura by Vandana.

C. L. DAS

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