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Innovative Yet Thoughtful

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The Economic Times, May 1, 1988

Two concert presentations, widely differing in content and character but both based on Hindustani music, came my way, one after the other, in the third week of April.

In the first programme, which was attended by students of music as also serious concert-goers was designed to unfold all the facets of the charming evening raga, Bhoop, also known as Bhopali – its unsuspecting beauties and its aesthetic import. It was presented by the Acharya Ratanjankar Foundation, which has been set up by the senior disciples of the late scholar-musician and teacher, S. N. Ratanjankar, for the preservation and propagation of North India’s classical tradition in various ways.

Initiating the proceedings, Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, the eminent vocalist, teacher and composer, explained how mere intonation of swaras employed in a chosen raga did not constitute the raga.

What was equally significant in Pandit Kaikini’s demonstration was the way he showed how Shudha-Kalyan and Deskar, which hasve the same Swaras as Bhopali, can be differentiated from that melody by a precise exposition of their respective angas. What then followed was an exquisite alap in Bhopali. He brought great imagination and aesthetic awareness to bear on its delineation.

The audience was then treated to a regular vocal recital by Pandit Ginde, an equally distinguished gurubhai of Pandit Kaikini.

The rendition was in vilambit and drut and developed by means if ingenius bol banavs, bol taans and varid but intricate and compelx taan patterns. The sargam sequences which were interspersed with taans showed his command over the swaras.

The second programme, sponsored by Deva Vani Mandiram, was a veritable feast of Sanskrit songs.

Mr S. B. Velankar, the doughty founder director of the Mandiram and himself an eminent Sanskrit playwright, poet and composer was the moving spirit behind this concert. It was meant to be a homage to Kalidasa, and the songs chosen for presentation were from Mr Velankar’s own play, “Kavi Kalidasa Charitam”, which enjoys tremendous popularity among Sanskrit lovers all over India as also in western countries like Germany, where the ancient language is part of serious study and research.

As it happened, the programme was also intended to be in homage to Bal Gandharva, the supreme Marathi thespian, whose birth centenary celebrations are being held all over Maharashtra and elsewhere.

Much of the credit for the effective presentation of the songs must go to the young and talented vocalist, Archana Kanhere. A disciple of the noted vocalist and exponent of Marathi stage music, Manik Verma, the youngster showed a total sense of involvement in her performance. She sand them, in easy succession, with an open but sensitive voice. Her expression was impassioned and her diction and delivery, impeccable.

Vishwanath Kanhere and Sai Banker livened up Archana’s much with their adroit support on the harmonium and the table, respectively.


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