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ZEAL OVER FEELING

It is entirely praiseworthy that Rabindrasangeet artists like Rahul Mitra are making an effort to attract listeners to lesser-heard Tagore songs rendered faithful to the notation. Debata Jene, Mitra’s solo concert at Rabindra Sadan on May 5, was another exercise in this direction. Among the 26 Puja-parjay songs on offer were Purna-ananda, purna-mangalrupe, Heri tabo bimalomukhabhati and Ki dibo tomay — songs that are rarely heard in concerts or recorded by popular artists. The trouble with choosing songs of this nature is that the onus lies with the singer not only to acquaint the lay listener with the songs, but also to convey the feeling contained in them. This is where Mitra slips up, because his overzealous attempt at presenting a ‘faithful’, ‘correct’ rendition comes in the way of his communicating with the audience through the songs. This evening, he had also chosen to sing Tomay notun kore pabo bole, Chirosakha hey, Dekha jodi dile and Bimalo anande jago re — songs usually sung in free rhythm — to their prescribed rhythm-schemes. Barring the last mentioned, the rest did not earn points for these songs as rhythmic compositions. Singing the free-rhythm version of Chirosakha hey (and singing it well) only showed up the inadequacies of its pair. Although the singer’s voice was not at its cooperative best, Mitra did ample justice to Debata jene, Amar majhe tomari maya and Nayan tomare pay na dekhite.

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