Charcha, jointly presented by Jalsaghar and the RKM Institute of Culture at Vivekananda Hall (September 24), turned out to be an introduction to the Vishnupur style prior to the recitals of its two veteran representatives.
Pandit Amiya Ranjan Banerjee began with Shyam Kalyan. If his breath-control, throw and the embellishments of his khayal idiom emerged as impressive, his vowel taans were simply amazing and dominated the development of both the slow ektal and drut teental compositions. His second choice, a slow ektal bandish in Kafi Kanada, was better poised for melodic maturity magnified by the oscillating ga. The drut teental in Suha Sughrai reverted to taans once more.
Pandit Manilal Nag, though hard-pressed for time, offered a few captivating clues to the evolution of sitar playing techniques from dhrupad gayaki and some valuable keys leading to his choice raga Suha Kanada. A sensitive tabla accompanist to the core, Pandit Samar Saha provided altruistic support to both the artistes.
While Nag displayed an eagerness to establish the debatable claim that this solitary Bengali gharana has a direct link with the Senia gharana, Banerjee, the direct descendent of Satyakinkar Bandyopadhyay, was completely focused on his own khayal singing.