‘Vasantrao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha’ presented an innovative programme on Sunday night at Ravindra Natya Mandir. The innovation lay in the concept as well as presentation. The prime mover of the programme was Chandrakant Limaye, senior disciple of Vasantrao Deshpande and singer/actor. The main format of presentation for vocal music is solo presentation in which instruments lend melodic or percussion support and thus have a secondary role. One does not come across an orchestra on a classical music platform. Vasantrao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha presented a programme of monsoon songs in which instrumentalists had a greater role than ever seen in the context of a classical vocal music performance. Singers like Chandrakant Limaye, Asavari Karambelkar, Madhura Kumbhar, Shrirang Bhave, Bhupal Panashikar, Bhairavi Kale and Seema Tade sang compositions based on monsoon ragas like 'Miyan Ki Malhar', 'Gaud Malhar' and 'Surdasi Malhar'.
They had selected melodic instruments like the sitar (Prasad Rahane), sarangi (Sangeet Mishra), violin (Shruti Bhave Padhye) and bansuri (Milind Shevde). They interpreted the compositions in their own way while giving instrumental support to the singers.
'Sananana Meha' was the title of the programme which was derived from the opening line of a composition in the raga 'Miyan Ki Malhar' by sitarist /composer Shankar Abhyankar. "This is the response of the young musicians to the threat of global warming," said Limaye who sang 'Sakhi Mori Rumzum', a popular song in the raga 'Durga'. Asavari Karambelkar, 33-year-old city based singer, appeared on this platform for the first time. Karambelkar has won many competitions like the 'Gunidas' Competition (2005) or the one organised by Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre (2007). Karambelkar has trained in the Jaipur Attrauli gharana under Kishori Amonkar and Arun Dravid and Aarati Ankalikar. She has also learned from Narayan Bodas, Pandharinath Kolhapure and Satyasheel Deshpande.
Karambelkar tries to blend the Jaipur Attrauli gharana style to the vocalism of Kumar Gandharva which lures her with its lyricism. We have heard her sing 'Nayo Nayo Meha' (Raga Sorathdesa) in the theme based programme 'Geet Varsha' presented by Pandharinath Kolhapure. She sings it in a sweet voice. She sang the same song in this programme effectively. ‘Ritu Aayee Bole Mora Re', a devotional based on the raga 'Gauid Malhar' is another catchy song which Karambelkar sang.
Monsoon related forms of music like the kajri and jhoola were included in the programme. Atul Tade lent support on the tabla.