Samarth Nagarkar’s Enjoyable Recital

By Ahiri Ghosh

Note: Ahiri Ghosh, a 7th grader, learns Hindustani classical from Smt. Nidrita Mitra-Sinha at the Saptak Music School.

Chhandayan, dedicated to Hindustani classical music, kicked off the 2015 season with an enchanting vocal recital by Samarth Nagarkar, disciple of Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, on Saturday, May 23, at Samar & Mala Saha’s home in Irwin, PA. Dibyarka Chatterjee, disciple of Pt. Samir Chatterjee, was on the tabla.  Rohan Prabhudesai (not in the picture) was on the harmonium. Their recital showcased  their understanding of the nuances of Indian classical music. Nagarkar demonstrated styles from the Jaipur and Gwalior gharanas.

samar house concert 1


Nagarkar started with the Raag Bihagada in thaat Bilawal. Bihagada is a close relative of Raag Behag, but applies Komal Nishad. Starting with an alap, he slowly transitioned into a Vilambit Teentaal (16 beats), and ended the piece in Drut Teental, skillfully demonstrating creative taans with Gamak.

Nagarkar then moved onto a seasonal raag Basant Bahar, a mixture of Basant and Bahar in a true sense. He started off this gorgeous raag with an alap, followed by a piece in Vilambit Tilwara (16 beats). Nagarkar concluded this raag with another Drut Teentaal.

After a brief intermission, Nagarkar continued with lighter pieces. Accommodating requests from the audience, he started with Raag Chayanat, with an alap and a graceful song in Vilambit Jhumra taal (14 beats). Nagarkar followed it by the layakari sung using words, moving into a Tarana in Teentaal. The taans and gamak were incredibly crisp and fast.

Nagarkar then sang a semi-classical piece called Dadra in Khamaj in Dadra taal (6 beats). His skill in holding high pitches for long durations was astonishing. After that, he sang a Tappa-style Rabindra Sangeet in Kafi  he learned at the Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata. Nagarkar moved onto Abhang (traditional Marathi bhakti literature) in Raag Bhimpalasi, describing that sorrow and happiness follow in cycles. His last piece was in Raag Bhairavi, with a twist by singing a fast-paced Bandish ki Thumri  set in drut Ektaal (12 beats) that left his audience in a joyful mood.

After the concert, the Sahas hosted a delicious dinner giving opportunities for the artists and the audience to interact.


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