When describing Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s music, “mesmerising”, “spiritual” and “transcendent” are among the words typically used, and all of those words could be used to describe his performance in the Jugalbandi program in Chinmaya Somnath on April 3, 2016.
Over the past four decades the Padma Shri award winner has performed in more than 80 countries with his 20-string Mohan Veena, an instrument he invented himself, with a mixed sitar-like, guitar-like, veena-like sound. It’s a sound which won him the Grammy in 1994.
On Sunday, April 3 2016, Pandit ji collaborated with H. N Bhaskar, an accomplished violinist in Carnatic Music to enchant the audience in a Jugalbandi.
H.N. Bhaskar (disciple of the renowned violinist M. S. Gopalakrishnan) started the program with soulful renditions of Nalinakanthi raga (Thyagaraja composition “Manavyalakincha”) and Nasikabhushani raga (Thyagaraja composition “Maravairi ramani”)
This was followed by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s mesmerizing rendition of Raag Malhar. He took us to a different world, where there was only music and beauty and nothing else!
The Jugalbandi that followed was equally enchanting, with Pandit ji and Bhaskar ji playing with the notes of melodious Charukesi raga — and giving us a wonderful blend of Hindustani and Carnatic styles.
They were ably accompanied by Shri Amit Kavthekar on the Tabla, Shri Vijay Ganesh on the Mridangam, Shri Sowmiya Narayanan on the Ghatam and . The percussionists led us on a rhythmic trance with a beautiful versatile tani-avartam, with each of them shining with unique patterns in their playing.
All in all, it was a musical treat and the whole team received a standing ovation from the audience, who didn’t want the evening to end.
I was thankful to be able to spend some time after the concert with the artists and their down-to-earth nature and friendliness are noteworthy. We were blessed to have the opportunity to be in the midst of such artists.