Shyama Prasad Niyogi at the concert in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Manik Bose
Ranchi, May 6: The auditorium of Ispat Club reverberated this evening with the renditions of the Bishnupur Gharana music.
It was a tribute to a three centuries old tradition, claim the Bishnupur Gharana’s followers, who trace its origin to 1702.
Bahadur Khan, a descendent of the legendary singer Tansen, accompanied by Peer Bux, a pakhwaj player, reached the princely state of Bishnupur, now in Bankura district of Bengal, in 1702. He met the then ruler of Mallbhum, Raghunath Singha II, who was a great patron of music.
“He had sanctioned a monthly allowance of Rs 500, to the duo,” said Shyama Prasad Niyogi, a classical singer, whose solo performance mesmerised the audience today.
In fond remembrance of this tradition, some ardent music lovers of the capital like Sachchidananda Majumdar and Subir Lahiri organised this evening’s programme as a tribute to Bishnupur Gharana. They chose Niyogi as the artiste of the evening.
Niyogi originally belongs to Bishnupur and had his initial training from his father, Prafulla Kumar Niyogi. He later shifted to Calcutta and learnt the nuances of this particular gharana from Nihar Ranjan and Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhyay. He now sings for All India Radio.
Niyogi started the programme this evening with Raga Yaman. He first dwelt upon bilambit laya in ektal and then shifted his focus to madhya and drut laya in teental. He backed it up with a bandish based on Raga Saraswati in madhya laya.
He concluded the programme with the presentation of a thumri — typical of this gharana. It was popularised by well-known singer Gopeshwar Bandyopadhyay. The thumri — bole kon gali gayo shyam batade — was set in Raga Mishra Khambaj.
Niyogi was accompanied by Sanatan Goswami on harmonium, who came all the way from Calcutta. He added a heavenly touch to the renditions.
Niyogi was accompanied on tabla by Sachchidananda Majumdar. While on tanpura he was assisted by Keya Sen and Swati Sarkar.