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Superb Rendering

Thursday, April 25, 2019
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Priya Purushottaman is a comparatively new face on the city concert stage. She hails from Banglore and has trained under Aditi Upadhya who is a senior exponent of the Agra gharana. Upadhya is a daughter and disciple of the veteran the late Dinkar Kaikini who was one of the finest singers of the Bhatkhande/Ratanjankar branch of the Agra gharana. Priya has written a wonderful book containing the thoughts of the late Kaikini and it is in a conversational format. The book shows the depth of her understanding as well as her genuine curiosity of the musical idiom which Kaikini developed in his lifetime.

One was curious to know how she can translate her intellectual grasp of the gayaki into actual performance. Music, apart from being a 'vidya' is also an art or 'kala'. With this sense of wonder one walked into her evening concert hosted under the 'Sur Sagar' series hosted by Shanmukhanand Sangeeth Sabha in association with 'Pancham Nishad Creatives Limited'. Priya's recital which went on for almost 100 minutes without a break not only impressed the audience but also managed to transfix them.

Endowed with a charming stage presence, she began with the raga 'Nand'. Her extensive nom tom alaps in the raga were without a single blemish. It was a bit disproporitionately long. Singers from the Ratanjankar clan tend to have marke nasality in their enunciation. Priya falls in the same category. However, her rendering of the raga was extremely tuneful and sweet to the ears. 'Aa Bare Saiyan',the traditional khyal was methodically elaborated. The khyal is about the heroine who is looking for her beau who has gone to the forest for wandering. There was a sweet yearning quality in her interpretation. 'Payal Mori Baje' was delivered with some precisely timed taans.

Priya also sang 'Basant' and 'Basant Bahar' compositions of Kaikini. The distinctive identity of the ragas was meticulously maintained. 'More Naina Barsan Lage', the bandish in the raga 'Kirwani' was rendered with requsite emotion and it cast a spell on the audience. Dnyaneshwar Sonawane on the harmonium and Swapnil Bhise on the tabla lent superb support.

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