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Laced with laudable mastery

Musical clarity and delightful delineations marked a few events recently

Meena banerjee | New Delhi |

The ongoing Golden Jubilee celebration of Jalsaghar, supported by Bhagini Nibedita Trust, offered its third musical presentation as a tribute to Sister Nivedita to mark her 150th birth anniversary with great reverence.

Organised in baithaki (sit in) style at the famous Chatubabu Latubabu’s House, the three-day event, inaugurated by the Governor of Jharkhand, Draupadi Murmu, remained focused only on women of substance. After an inspired Vande Mataram rendition, the first evening began with a thrilling solo recital from the young and brilliant tabla exponent Sagnika Bhattacharya, worthy daughter-disciple of Prasenjit Bhattacharya (Farukhabad gharana) who accompanied her on the harmonium.

Sagnika also played a few compositions of Lucknow gharana and Nanku Maharaj. The clarity of the nikaas was commendable. Next, Sarbani Sanyal sang a few devotional songs. Khayal exponent Tumpa Bhattacharya sang raga Puria Dhanashree (vilambit ektal, drut teental). The second evening commenced with some very familiar Tagore songs refreshingly rendered by Deepa Roy. Renowned Odissi danseuse and Guru Poushali Mukherjee gave a pleasant surprise by playing Mardala with convincing dexterity.

Well-known thumri exponent Madhumita Chattopadhyay’s soulful Khamaj thumri (Saanchi kaho mose batiyan set to jat), Gara dadraand kajri (Tarpela jiyara hamaar) delighted the audience. She was ably assisted by Pinaki Chakraborty (tabla) and Debashish Adhikary (harmonium). Encores led her to sing another emotive piece in Maru Bihag. The same raga reappeared in a forceful manner when Rampur Senia gharana’s renowned sitar exponent Sahana Banerjee played alapjod-jhala andteental gatkaris to the tabla accompaniment of Biplab Bhattacharya.

The third evening began with an inspired Kuchipudi recital by Sumana Bayen. Khayal exponent Papri Chakraborty (disciple of Pandit Manas Chakraborty and blends Vidushi Kishori Amonkar’s style) offered a delightful version of raga Jaijaiwanti (slow jhaptal, fast teental). Finally, well known sarod exponent Rajrupa Choudhury chose the sweet melody of raga Jhinjhoti (alap-jod-jhala andslow teental gatkari) and followed up with Meerabai ki Malhar (medium teental) and Miyan Malhar (drut teental). Sunayana Ghosh, disciple of Pandit Shankar Ghosh, accompanied her on the tabla. Vistaar’s dedication Vidushi Neela Bhagwat, a highly knowledgeable vocalist from Maharashtra, was felicitated by Guru Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury in an evening of classical music presented by Vistaar at Surya Sen auditorium. This elderly singer has artistically blended the characteristic features of Jaipur and Gwalior gharana and has invented a highly interesting style of her own. She is not only an illustrious artiste but also an erudite musicologist. Her rendition of Poorvi and Gaud Malhar were marked by a meditative approach and methodical treatment of ragas.

Dispensing with musical juggleries she concentrated on the spiritual aspects of classical music and greatly impressed listeners. She followed up her khayal rendition with a delectable bhajan in Khamaj and concluded her recital with a wonderful tappa. Saibal Chatterjee (tabla), Debarshi Mukherjee (harmonium) and Vedantika Mukherjee (tanpura) accompanied her with great expertise.

Earlier the evening was commenced by two young musician brother-sister duo Bandhan Adak (sarod) and Pragati Adak (sitar) who gave an excellent duet recital. They rendered the uncommon raga Divawati with remarkable skill. Arka Sengupta accompanied them on the tabla with laudable mastery. They concluded with a beautiful piece in Desh set to Anil Sawari, a tala created by their guru Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury in memory of his venerable father, the beacon of Vistaar.

The grand finale of the event was a performance by Sajahanpur Senia Ensemble, showcasing teen-talents’ sitar-sarod-tabla orcherstra constituted, groomed and directed by Guru Sidddhartha Roy Chowdhury. For a cause Amuzing Center for Performing Arts, known for its dedicated service to classical music, presented a few budding talents trained by Gurus Koushik Bhattacharjee (vocal) and Rajnarayan Bhattacharya (tabla) at their Amuzing Academy.

The evening at Vivekananda Society Hall (17 Sept) reached its climax when the gurus took the stage. Koushik Bhattacharjee, in his rich and resonant voice, started with raga Rageshree (slow jhaptaal and drut teental). Three Banga Khayal compositions Sei je chhoan (Yaman,teental),Tumi nei bolei (Megh, ektal) and O chokhe cheyona (Jog,teental) followed next, beautifully accompanied by Rajnarayan Bhattacharya’s tabla and young Koulik Bhattacharjee’s harmonium. Koulik, son-disciple of Koushik Bhattacharjee, is a promising vocalist also.

As the penultimate artiste, accompanied by Rajnarayan, he enthralled listeners with his delineation of raga Yaman followed by a Bangla Khayals in raga Durga and a bhajan. Earlier a vocal duet by Anirban and Abhijeet Mukherjee (raga Bhatiyar) followed by Shuvajit Pal’s solo recital (raga Charukeshi,Kajri andAgamani song), accompanied by Shambhunath Naskar (tabla) set the mood. Next, Gaiye Ganapati by the younger students of Amuzing Music Academy and a solo khayal recital by Chaitali Das (raga Bihag and adadra) completed the total picture.