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Tradition-bound recitals

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The Economic Times, July 24, 1988

There is a significant section of the cognoscenti which holds the view that the vocal tradition of Atrauli-Jaipur, of which Alladiya Khan and Ahmad Ali Khan are regarded as pioneers, does not carry much popular appeals.

While there may be an element of truth in this view – if one goes by the quality of contemporary mass appreciation – it is equally undeniable that the exponents of the gharana from the present day performing generation continue to evoke spontaneous response from those rasikas, who look for the right fusion of the intellectual and the aesthetic in classical music.

This, among many other things, was reflected in the presence of the incredible turn-out of the three-hour concert of vocal music at the Dadar-Matunga Cultural Centre last week, murky weather notwithstanding. It was a programme held to commemorate the death anniversaries of Ghulam Ali (Gulubhai) Jasdenwalla and Mohanrao Palekar, and the artistes were their disciples, Ratnakar Pai and Shruti Sadolikar-Katkar.

Shruti-Sadolikar-Katkar, with whom the programme began, and Ratnakar Pai, who performed next, revealed through their recitals plentiful evidence of their rewarding studentship with their mentors.

Shruti’s renditions in Multani, Megh-Malhar and Basanti-Kedar showed her in exuberant spirits.

The exceptional qualities of her clear, mobile and sensitive voice, coupled with a keen sense of form and design, made her recital not only a fulfilling experience, but also reaffirmed her place amosng the top-notchers from the younger set.

Ratnakar Pai is a senior executive in a reputed commercial firm. But, like his mentors, he has devoted much of his leisure time to teaching, and that too, with his high caliber as a concert performer. His fare, comprising Bhoop-Nat, Barari, which is also known as Varati, followed by Bahar, and Kafi-Kanada to round off, came as a resounding vindication of his performing ability.

The accompanists were Mahadev Indorekar and Suhas Kabre (tabla), Shantaram Jadhav and Pravin Lele (harmonium) and Anant Kunte (sarangi).


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