Savai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav
The three-nights long festival of Dance and Music: one of the chief cultural events in Pune City.
For the last forty years, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal has been organizing it regularly, to commemorate Late Rambhau Kundagolkar alias Savai Gandharva. Savai Gandharva was the chief disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. He achieved fame as the torch bearer of Kirana Gharana and perpetuated it by training stalwarts like Gangubai Hangal, Firoz Dastur and Bhimsen Joshi.
This festival incorporates all aspects of music-Vocal, Instrumental and Dance. Artists from the North and the South, belonging to various styles or gharanas, present their art here. The festival has proved to be a launching pad for upcoming artists. Established artists love it for the large, appreciative audience. Popular even abroad, this festival is a living example of Unity in Diversity.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
The doyen of the Kirana Gharana, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi has become a legend in his lifetime. He has already celebrated the golden jubilee of his career on the concert platform. Gifted with a deep and sonorous voice he' has continued to enthrall listeners for' decades. Panditji has already passed his seventieth year but his music shows no traces of ageing; on the other hand, it seems to have become more vigorous. His tunefulness, amazing control of breath and the characteristically forceful and speedy taans have no equal.
He has performed all over the world and has been virtually showered with titles and honors : Padmashree, Mysore State Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Padmabhushan.. to mention just a few of them! Undoubtedly he is the true Monarch of the Mehfils.
However, Bhimsen at the Savai Gandharva Festival is a totally different personality. He is the center of all the activities and a devout student of Late Rambhau Kundgolkar.... Savai Gandharva. His singing in this festival is an absolute tribute to Savai Gandharva. The moment the taanpuras are tuned, Panditji is in total communion with the spirit of his Guru and the notes flow out as if born on their own. Yes! Bhimsenji's singing at the Savai Gandharva Festival is a magical experience.
Alurkars are happy to bring to you the live recordings of those unforgettable moments.
As an additional attraction of this double CD album, we are including one delightful number by Pandit Jasraj.
He is the ruling prince of the Mewati Gharana of music. Gifted with a rich and sonorous voice seasoned by decades of singing, Jasraj impresses you at once with his maturity. Moreover, you notice his careful approach to the personality of the raag and to the text of the 'cheez' he is singing. The compositions that are presented here bring out the truth of this statement.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Ramakali is a variety of Raag Bhairav, a morning melody. In addition to the notes- Sa, Re (Komal), Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha (Komal) and Ni i.e. the natural scale with the second and sixth notes flattened -Ramakali makes use of the sharpened fourth and flattened seventh notes (Teevra Madhyam and Komal Nishad) also and gives it a peculiar character of its own.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi has rendered this raag in his masterly style. The initial alap, the exposition of the raag and the final speedy section are all attractive. The brilliance of his voice, the powerful volley of taans are typical of his unique and characteristic style. Listeners shall treasure this Ramakali in their memory, for years in future.
Thumri - Jogiya
‘Piya ke milan ki aas'.. the thumri popularized by the great master himself. It expresses the longing for a meeting with the beloved. The robust, masculine quality of Panditji's voice attains an extremely pliant and emotive quality in the rendering of this Thumri; you are carried away with him into that world of longing and separation. A great experience of the power of music!
The grand finale of the entire festival - the concluding piece, the Bhairavi. It fills you with the feeling of migrating from a place so dear to you. This Thumri expresses the same feeling. Bhimsenji evokes that feeling through aesthetic phrasing and modulations of the voice, in a very subtle manner.
Comparing with the manner of his Khayal singing, both these numbers present before us a totally different facet of the master's style and convince us why Bhimsenji is regarded as a great master of our times!
Raag Komal Rishabh Aasawari
This is a morning melody, a special variety of the Raag Aasawari. As the name explains, this Raag uses a flattened variety of the second natural note (Komal Re). The initial, slower composition expresses the feelings of a lover whose beloved has been angry with him. He pleads to her, to listen to him and forget her anger : it's not of any use, he says. The aalaps in the vilambit composition are notable for their emotive appeal, in this respect.
The speedy composition in Teental expresses a different mood. Here, a carpenter is being requested to fashion a cradle, embedded with diamonds, so that ) Jaso-mata - the mother of Lord Krishna - may rock her child in it. The taans here are very delightful and evoke the feeling of happiness very effectively.