Usually, Rabindrasangeet performances are dominated by a particular theme, and juxtaposed by narration. Sometimes the thematic stringing of songs try to give new insights into Tagore’s creativity. To celebrate 25 years of their musical journey, the husband-wife duo, Srobonti Bandyopadhyay and Arindam Bandyopadhyay, did not follow this usual practice. The programme, Gaan, did not have a theme; it was presented by Shilpimon at G.D. Birla Sabhagar. Neither was there any specific purpose guiding the selection of songs. The generic title of the programme reflected the artists’s love for their art form. They sang from their hearts to make the evening enjoyable.
After the brief inaugural part, Srobonti took the stage for her solo performance. Nurtured under the strict discipline and decorum of Dakshini, a prestigious institute of Rabindrasangeet, Srobonti has acquired a style of tuneful rendition with clear diction. She began with “Godhuli gagane” — which betrayed an initial uneasiness — followed by “More bare bare phirale”. Her next rendition, “Shajabo tomare hey” from the ‘prem’ segment, was impressive.
Biplab Mondol added a new dimension to this song with his khol. A versatile percussion artist like Mondol knew well his restrained and evocative role of supporting the singer. “Sakhi oi bujhi banshi baje” from Shapmochon was more enjoyable because of his rhythmic accompaniment.
There was a degree of poise in Srobonti’s rendition of “Aji bijono ghore”. She glided effortlessly from one mood to the other. She tried to do justice to all her songs both in terms of vocal quality and gayaki. Along with Tagore songs, she also chose Bramho Sangeet for her recital. There was an elegant composition by Kali Narayan Gupta, “E go daradi amar mon keno udasi hote chae”. However, the musical accompaniment appeared to be too dominating and failed to match the mood of the song. “Boro bedonar o moto” reminded this reviewer of the brilliant emotional expressions of Srobonti’s late mother, Swati Basu. She concluded her recital with a portion from Chandalika where she sang as both Ma and Prakriti simultaneously. In spite of her occasionally off-tune presentation, it was a sincere attempt.
The shorter second half of the evening began with Arindam Bandopadhyay. He sang with full-throated ease. He has a genuine style with no frills or useless flamboyance. He started with “Dekhechi roopsagore” and “Bhenge more ghorer chabi”, followed by “Maharaja e ki shaje”. His skill became apparent in his rendition of “Namo jantra” from Muktodhara.
The artists were accompanied by Sitangshu Majumdar (synthesizer), Sanatan Adhikari (violin), Soumyojyoti Ghosh (flute) and Debashish Halder (sarangi). The programme was aptly compered by Sukriti Lahari.