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An Enchanting Recital

Tuesday, December 06, 2016
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

About thirty years ago Kishori Amonkar gave an early morning recital at the Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre.  At the crack of dawn, she was on the dais and there was only natural light around. One could see her frame only in silhouette, her long yet delicate fingers gently strumming the tanpura. One recalls that she had sung the raga 'Bibhas' with a great sense of involvement. There are two variants of the raga.One is with the note shuddha or natural D and the other is with komal or flat D. Kishori Amonkar sang the one with shuddha D. Her tender alaps and scintillating super fast taans made the listening a memorable experience.

One fondly remembered the experience as one sat listening to the Pune based classical singer Aparna Panashikar at the Taj Tea House at Bandra (West). Her 'Bibhas' had that kind of charm and appeal. Aparna has learned the Jaipur Attrauli gayaki from her mother Meera Panashikar. She augmented her repertoire by also learning from the veteran Bhaskarbuwa Joshi. Joshi was an inveterate straggler and a pupil of the great Ramkrishna Bua Vaze. Aparna sang a complex raga called 'Khat' which she has learnt from Joshi. It is a combination of six ragas. Aparna has also been learning semi classical forms from the famous Benaras based singer Chhanulal Mishra. She excelled herself in whatever she sang. She received superb support from Shantanu Shukla on the tabla and on the harmonium from Anant Joshi.

Manjiri Alegaonkar was the star of the opening day of the 'Sur Mansur' festival organized by the Iyer Foundation at the Savarkar Auditorium, Shivaji Park. Manjiri sang the raga 'Shree' which is a wonderful sunset time raga. Her bada khyal was in jhap taal.This raga flowers through glissandos and oscillations. Manjiri did justice to it. The tarana in fast teen taal was sung in the Kumar Gandharava style. She followed up with a typical Jaipur Attrauli khyal in the raga 'Savani Nat'. The fast composition 'Mang Bharo' was in the raga 'Lankeshree'.It was a creation of the late Kumar Gandharva. Manjiri also sang a popular Kumar Gandharva bhajan. It was quality music and a superlative performance.

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