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Mallikarjun Mansur remembered with special fest

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

The late Mallikarjun Mansur was one of the tallest musicians of the 20th century. His career spanned almost six crucial decades of the century. He was born in 1912 and he passed away in 1992. As a musician, he belonged to both pre independence as well as post independence era. His contemporaries included giants like Faiyaz Khan, Krishnarao Pandit, Master Krishnarao, Omkarnath Thakur, Hirabai Barodekar as well as later generation musicians of the caliber of Amir Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Kumar Gandharva and others. Mansur carved a special niche for himself.

His birth anniversary falls on 31st December. 'Iyer Foundation' celebrates his memory by holding a special festival of music at the plush Savarkar Auditorium. The festival, this year, was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Union Government and was a roaring success as far as the quality of music and particiapation of the audience is concerned. Raga 'Hameer' was heard after a long time. Set to a brisk pace, the bada khyal was a moving Sufi composition. Set to an apporpriate super fast tempo, the  tarana in the raga elicited several rounds of applause.

A dadra in the raga 'Pancham Se Gara' and 'Khamaj' tappa full of intricate taans followed. As a tribute to the great singer,'Jhan Jhan Payal' was also presented in his style which won appreciation. The father and son duo of Milind and Yadnesh Raikar played the raga 'Shudh Nat' with apolomb and artitstry. It is rarely heard on the violin. Apoorva Gokhale and Pallavi Joshi, the two singing sisters sang 'Sampoorna Malkauns' in a gripping manner. The duo has been making waves of late.

In the second session , accomplished singer Chandrashekhar Vaze sang the raga 'Puriya Kalyan'. He belongs to the Kirana gharana and has beena frequent performer at various festivals. He was his usual competent self. Aarti Ankalikar, one of the most popular singers of our time sang a beautiful composition in the raga 'Kaushik Ranjani' which is a rare and special raga. Her 'Basant Bahar' was in tune with the spirit of the times. She concluded with a 'Bhairavi' tappa full of racy and energetic taans. The event was curated by the musician duo Balakrishna and Jyoti Iyer.

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