New Delhi, July 28: The unique and distinct styles of two of the finest proponents of Hindustani classical music — Pt. Mani Prasad and Pt. Dalchand Sharma — captured in a series of recordings by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) are now available for music lovers in a digital format.
The IGNCA on Wednesday evening released a DVD each on the two artists with a selection of videos of their compositions, performances and talks as part of the “Masters of Hindustani Classical Music” series to showcase the richness of the centuries-old musical traditions that they have carried forward.
A research project led by noted Hindustani vocalist Meeta Pandit, the Masters series has made 25 recordings aimed at mapping the rich repertoire of Hindustani classical music. These archived recordings establish India’s perennial traditions of music that have lived on through the efforts of artists, scholars, scions of gharanas, as also dedicated disciples of legendary gurus.
The IGNCA has been compiling selections from this archived material into DVDs to make them more accessible for the public.
The DVDs on Pt Mani Prasad and Pt. Dalchand Sharma are the 9th and 10th in the series which has featured artists such as Harmonium legend Pt Purushottam Walawalkar, Sitartist Pandit Arvind Parikh, doyen of the Gwalior Gharana Laxman Rao Pandit; violinist Dr N Rajam; Dr. Shanno Khurana, a renowned exponent of the Rampur gharana; Thumri exponent Smt. Savita Devi; the late Ustad Faiyaz Khan and Ustad Gulam Sadiq Khan of the Rampur Seheswan Gharana.
Pt. Dalchand Sharma, one of the greatest proponents of Pakhawaj is a Grade A artist; he currently teaches at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Delhi. Pt. Mani Prasad, one of the well-known exponents in Khayaal style of singing, has attained eminence as a vocalist and a Guru.
The two legends were felicitated at the function which had Dr Suneera Kasliwal, Dean and Head of the Faculty of Music & Fine Arts, University of Delhi, as the Chief Guest.
Dr Sacchidanand Joshi, Member-Secretary, IGNCA, said the DVDs were not intended for commercial purposes, but were meant as a resource for music lovers and researchers. “We have a treasure trove of art, music and culture in India and traditions that have lived on for centuries. We will have failed in our mission if we do not preserve these for the next generation,” he said.
Mrs Veena Joshi, Joint Secretary, IGNCA noted that the DVDs and the research project as a whole is unique in the sense that it is not just a recording of the performance by the featured artists, it is an exercise to preserve their compositions, the origins and features of their unique styles and the evolution of the ‘gharanas’ they represent and their thoughts on classical music.
The research material on all 25 artists is available at the Media
Centre of IGNCA for public reference. The DVD pack consist of select footage from this archival material including conversations with the artists, their performances, photographs and a booklet with details, Mrs Joshi said.
The DVDs are available at Svasti, the IGNCA’s souvenir shop in Janpath and at its other centres in India. The IGNCA plans to make it available at art, culture and literary exhibitions and such events. A selection of the footage is also being broadcast on the DD Bharati channel.
Both Pt. Mani Prasad and Pt. Dalchand Sharma, accompanied by their disciples, gave mesmerizing performances after the DVD release last evening.
Brief profile of the artists:
Pt. Mani Prasad:
One of the well-known exponents in khayaal style of singing, Pt. Mani Prasad has attained eminence as a vocalist and guru. He belongs to a musical family of Bikaner in Rajasthan. His family has been nurturing the Dhrupad and Khayaal styles for centuries. Pt. Mani Prasad’s ancestors - Pt. Shakti Lal, Bassi Ram, Mangat Ram, Shankar Lal and his father Pt. Sukhdev Prasad have enriched the Dhrupad and Khayaal gayaki. Their creations fulfilled the urge for innovative singing. They were frequently invited to perform at all the major music festivals of north India. Under the tutelage of his father who left no stone unturned to teach and encourage him, Pt. Mani Prasad learnt Kirana gayaki in its entirety.
Pt. Dalchand Sharma:
Pt. Dalchand Sharma, one of the greatest proponents of Pakhawaj achieved success and popularity at a young age. He was privileged to learn the instrument from stalwarts , Pt. Tota Ram Sharma and Padma Shri Pt. Purushottam Dasji. Considered to be Grade A artist, he is presently engaged in teaching at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Delhi. Pt. Dalchand Sharma along with his troupe has been mesmerizing audiences both nationally and internationally. He has been bestowed with several awards including Swathitirunal Samman (Varanasi), Delhi Ratan (Delhi), Mridand Mani (Delhi), Sangeet Shiromani (Delhi) and Sangeet Martand (Jaipur).
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