B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati’ features Jugalbandhi and Hindustani Vocal
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B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati’ features Jugalbandhi and Hindustani Vocal

December 7, 2022

A few decades ago, while performing a jugalbandhi at Sheshadripuram Ramotsava Samithi in Bengaluru, Vid. N. Rajam, the legendary violinist along with Vid. Mysore M. Nagaraj, spoke a few words on how a jugalbandhi should be. ‘It must be like each artiste, adding a flower to make a beautiful bouquet’ was the wonderful approach of a true artiste to a jugalbandhi.

This came to one’s mind after listening to B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati.’ B.S. Pandit was fondly remembered on 18th and 19th of November at ‘M. Govinda Rao Memorial Auditorium’ in GSSS Institute of Engineering and Technology for Women (GSSS IETW) premises on KRS Road in city.

A jugalbandhi (though it was not mentioned so in the invitation) by Anil Srinivasan (piano) and Jayanthi Kumaresh (veena)on the 18th and a Hindustani Vocal by young Siddhartha Belmannu were the attractions. Pramath Kiran on tabla and Trichy Krishna on ghata accompanied the duo on the first day and Pandit Ravindra Yavagal and Pandit Vyasamurti Katti accompanied on tabla and harmonium on the second day respectively. There was also a pre-concert interaction with students of Music titled ‘Strings of Hope’ on the 18th.

B.S. Pandit

Anil and Jayanthi are masters on their respective instruments. It is a wonderful experience to hear their individual performance. While playing together, there has to be a tremendous like-mindedness to make the experience more musical. The success of a duet depends probably more on the manodharma that is preferred to be identical.

However, they started off with the raga Hamsadhwani. Jayanthi took the lead and played an absorbing prelude. Anil created a scintillating shower of swaras inbetween. The popular ‘Vatapi Ganapatim Bhajeham’ was as green as ever. In the Kalpana swaras, Jayanthi was superb as usual. Anil did join for a few sangathis and went on exploring new vistas which were beyond the frame of usual Kalpana swaras.

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Karnatak music, which is filled with a number of embellishments and nuances is not easy to play on a western instrument like piano. Anil has succeeded in adopting it and has achieved a commendable mastery. His imaginations and improvisations are awesome.

He was in a mood to interact with the students, tell them a story and make them sing a popular tune along with the piano. A slightly surprised Jayanthi had to take over to present Khamach alapana. Anil went on to sprinkle, shower and spray soft and scintillating swaras that were sparkling, exciting, dazzling and twinkling. Be it ‘Sujana Jeevana’ or Thillana, Jayanthi’s playing was engrossing and captivating. Every phrase was stunningly perfect. Pramath Kiran and Trichy Krishna were cheerful during the short Tani. ‘Vande Matharam’ brought the curtain down for the first day.

Siddhartha Belmannu performing on the day-2 of B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati’ at ‘M. Govinda Rao Memorial Auditorium’ in GSSSIETW premises in city recently. He is accompanied by Pt. Ravindra Yavagal on tabla and Pandit Vyasamurti Katti on harmonium.

Siddhartha Belmannu is a very promising young singer blessed with a rich voice that can express all his musical thoughts. The support given by very senior accompanists, Ravindra Yavagal and Vyasamurti Katti enhanced his zeal and resulted in a fantastic baithak. This young singer dives deep into any raga and sincerely starts improvising its possibilities. Aahir bhairav and Hindol were the two main ragas he had chosen to elaborate. The morning Raga unfurled leisurely in his rich voice. Traversing comfortably in two octaves, he was exploring its fineness in every phrase. ‘Rasiyamhara’ in vilambith ek tal and the popular ‘Albela Sajan Aayore’ in Dhruth was followed by ‘Mayire man bhavan’ set to ek tal were in full bloom.

Rag Hindol (which has nothing to do with Karnatak Hindola) had thick shades of Hamsanandi (minus Ri). Nishad too is only supportive in this Rag. His energetic singing introduced new dimensions of this Rag. ‘Eri Mayi Piya Ke Sang Khelo,’ the bandish in vilambit lead to ‘Chanak Boond Bhari,’ another bandish in Dhruth Teen tal. A cascade of sargam was enjoyable. It was the spontaneity of his music that reached every listener’s heart.

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‘Kaise Kaise Javoo’ in Dhruth Teen tal in the Rag Shuddh Sarang was very melodious. Clear enunciation and devotion were displayed in the Devaranamas he sang. ‘Jagava Suttihudella Ninna Maaye,’ the Ugabhoga of Purandaradasa was followed by ‘Naanena Maadideno’ in Rag Des. ‘Karedare Barabarade’ in Adana was emotionally charged. The senior accompanists Ravindra Yavagal and Vyasamurti Katti’s contribution to this young singer was commendable.

By Dr. Rama V. Bennur

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati’ features Jugalbandhi and Hindustani Vocal”

  1. Gautam says:

    This BS Pandit, who I used to know way back in late 1969s as a garrulous loudmouth politico, not as a Physics lecturer dedicated to his students and the subject at the JSS College of Engineering, was least interested in Music or any other kind of art. He used to spend most of his working days, skipping giving lectures, and interested only in union meetings that projected him as a leader. He rose to higher positions in the JSS Colle of Engineering through sheer bluster, and union activities, and not through excellence in teaching Physics.
    It appears that years later, he established the engineering college-one of many dozens in Mysore, which have dumbed down the quality of engineering education. There, he was doing the very thing as a governing body chair that he was accusing the JSS College of Engineering authorities about, when he was a bad lecturer of Physics there.
    That is what Mysore has become over these decades, where non entities have become leaders of the society. , the sign of the deterioration of the society.

  2. MysoreMurthy says:

    Hello Gautam,
    I wonder why most comments in SOM by readers deviate from the article’s subject matter but instead focus on the article’s author or some other topics unrelated to the article in question. When they criticize or go tangential, they don’t even use civilized language. It bothers me, and I’m sure many readers of SOM agree with me.

    You have posted a comment on the article, “B.S. Pandit Memorial Concert ‘Saraswati’ Features Jugalbandhi And Hindustani Vocal” (SOM December 9). This article is about a music concert and not about Mr. B.S. Pandit. You have focused entirely on Mr. Pandit’s personal matters. Is it relevant in this context?

    Speaking of Mr. Pandit: I knew Pandit well. In addition to the engineering college, he founded/administered several successful institutions. He volunteered his services in numerous other highly respected institutions. Here are some of them: Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, the Graduates Co-operative Bank, Mahajana Education Society, Mysore University Senate, and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

    Granted, he had strong political opinions and was not afraid to express them in private or public. His patriotism was so strong he was not afraid to express them in private or public.

    I have heard great things about GSSS Engineering College – its quality, treatment of students, support for students, facilities, and placement of graduates.

  3. Gautam says:

    Hello Mysore Murthy
    Interesting that you skipped thee bit: ” was least interested in Music ” in my post referring to BS Pandit.
    I had been a member of Nada Brahma Sangeetha Sabha for years, and never saw Pandit in any of its concerts! Yes, he was mostly involved in Graduate Cooperative Society/Bank, as it gave him some power to sanction the personal loans, which he always liked. Pandit was after power.
    I am not sure in what capacity you knew him, But in my case, right from the time he applied to become a lecturer in Physics at the JSS CE, after failing to get into other established colleges at that time. JSS C E in 1960s was collecting rejects as lecturers, as it was then in 1960s a purely capitation-fee engineering college admitting students who were unfit to become engineers , but had money. Pandit was always carping about the ‘Lingayat domination’ in the JSS CE administration, vociferous i his opinions , always negative and through that route he moved up in his position. A very bad academic with no work ethic, poor knowledge in Physics, and was never a dedicated teacher.
    BS Pandit is really the subject matter, because , it was not merely a music concert, but held in his name. You seem not to grasp the criticism of a person- no bad language was used in my post, no swear words either. In fact, I used a language a bit more civilised to what Pandit used to describe his superiors in the JSS CE> But I had summed up what Pandit really was.
    Yes, he was active outside . skipping lectures, and was the first one in Mysore to drive a Vespa, as it suited to his activities which have him the profile.


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