The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, hailed as Asia’s largest classical music festival has already attracted around 10,000 music lovers this year. The 65th edition of the festival is being held at Pune from 13-17 December.
Day-one was filled with excitement as the crowd walked into the chandelier adorned shamiana. The stage set as simple as it can be, for the musicians are the real heroes here.
The first day opened with the Shehnai performance of Madhukar Dhumal on Raag Bhimpalas. He was accompanied by Omkar Dhumal and Vijay Delbansi on Shehnai and Bharat Kamat on Tabla, leaving the crowd mesmerized and waiting for more. This performance was followed by vocalist Dr. Vijay Rajput, a disciple of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. He began with Raag Puriya Kalyan and also performed a Hori on Raag Pilu- ‘More Kanha Jo Aae Palat Ke’. He was accompanied by Avinash Dighe (Harmonium), Ravindrakumar Sohoni (Tabla), Prof. David Clark (Tanpura and Vocal), Sunil Rawat (Tanpura) and Vasant Garud (Taal).
The audience waited with bated breath to see the performance of Debashish Bhattacharya on the string instrument ‘Chaturangi’ (Slide Guitar). The instrument gave an experience of the sounds of Sitar, Sarangi, Sarod and Guitar at the same time. He was accompanied by Shubhashish Bhattacharya (Tabla) and Akhilesh Gundecha (Pakhawaj).
Veteran vocalists of Banaras Gharana, Pt. Rajan and Pt. Sajan Mishra, performed raag Puriya followed by a composition in Vilambit Ektaal. They also presented a composition in Teen Taal- ‘Mai Toh Kari Aai Piya Sang Rang Raliya’ and a Bandish in Drut Ektaal- ‘Piya Sang Lagi Lagan’. They were accompanied by Dr. Arvind Thatte (Harmonium), Shantilal Shaha (Tabla), Vinay Chitrav (Tanpura) and Suhas Odhe (Tanpura). The highlight of the day was the performance of flauist extraordinaire Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He was accompanied by Pt. Vijay Ghate (Tabla), Pt. Bhavani Shankar(Pakhavaj) and Debopriya and Saurabh Vartak (Flute).
The second day started with the performance of renowned vocalist Bhuvanesh Komkali. He presented traditional Khyaal. He also performed a Drut Bandish composed by Pt. Kumar Gandharv. He concluded with an original composition from Malva Prant rediscovered by his father Pt. Mukul Shivputra. He was followed by Violin (Hindustani) player Kala Ramnath. She opened her performance with Raag Shamkalyan. Pt. Yogesh Shamsi (Tabla), Vaishali Kuber and Vaishnavi Awdhani (Tanpura) accompanied her. One of the highlights of the second day was the performance of leading vocalist from Bengal and the torchbearer of the Patiala Gharana, Kaushiki Chakravarty. She sang Raag Marubihag and also performed a Bandish in Zaptaal and Ektaal in Raag Bageshri. She concluded with a popular Thumri ‘Dil Ki Choton Ne Kabhi’ which got a huge applause from the audience. Ajay Joglekar (Harmonium), Satyajit Talwalkar (Tabla), and Meghodeepa Ganguli and Anuja Bhave (Tanpura) accompanied her.
The day concluded with an awe-inspiring performance by Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasraj. He started with a prayer composition ‘Shivashankar Mahadev’. Accompanied by Mukund Petkar (Harmonium), Kedar Pandit (Tabla), Shridhar Parsekar (Mrudangam) and Pt. Ratan Mohan Sharma, Ankita Joshi, Suresh Patki, and Simantini Thakar (Tanpura and Vocal), the performance left the audience mesmerized.