Monday, April 17, 2006

Two Concerts

After a very very long time, I attended a concert. Not one, in fact, but two.

The first- on Saturday - was in honour of the KC Das centenary. It started with a bang with us meeting the great Manna Dey himself and taking his autograph!! Wow!!

Then followed the inevitable delays and we finally came to the music.

Here goes.

First we had a young lady sing. She sang very well indeed. Oddly she did not sing any classical stuff - well, maybe a bhajan or thumri or so. She was accompanied by some other fellow (her husband?) on the Harmonium who was loud and painful. More on this fellow soon.

Then followed pain and misery. The daughter, a cute little thing, all of 4, was forced to sing Miyan ki Todi and Mian ki Malhar. Why?

The great man himself sang. With two tanpuras, a tabla, a harmonium and a swarmandal to help drown out his voice, he launched into an extended torture session. First he gave the usual spiel about how the great Gurus had blessed him etc. Absolute rubbish and fake nonsense. Then he sang a blood-chilling version of Jaijaivanti, a proper rendition of which, by Faiyaz Khan, is here.


Unfortunately, due to his obsession with himself and his family, he cut into the time of the brilliant and rather unassuming Sitar player Kushal Das, who's been mentioned in my entry about Todi. Here is his Bilaskhani Todi again. Superlative is not the word.

He played Rageshri and then Pahadi, examples of which are here and here. I loved his fluency and brilliance. No nonsense and in very very sharp contrast to the other clown. He gave no speeches about God's divine blessings. He just did what he had come to do. I was thoroughly impressed and the prior torture was worth it. I felt furious that I could listen to Kushal Das for such a small period of time, just because of some idiotic megalomaniac.

On Sunday, Sarang and I went to Fort High School to listen to the Ramanavami Music celebration concerts. The concert started an hour late. It featured Mysore Manjunath on the violin and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on the guitar. They played Charukesi. It was technically brilliant but it lacked soul; it was played on predicatable lines and did not have the gravity and softness I was hoping for. They might as well have played any other Raaga. Mostly histrionics. I was more impressed by Mysore Manjunath than Bhat. His bowing was simply wonderful!!

We left after a while and did not listen to the rest. Perhaps it was nice...


Shankari said...

Vasu, this blog is such a lot of fun and information too!

Good to hear that you heard some good music but sad that you had to put up with bad stuff too. But then aren't those moments of music that much more precious when you do get to them?

Pragya said...

Loved listening to all the things! Sorry you had to sit through blood-chilling Jaijaiwanti!