Yanni's Concert in Bangalore High on Energy - The New Indian Express

Yanni's Concert in Bangalore High on Energy

Published: 19th April 2014 08:31 AM

Last Updated: 20th April 2014 12:37 PM

Yanni, the well-known American pianist of Greek origin, performed in India after 17 years, and his Bangalore concert on Friday was cheered by a full house of excited fans.

Beginning at 8 pm, he played about a dozen numbers with a team of extraordinarily talented musicians from diverse backgrounds. The concert lasted two hours, spanning a mix of musical styles adapted to a flamboyant orchestra comprising brass, strings and drums. Most numbers were fast-paced and energetic. His India itinerary covered two cities, Bangalore and Chennai.

In Bangalore, many in the audience were familiar with his tunes — all instrumental except two — and cheered to show their recognition every time he began a number. His repertoire is rehearsed and executed with flair. Neither he nor his musicians read a score.

In the afternoon, about 50 fans from all over India waited at a hotel in Yeshwantpur to meet him. He spent 10 minutes posing for pictures with them before he left for the venue.

Yanni (58) shot to fame in the 1990s, when he performed at the Acropolis and the Taj Mahal, and the venue for his Bangalore concert, a conference hall near Manyata Tech Park, was far less spectacular. But the sound was tight, and the show was excellently produced on all fronts, leaving no room for complaint.

In the United States, home of pop, Yanni is credited with creating a popular form without words. His music straddles the classicist and easy listening  idioms, and his compositions draw rhythmic patterns from his native Greece. He frequently composes, for example, in the 7/8 time signature, not very common in the West, but similar to rupak in Hindustani music and mishra chapu in Karnatak music.

“I am inspired by Indian music, especially its rhythms,” he told Express at an exclusive chat at his hotel. He recalled his early days, when he says Pandit Ravishankar, the Indian sitar maestro, had encouraged him.

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