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Newcomers delight listeners

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The Economic Times, December 25, 1988

Pratima Patwardhan and Pranati Mhatre, both newcomers to the performing platform, delighted the listeners with their confident recitals at two separate concerts staged in the city in the course of last week. Pratima was feaured by “Swara-Maauli” at Vile Parle while Pranati sang for “Rageshwaree” at Dadar.

Before evaluating their individual performances, it will be of interest to know that both are in their twenties and music is not their sole occupation. Pratima is a first class graduate in English Literature from Bombay University. Beside, her academic studies, she is not only invoved in her musical pursuit under the tutelage of the veteran, Kamal Tambe, but has also bagged a top rank in AIR’s music contest for youngsters and the coveted Kesarbai Kerkar memorial scholarship instituted by NCPA.

Pranati, on the other hand, holds a Master’s dregree in Sanskrit Literature with a a gold medal to her credit. Besides, she has a Master’s degree in music from SNDT University. Her academic qualifications have earned a senior executive post in a leading cooperative bank. It all speaks of their love and dedication for classical music that both Pratima and Pranati have now come to make the grade as classical vocalists from the emerging generation in what has of late become a fiercely competitive field.

Pratima’s choice at her concert covered khayal vilambit and drut each in the ragas Bhoop and Kedara. She next sang a teetaal bandish in medium tempo, with a Shivaranjani devotional to round off. Shashikant Zavba, a senior percussionist, and Shyam Joglekar, also a tried harmonist, lent understanding support to the younger.

The presentations were brief, but elegant and tidy. That is as it should be, because she seemed keenly aware of the present level of her musicianship. The melodic visualisation, in each case, was effectively portrayed, with the emphasis on the distinguishing motives.

It would be pretty ticklish to chose the best from her repertoire. That is because all the numbers revealed almost the same degree of ingenuity and craftsmanship – of talent and imagination, so rightly blended.

No less vivacious and suave was Pranati in her recital. Her long years of studentship with Prabha Atre were reflected as much in her style as in her choice of fare.

The artiste rendered khayals vilambit and drut in Yaman and Kalavati. A Khamaj — based thumri composition was the concluding item.

Like Pratima, she showed a happy awareness of the essentials of khayal singing and a good knack for presenting her pieces in a steamlined way. If a choice must be made from the fare offered, it was her Kalavati that stood out for its sprightly, colourful character and its rousing rhythmical quality.

By contrast, opne felt that sampurna raga like Yaman could have been explored to a much greater externt. There was, for instance, precious little that she could do in the mandra saptak. So was the case with the exploration of the latter part of the madhya saptak. Yet, with all that, the depiction carried the somber, prayerful character of the raga, inducing a sense of relaxation in the mind of the listener.

Among the instrumental accompanists, young Hemant Hemmady needs special mention for his ideal harmonium sangat. But Rahul Deshmukh on the tabla needs to exercise a little restraint in his playing. He occasionally turned rather loud.


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