This album features the Bageshree, the Hansadhwani and a Nirguni Kabir Bhajan, echoing the selection of her first major public appearance at the Swami Gandharva death anniversary concert in Pune in 1984. This was an inflection point in her career graph; her popularity soared thereafter.
In both ragas, there is a sense of high-voltage drama in the opening alaps. Even though these are passages of unmetred free-rhythm, the music close does not meander. One experiences a distinct feeling of forward progression and movement towards artistic purpose and design. The mainspring of her Khayals is the melody produced by her voice that transcends all else. It is this very special intangible characteristic as also her penchant for aakar patters which provide inner meaning to the notes she delivers.
But there is more to her singing than mere surface cham. The three-tiered Bageshree is indicative of her readiness in the treatment of the Khayal as an art form. And her technical virtuously is boldly brought out in her taan and palta sequences which are executed with extraordinary fluency. The selective use of these sequences illustrates her aesthetic sense of balance, vital for achieving the appropriate degree of pathos identified with this raga.
In the Hansadhwani, she underlines the importance of enunciating the lyrics of the cheeza with the care it deserves, in keeping with the precepts of her Gwalior gharana background. Every syllable is given due prominence to enhance the overall beauty of this raga. In the Drut, the text featured is mostly in Sanskrit, and the artiste’s M.A. degree in this ancient language naturally stands her in good stead. Her handling of the rather uncommon and complicated Adachautaal rhythm is yet another instance of her virtuosity.
The concluding Kabir Bhajan is an experience by itself. It is classified under the Nirguni genre of verse, sung in praise of an abstract deity and much popularized by the renowned vocalist, Pt. Kumar Ghandarva. Veena captures its mood through skilful delivery of its poetry where the language of her sensitive music takes over. The work in its totality easily becomes approachable to all.
|Nirguni Kabir Bhajan||11:19|