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Serenity of Dhwani

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Two giants of Hindustani music in the 20th century, the late Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and the Ustad Amir Khan were poles apart as far as their musical expression, style and personality is concerned. While Ghulam Ali Khansaheb was an extrovert and colourful, Amir Khansaheb was an introvert and meditative in his approach to music.  Both the maestros exercised a hold on the imagination of the audience from all over India. However, they carved a special niche for themselves in Bengal and particularly in Calcutta. They made the city their permanent abode and they had a formidable fan following.

Many singers not only drew inspiration from these two maestros but also sought to learn from them. Among such musicians was Kamal Bannerjee who was a student of Amir Khan. Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay, an established singer from Calcutta, who recently performed at Naadbramha in Thane, is a student of Kamal Bannerjee. She imbibed the leisurely aalaps which one heard from the performance from Bannerjee. The raga which she had selected was 'Madhuvanti'. Technically, it can be performed from late noon to evening. It is essentially light weight in character but Sangeeta's treatment lent it a certain weight and dignity. Sangeeta also sang the raga 'Kaushik Dhwani' which was popularised by Bade Ghulam Ali Khansaheb. Incidentally, her second guru was none other than the late Munnawar Ali Khan who was the son of Bade Ghulam.

The slow khyal set to taal rupak of seven beats was quite catchy and 'Aaajhun Na Aaye Balamva', the fast paced composition was received with enthusiasm by the audience. We need to hear more of her in the city. She was accompanied on the tabla by Milind Naik and on the harmonium by Mandar Dixit.

Kiran Hegde, a bansuri player from Dharwad played the raga 'Marwa' in a style befitting the serene mood of the raga. The note ‘komal Re’ with all its shades was treated with due care and sensitivity. Hegde is a pupil of the Karnataka based senior flautist Venkatesh Godkhindi. He is also learning from the veteran violinist Dr. N Rajam.

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