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Left bereft

The three-day Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Joshi Festival concluded in the city recently.

Unfortunately, this most awaited classical art festival left the ardent classical music and dance connoisseurs quite disappointed. The reason for this letdown was definitely neither a reflection of the lineup of the artistes for the festival nor the quality of their performances. Instead, it was each of the recitals played in such woefully cramped confines of time that it left no time for any meaningful relishing by the true aficionados of the classical art. Apparently, caught unaware of the rule that stipulates that no public address system continues post 10 PM, the organizers had to unwillingly squeeze in all the committed programmes within a much shorter duration.

Nevertheless, those gathered at the Chowmahalla palace were treated with some stellar performances all throughout the festival. The festival featured Hindustani vocal recitals by Shrinivas Joshi, Pt Rajan & Sajan Mishra and Pt Ajay Chakraborty, Tabla solo by Pt Kumar Bose and Pt Shankar Ghosh and Sitar recital by Ustad Shahid Parvez. It also featured Bharatantyam dance recitals by Alarmelvelli and film actress Shobana, and Carnatic violin duet by Ganesh and Kumaresh. The grand finale of the festival was a unique fusion performance with Pt Ronu Majumdar on the flute and Bickram Ghosh on percussion.

A befitting tribute to the legendary Bharat Ratna Late Pt Bhimsen Joshi was paid by the releasing of a special cover in his memory by Karuna Pillai, Chief Postmaster General of Andhra Pradesh Circle, and Pt Shankar Ghosh. The occasion also saw release of violin duo Ganesh and Kumaresh's latest musical album 'Ragapravaham - Music without Lyrics'.

All in all, while many in the audience were left bereft of a greater aesthetic experience due to unanticipated logistical issues, the festival conceived for the first time in the city of Hyderabad was a highly praiseworthy effort by the organizers Mohan Hemmadi and Abhijit Bhattacharjee.

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