When the halls reverberated with rhythm and melody
By Dr M SURYA PRASAD | Published: 19th November 2012 12:51 PM |
Sur Sagar led by expert Hindustani vocalist and adept Bharatanatyam performer Susheela Mehta, celebrated its anniversary by presenting two mellifluous vocal recitals at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall on Saturday.
Belying her age the veteran diva of thumris and the living legend of the Benaras and Senia tradition in general and the Purab ang gayaki in particular, Pandita Girija Devi enthralled the packed audience with her singing.
The lovers of music were not only treated to a feast of pure, wholesome music but were also heartily blessed by her.
Her motherly and elderly trait was conspicuous when she wished all the best to the seasoned singer Pandit Venkatesh Kumar whose recital had just then preceded her concert.
Likewise the good intentioned veteran vocalist instilled confidence in young and upcoming singers by asking them not to be afraid of the stage and to work hard in mastering the art of singing.
What an inspiring gesture it was!! Then she went on to say that now she is already aging.
But the music never ages.
It ripens according the passage of time.
Singing spiritedly in her rich and resonant voice she did complete justice to Hindustani music.
Girija Devi, a child prodigy, was trained by Pandits Sarju Prasad Mishra and Srichandra Mishra.
She has been active in the field for more than six decades both as a performer par excellence and a generous teacher.
This aspect was also highlighted when she encouraged her disciples by giving them ample opportunities to sing.
In fact, it would not be an exaggeration if I were to say that her voice had more of resonance and punch than her students.
The class and form that pervaded her expositions was remarkable and touching.
Vyasamurthi Katti’s harmonium support was appropriate with Ravindra Yavagal on the tabla.
Seated on an elegantly decorated stage backed up by two tanpuras, Girija Devi was a picture of poise and veneration.
She began with a khayal Ajahu na aaye Kanha more in Mishra Desh.
Slowly building up the mood and the melody she unleashed a cascade of taans and other ornamentations.
The words of the song were negotiated with a myriad musical phrases.
She proved once again that she is a superfine singer of Thumris by singing Mora saiyya bulaaye aadhi raath (Desh) captivatingly.
It was a lesson for the youngsters that a singer should not fight with the words of the song but handle them with care and beauty.
This she exhibited by manipulating the words Aadhi ratth bulaaye in a refined manner.
It was spiced with her explanations and light humour.
The audience was enthralled when their request for singing Jaavo ji jaavo mujh se naa bolo (Maand) was met with.
Singing in madhyam she literally swept the rasikas by the presentation of a combination of Kajri and Jhoola.
Siya sang jhoole bagiya mein Ram lalana had a lot of spiritual, melodic and literary value.
The stress on the right meaning and mood of the words was appropriate and artistic too.
The manner in which she delineated the words Ram Siya jhoole, Lakhan jhulaaye (Lakshman swinging the Ram-Sitha swing) was a class by itself.
The melodic finale came in the form of Babul mora naihar set to Bhairavi.
Remarkable fluency: In the concert that came before, seasoned Hindusthani singer and the latest Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner Pandit M Venkatesh Kumar successfully served his testimonials as a specialist exponent of Kirana and the Gwalior gharana.
He has already carved a niche for himself as a vibrant vocalist.
He was completely at home with his ingenuous technique and his shruti aligned mellifluous voice.
There was a delectable continuity in the atmosphere like the in-step march of an army.
The uniformity in the various limbs of the musical patterns into which improvisations resolved themselves was a sheer delight.
Music lovers heard the perfecting process of the sentient and sure-footed singer with great expectation.
The opening raag Yaman with all its details regaled the audience.
A brilliant alap was followed by a pleasing rendition of Path tore(vilambit ektaal) and Avagunan kijiye (madhyalay teentaal).
Accompanied by Ravindra Yavagal (tabla) and Vyasamurthy Katti (harmonium), it was a sheer delight to hear him render Prabhu maan le and Baadarwa Gahar aaye (drut taal) in raga Ramdasi Malhar.
His unending taans, bol tans and sargams sent the audience into raptures.
As the disciple of Pandit Puttaraja Gavayi, he was true to his tradition and sang a bhajan Naam japan kyon chod diya and a heart touching Basaveshwara vachana Ole hatti uridare.