The last day of the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav saw a line-up consisting of stalwart instrumentalists and eminent vocalists. The closing performance which was delivered by veteran artist, composer and academic Dr Prabha Atre mesmerised the audience, who will have to wait another year to witness her magic again.
The opening performance was given by vocalist Mahesh Kale. A disciple of Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, he specialises in classical, semi-classical and Marathi natya sangeet. He began with raag Shuddha Sarang in Vilambhit Jhumra Taal. This was followed by a bandish, ‘Anand manavo, mangal gaavo’. He ended his performance with ‘Aruni kirani’ from Katiyar Kaljat Ghusali, a film for which he won the National Award for best male playback singer.
The next performance was followed by Padma Shankar, a classical violinist in Carnatic music. She played an abhanga, ‘Mazhe maher pandhari’ and ended her performance with the famous Kannada composition, ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’.
Vocalist Sudhakar Chavan started the next performance with raag Bhimpalasi and concluded it with an abhanga. Afterwards, sarod players and father-son duo, Pandit Rajan Kulkarni and debutant Sarang Kulkarni took the stage. The played raag Vachaspati and later Sarang Kulkarni wowed the audience members with a jugalbandi with the pakhawaj and tabla accompanists.
Another highlight of the last day of the festival includes Anand Bhate, a vocalist and IT professional who was also Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s disciple. A Kirana gharana artist, he started with raag Yaman Kalyan and concluded his performance with Kannada abhanga ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’, to which he received a standing ovation.
Sitar maestro, Ustad Shujaat Khan of Imdadkhani gharana and Grammy nominee graced the festival with a spellbinding performance. He has earlier performed in prestigious venues like the Royal Albert Hall, London, United Nations’ General Assembly Hall, New York and Congress Hall, Berlin. He began with raag Jhinjhoti and concluded with a folk song, ‘Kahan aake rukne the raste, kaha more tha…’
Dr Prabha Atre brought in the grand finale of this prestigious festival by starting with raag Jog Kauns and sang a bandish, ‘Man tu soch baar baar’. This was followed by another bandish, ‘Lage re lage re unhi se naina’. It ended in raag Bhairavi with a thumri, ‘Jagat janani bhavatarani…’ Her performance received an immense round of applause from everyone present. She has been giving the concluding performance of the festival since 2007.
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