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Solo vocal recitals

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The Economic Times, April 23, 1989

Shrikrishna Joshi and Ashok Tulpule gave solo vocal recitals at the Dadar-Matunga Cultural centre in the presence of an impressive turn-out on April 16.

Both Joshi and Tulpule are medical men who have made their mark in a highly competitive profession. Joshi, who is 45, has many distinctions to his credit, academic and professional. An M.D. in anaesthesiology, he is the honorary head of the department in that discipline at the J.J. Group of Hospitals. His passion for music led him to seek the tutelage of Pandit Arolkar about a decade ago.

Fifty-year-old Tulpule, who is a leading consulting cardiologist, started learning music after taking his M.B.B.S. degree, from Pandit Firoz Dastur, the stalwart of the Kirana gharana. His specialisation in cardiology did little to wean him away from his cherished interest which include, besides music, sports.

But when both the medicos made their bow before their discerning listeners as practicing vocalists, dressed in the customery kurta and pyjamas, few listeners may have realized that they were in for a very pleasant surprise. They not only struck the pose of confident performers but also emphasised their claims to their worthwhile studentship with their respective mentors.

As performing vocalists, there was distinctly something common in their approach to their art. In the first place, they looked as sincere and serious as they have been as medical specialists. Secondly, they did not indulge in showmanship and gymnastics in their performance. And finally, what one admired most was the correct self-evaluation of their own musical resources. Thus, what they offered us was the kind of music that was simple in form but sound in matter.

The concert began with Joshi, who offered vilambit drut and tarana each in khayal Bhimpalas and Yaman. He concluded with a fast tempo Sohini number. Joshi’s voice is loud, with a stentorian quality. It has a good range but less mobility or flexibility. Yet with this obvious shortcoming his melodic portrayals were nonetheless marked by a precise sense of khayal form and design, which showed his commendable grasp of the salient feature of the Gwalior style, as exemplified by his illustrious guru.

The same admirable sense of visualisation and fine musical temperament was reflected in Tulpule’s recital. He is endowed with a well-trained, pliable voice. His exploration of khayal Shudh-Kalyan in vilambit and drut, followed by a medium-tempo Kedar was moulded in the typically Kirana fashion. One felt, though, that his taan patterns could be a little more restrained and clearer in their enunciation. Yet, the general pattern of exploration of both melodies was a satisfying effort.

Praise is also due to the fine instrumental support that came from Girish Nalavade (tabla) and Raja Patwardhan (harmonium) to Joshi. He also received occasional vocal sangat from Nandu Dhaneshwar. Tulpule had for his support Girish Sanzgiri (vocal), Sudhir Samsare (tabla) and Vishwanath Pendharkar (harmonium)

In sum, both the eminent medicos showed, so convincingly, how music and medicine can not only mix but also blend so relishably — that they are not two worlds so irrevocably apart. Indeed, their involvement in music must have enriched their professional as well as personal life, since music does not have such a power to do.


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