Each year for the Darbar Festival, artists travel to London, meet and spend time with each other and also interact with the Darbar team like family. As our Artistic Director puts it, one of the most exciting features of each Darbar concert is to see the entire festival’s line-up occupying the front-row during a performance. There lies a magic in their presence as they sit in the audience as listenersand inspire a compelling, happier and even better performance out of their colleagues on stage.
This Director’s Cut performance of Purbayan Chatterjee from Darbar Festival 2011 has AratiAnkalikar, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, Alam Khan, Unnikrishnan, Uday Bhawalkar and Roopa Panesar as part of the glittery line-up.
Chatterjee packs some of the sweetest, most exciting ragas in this concert spanning almost a couple of hours. His style is deeply influenced by the Senia Maihar gharana, particularly that of Late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. The strong influence of the legendary vocalist, Ustad Amir Khan (1912-1974) also features prominently in this performance.
Drawing from both these maestros, he sings some of the compositions, demonstrating the vocal nuances and transforming them in his sitar. He begins with alap, jod and jhala in MaruBihag moving on to a gat in7-beat cycle (rupaktaal) followed by another composition in 16-beat cycle (teental).
“Since this is the King’s Place and I am performing at the Darbar Festival, how can the King’s Darbar not have the king of all ragas – Darbari Kanada?” announces Chatterjee cheerfully before beginning the next raga. He plays alap in Darbari and two compositions in drut teental and ektaal, peppering them with a brief vocal rendition. The next raga is Adana, another beauty from the Kanada family that mainly centers in the upper octave during expansion. He plays and sings the popular composition “Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje”, which has been immortalized in the eponymous Indian film from 1955 by Ustad Amir Khan himself.
The next presentation, a drut gat in Kafi Kanada, is played in upbeat spirit and spontaneity. He calls the entire section of Kanadas his personal tribute to Ustad Amir Khan. Chatterjee ends his performance with a dadra in Mishra Pahadi – Rangi Sari Gulabi Chunariya Re – another beautiful piece that has been immortalized by the late vocalist Shobha Gurtu in her sensuous voice and style. Chatterjee sings a few lines from the dadra too and gives a resounding conclusion to his concert.
Anubrata Chatterjee accompanies him on the tabla. The young performer from Kolkata is one of the emerging artists of his generation, defining his presence with memorable performances as this one. Good anticipation, clarity of bols and a steady laykari makes him a promising artist to look out for in the future.
Hindustani classical concerts spanning an hour can usually accommodate up to one raga and a lighter piece at the most. This is a slightly longer duration, but its essence truly comes out in the choice of ragas and their presentation by the artist in a style that is very complex and rich in the kingdom of sitar players.
We hope you will appreciate this aspect which is quite rare in most contemporary Indian classical music presentations nowadays.
Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar)
Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla)
Debipriya Das (tanpura)
Ragas: Maru Bihag, Darbari Kanada, Adana, Kafi Kanada, Dadra in Mishra Pahadi