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EVENINGS OF MEMORIES

It was an evening of music and memories. Tunes of nostalgia, shades of remembrance gave the audience a glimpse of the glorious past of Indian classical music led by stalwarts like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. The soirée was dedicated to this doyen of Patiala Gharana, paying homage on his birthday and death anniversaries. Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts presented Sabrang ke Nit Naye Rang — the varied aspects of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s evergreen gayaki — by his grandson, Ustad Raza Ali Khan, son of Munawar Ali Khan.

The evening started with a documentary on Bade Ghulam Ali Khan by Harisadhan Dasgupta. It was followed by a face-to-face session with his grandson. Raza Ali Khan embarked on a musical journey to portray the musical self of his illustrious grandfather. From the generous voice of the artist the audience got a whiff of some of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s leading compositions. Raza Ali Khan showed how his grandfather had assimilated his own Patiala-Kasur style, the Behram Khani elements of dhrupad, the rhythms of Jaipur, and the embellishments of Gwalior. This made his style of singing truly sabrang, which is the term Bade Ghulam Ali Khan used as his pen name. Raza Ali Khan also explained through his presentation why and how Bade Ghulam Ali made his music versatile so that everyone, not just connoisseurs, could appreciate the charm of Indian classical music. Parimal Chakraborty accompanied him on tabla.

Alor Pathe Raga Dhwani presented a delightful evening as a tribute to late Meera Banerjee and Prasun Banerjee. They commenced with their anthem song in Raga Bhatiyar- Marwa, followed by a song by Mitra Bhattacharyya. Mitra’s sweet voice enchanted the audience. Mitra Bhattacharyya, Mou Sengupta, Prabrisha Debnath and Medha Debnath presented two tarana compositions of Meera Banerjee in Raga Bhimpalasri, which was in drut ektaal, and Raga Hameer composed in drut adachautal. The performance was interesting, especially the second one, which had some tricky moments on the tabla. The vocal recital by Sanjukta Ghosh, accompanied by Tanmoy Aditya on tabla and Shantanu Bhattacharyya on harmonium, could have been shortened. She sang vilambit and drut kheyals in Ragas Jaijaiwanti and Abhogi, concluding her part with a dadra in Piloo. But a brief vocal solo by the senior artist, Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhyay, a follower of the Bishnupur Gharana, was arresting. He sang Malkauns. His vistaars, especially in the lower octave, and the short yet intricate taans created an expectation for more. He was accompanied by Samar Saha on tabla and Shantanu Bhattacharyya on harmonium.