This performance went off with the intensity and dazzle of a rocket. In 2010, Pandit Venkatesh Kumar hadn’t received his visa till a couple of days before his performance. His flight landed half a day prior to his going on stage, bringing the nail-biting situation to rest. We were particularly excited because this was his international debut – the first time audiences outside India would experience his live performance. Pandit Kumar’s evocative voice, simplicity and elegance is extraordinary. He had been an active performer and teacher in India, but reticent in his own way. While the audience didn’t know what to expect, we weren’t surprised to see jaws drop already when he was just half way through the first raga.
Pandit Kumar concludes his recital with Raag Durga, a rarely sung melody. The composition is in a faster tempo of Teental which he delivers with a heroic brilliance. He elaborates the beautiful pentatonic raga with a deluge of lively taans and laykari.
Pandit Venkatesh Kumar (khayal)
Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla)
Murad Ali (sarangi)
Tofail Ahmed (harmonium)
Roopa Panesar & Gunwant Dhadyalla (tanpuras)
Raag Multani, Thaat: Todi, Samay: 3 pm to 6 pm
Raag Patdeep, Thaat: Kafi, Samay: Afternoon
Raag Khamaj, Thaat: Khamaj, Samay: 12 am to 3 am
Raag Durga, Thaat: Bilawal, Samay: 9 pm to 12 am