It’s daybreak! The quiet, unhurried, beginning when the din of traffic hasn’t drowned the chirping of the birds, and the sun hasn’t yet peeped over the eastern horizon; when the caress of the early morning breeze and the strains of the tanpura merge, producing an ethereal sound of music... Sounds too good, doesn’t it?
The diamond jubilee of an unbroken tradition of such 59 morning concerts, Pratahswar, on Sunday will see legendary flautist-composer Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia taking the stage along with disciples like Rakesh Chaurasia, Rupak Kulkarni, Vivek Sonar, Santosh Sant, Sunil Awchat, Debopriya Ranade and Shuchismita Acharya, many of whom are now well-known names in the field.
Pt Chaurasia told dna, “I am delighted to be part of Pratahswar. This is a really good effort by Pancham Nishad, which attracts serious music lovers. It also provides artistes the opportunity to explore many early morning ragas which normally seldom get heard, as most concerts are in the evening.”
Subsequent to the performance, Chaurasia will launch Pancham Nishad’s music label, Pratahswar. This brand is releasing six premium albums that have recorded some of the best live concerts organised by Pancham Nishad over the years.
One of the premium albums is a rare live recording of Hariji performing Raag Bhairav at the Dhaval Nisha concert in 2005. The director of Pancham Nishad, Shashi Vyas, was ecstatic about the whole thing. “It is a matter of pride for us to celebrate the 60th Pratahswar concert that has been running without a break since 2006, showcasing the top names in the classical music space, both nationally and internationally. This would not have been possible without the support of our sponsor and P L Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy. However, the major credit should go to the discerning and loyal audience whose participation has been steadily increasing over the years,” he told dna.
The monthly, free morning concert series organised by Pancham Nishad in collaboration with P L Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy at Prabhadevi’s Ravindra Natya Mandir, has seen some of the brightest stars in the world of classical music regale audiences with their performance. They include vocalists like Jayteerth Mevundi, Arati Ankalikar, Dr Ashwini Deshpande, Devaki Pandit, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Kalapini Komkali, Ulhas Kashalkar, Sanjeev Chimmalgi, Kaushiki Chakrabarty; santoor exponent Satish Vyas, rudraveena exponent Bahauddin Dagar and sitar exponent Nayan Ghosh.
At 6.30 am, at Kala Prangan, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi.
While there is an ancient tradition of waking up the gods with music in the Hindu tradition which metamorphosed into the morning concert, these had become rarities till the 80s. After few concerts by stalwarts like Gaan Saraswati Kishori Amonkar and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi among others, they began to be regularly organised on the first morning of Diwali. So much so that there are over 100 concerts across Mumbai and Thane itself. Raga Paras, Vibhas, Ramkali, Bhairav, Bilawal, Todi, Asavari and Deshkar are some of the morning ragas chosen by musicians to perform at concerts.