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Monday, 19 May 2014

An evening of heavenly music with Anand Bhate

I first found his voice three years ago through the mobile phone ringtone of a colleague and friend of mine, and I have become a huge fan ever since. It was a wait of three years to see him perform live, and the wish was fulfilled yesterday, as Anand Bhate delighted the hearts of music lovers of Bangalore with his soul stirring singing at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, as part of "Sangeet Sambhram", on the occasion of 8th anniversary of founding "Sapthak".

Shree Bhate, a disciple of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, is continuing the Kirana Gharana tradition, and is dedicating time to his divine music even as he juggles with his profession in Technology (he holds a Masters degree in Computer Science).

Yesterday's concert was a dream come true for me personally, as this was my first time listening to him live, and also my first time attending any live Hindustani concert, being a more staunch follower of Carnatic music for long. Accompanied on Tabla by Shree Udayaraj Karpur and on Harmonium by Dr. Ravindra Katoti, his singing was nothing short of celestial. To top this off, Shri Bhate, also known affectionately and respectfully as Anand Gandharva, chose Raga Puriya Dhanashri for the main rendition of the day, the Hindustani counterpart of one of my favorite Carnatic ragas, Hamsanandi. The elaborate and a perfection laden rendition of this Raga with the composition "Sumiro Tero Naam" followed by "Paayaliya Jhanakaaye" left the audience clapping multiple times with delight, right through the performance.

Up next was another personal favorite. Raga Kalashree, a combination of the Ragas Kalavati and Rageshree, created by his Guru Shree Bhimsen Joshi. For the audience, listening to his rendition of "Dhan Dhan Bhaag Suhaag Tero" was like walking with him on the easiest path to heaven possible. But this level of completeness only shows the amount of riyaaz he puts in, and the delight in listening to him perform is something that cannot be explained in words.

Shree Bhate concluded his concert with his trademark rendition of a Natya Sangeet. This one, "Khara To Prema" from the the famous Play of Balgandharva, "Manapman". A detailed rendition of this song as compared to what was recorded for the biopic on Balgandharva in 2011 (shared below) made up for my disappointment of not getting to hear any of my other three favorite renditions of his - Chinmaya Sakala Hridaya, Indrayani Kati or Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma. The way he transcends ragas and comes back to them at will is truly enjoyable.

Shared all through this blog post are some photos from the event yesterday, and I can only conclude by thanking Shree Anand Bhate, as I look forward to the next opportunity to listen to him again. For now, back to "Panchatund Nara Rundamaladhara..."


Unknown said...

Hello sir. Have you recorded the concert?

Prasanna said...

@Niranjan, no. I was, as everyone else in the auditorium, just focused on listening to the amazing renditions! Just clicked a few photos in between...