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News |  13 Dec 2008 18:34 |  By AnitaIyer

Event Review: A musical night with Hariharan

MUMBAI: The seventh Dev Gandharva festival organized by Kalyan Gayan Samaj commenced on 12 December with ghazal performance by vocalist Hariharan.

"There is a need for such organizations today to restore and preserve our rich culture with so many western influences," stated Hariharan before the concert.

Accompanying him in the ghazal night were versatile musicians - Shahdab Bhartiya on tabla, Sanjay Mishra on guitar, Ustad Liyakat Ali Khan on the sarangi and Altaq Hussain on the harmonium.

He started the first performance with the track 'Kash aisa koi manjar hota, mere kandhe pet tera sar hota' and enthralled the audiences with his soulful vocals. Observing the poornima night, he sang 'Aaj chandni bhi meri tarah jag rahi hai'. As he started to sing the notes of the song sans the instrumental accompaniment, the audiences were lost in relishing the beauty of the lyrics.

What stood out throughout all his renditions were the interesting interludes of sarangi by Ustad Liyakat Ali Khan. The evening continued with Hariharan singing the third ghazal, 'Ahista'. This rendition had the core of wonderful vocals blended with guitar strokes by Sanjay Das and beautiful poetry.

Throughout the concert, the audiences looked forward to jugalbandi between the sarangi player and the vocalist. Keeping the audiences on the toe, Hariharan would unexpectedly bring in one of his improvisations transforming enhancing the ghazals.

The evening reached its zenith during the song, 'Ahede masti hai Log kahte hain, Meay barasati hain Log kahte hain'. The mood of the evening changed with this track and Hariharan seemed to be completely immersed in the rendition which had lot of boolish in it. Hariharan engaged the audiences in the song by encouraging them to clap with the beasts of the tabla. The audiences were mesmerized when the ghazal singer effortlessly touched the lower notes.

Altaq Hussain proved his prowess on harmonium with the next song, 'Mein Khayal hu kisi aur ka, mujhe sochta ko aur hai'. When the audiences appreciated Hussain, Hariharan commented rather humorously, "Arey khulke bajao, inko bahut maja aata hai" and the audiences broke into yet another thunderous applause.

Requests for 'Marize ishq' filled the auditorium and the vocalist fulfilled their wishes and delivered, 'Marize ishq kya hai, jiya jiya na jiya'. What stood out apart from the terrific performances by the musical maestros was the spirit of the audiences who cheered till the midnight.