ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2017
The musical session began with a tribute jointly performed by four of the students of Vidushi Girija Devi - Shree Omkar Dadarkar, Smt. Sucheta Ganguly, Smt. Aparajita Lahiri Bhramhachari and Smt. Shoumi Roy. They presented the famous Thumris, Dadras, a Tappa and some Khayal Bandishes of Appaji. Through their presentation they brought out so well the legacy that their Guru has left behind and that her music will keep on emanating thorugh the voices of her Shagirds.
The second item of the evening was a Flute recital by Paramananda Roy, a Scholar of the Academy, who played Raag Yaman. Ashoke Mukherjee provided unobtrusive support to the first two items.
The concluding item was by Pandit Venkatesh Kumar. In his idiosyncratic style, he sang Behag, churning out newer nuances from an old melody. He disclosed newer avenues and charmed the audience yet again. He then sang Raag Durga(Drut Bandish & Tarana in Teentaal), a Thumri in Khamaj and a Bhajan in Bhairavi. Pandit Subhankar Banerjee's Tabla accompaniment took the performance to greater heights.
The whole night session of the second day began with a vocal recital by Smt. Sucheta Ganguly, a Musician Scholar of the Academy. She chose to sing Raag Yaman. With her emotive approach, she sang a Thumri in Mishra Khamaj and a Dadra and proved herself to be a worthy successor of her Gurus.
The second item of the evening was a Carnatic Vocal recital by Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, who sang a Varnam in Raagam Vasantha ("Ninnukori Yunnara Nenarunchi Nannelukora") in Adi Taalam composed by Tacchur Singaaraachari, a Kruti in Raagam Jaganmohini ("Saptaswara Shobhillu") in Taalam Rupakam by Saint Thyagraja and Raagam-Taanam-Pallavi in Raagam Shanmukhapriya Mutthuswami Dikhshitar.
The third item was a Sitar recital by Scholar Ayan Sengupta, who played Alaap-Jod-Jhala and Gat in Jhaptaal and Drut Teentaal in Raag Jog and Madhyalaya Gat in Teentaal in Raag Sohini. Within a short span, he made his command over the instrument evident. He was dexterously accompanied on the Tabla by Indranil Bhaduri.
The fourth item was a vocal recital by Ustad Rashid Khan, an alumnus of the Academy. He sang Gorakh Kalyan, a Punjabi-Ang Thumri and a Dadra ("Diwana Kiye Shyam") in memory of his beloved Appaji, whom he had shared a long affectionate maternal relationship with, while he was learning at the Academy.
Then was the turn for Kala Ramnath, the able successor of her aunt Dr. N. Rajam, to perform for the Kolkatans after a hiatus. She played Raag Jogkauns, with Khayal Bandishes set to Ektaal and Teentaal, and a Chaiti ("Chait Maas Bolele Koyeliya"), synonymous with Appaji.
Uday Bhawalkar, a Guru of the Academy was the next performer. He chose to sing Raag Malkauns, with Bandishes in Tevra Taal ("Anahat Naad") and Sooltaal ("Shankar Girijapati"). He displayed the Shrutis and their Swarsthan so accurately that it brought forth the Raag in its full glory. His meditative approach and purity of Baani towards the Raag and rhythm made his presentation endearing to the audience.
Ustad Shahid Parvez, played Alap-Jod-Jhala in Raag Bageshree and Gats in Raag Rageshree set to Rupak Taal and Teentaal. His incredible command over the instrument was evident through his Meends and Taiyari and how unexpectedly he delved into the notes and came up with impeccable turns. As an encore, he played a Bhatiyali Dhun.
As the night gradually transformed into dawn, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty began his recital as the last artist of the night. He sang Nat Bhairav and a Thumri in Bhairavi ("Baju Band Khul Jaye"). His innovative approach towards presentation and in devising new ways of portraying a Raag proves his stature as one of the pathfinders of today's music.
The third day began with a Carnatic Duet Vocal recital by Trichur Brothers, who sang a Varnam composed by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar in Raag Kamaas ("Maate Malayadwaja Pandya Samjate") set to Aadi Taalam, Saint Thyagraja's Kruti ("Anupama Gunambudhi") in Raag Athana set to Taalam Jhampa, Kruti by Saint Muthuswami Dikshitar ("Shree Ramam Ravikulapthi Somam") in Raag Narayanagowla, Saint Thyagraja's Kruti ("NenarunChinanu Annitiki") in Raagam Malavi set to Aadi Taalam and Raagam-Taanam-Pallavi in Raag Vrindavani Saarang.
The second artist of the evening was Kaushiki Chakraborty, who sang Puriya Kalyan with Vilambit Ektaal and a Drut Bandish in Ekwai/Teental composed by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan respectively. She concluded with a soulful passionate Thumri in Manjh Khamaj. The audience was spellbinded by her music and it leaves no doubt that she happens to be the best representative of Patiala Gharana today, with her mastery over every facet of her Gharana.
The last artist of the evening was Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, who sang Kaunshi Kanada in Nayaki Ang, a Bandish with Punjabi lyrics in Sohini and "Jamuna Ke Teer" in Mishra Bhairavi. His singing bespoke of his rich repartoire and he being a huge storehouse of knowledge which he each time gives us a glimpse of. The astounding ending to this year's Sammelan will linger on amongst the audience's minds forever.