Published On: Tue, Oct 9th, 2012

Tehzeeb Festival ends on a melodious

KARACHI: The second and final day of the Tehzeeb Festival of classical music was a marked improvement on the previous day with heartfelt performances for the most part.

The evening began with brothers Karam Abbas and Wasim Abbas’ rendition of a khayal in raga tilak kamod. It has to be said that Karam Abbas is not the kind of vocalist what he used to be, let’s say, a year back. His hard work seems to have paid off as it was evident from his impassioned performance. The harkatein (subtle variations) that he employed in the recital pleasantly surprised many listeners.

A jugulbandi among sarangi nawaz Kamal Sabri, banjo player Mumtaz Sabzal and Ustad Bashir Khan (tabla) followed. It was a nice effort. While the dialogue between the sarangi and the tabla sounded like a vociferous exchange of ideas, the one between the banjo and the tabla was soothing to the ear. The trio then performed a folk tune, which was enjoyed by the audience.

Perhaps the surprise package of the evening was Shahid Hameed’s rendition of raga bilaskhani. The host of the programme told the audience that Shahid Hameed did not belong to any gharana and had a consuming passion for classical music. It was self-evident. His rendition of the rather difficult raga was self-assured and steady. It was clear that the vocalist had practised kharaj a great deal and when he applied the heavier notes they sounded just right. Before performing, he informed the audience that the raga was invented by Mian
Tansen’s son Bilas Khan (hence bilaskhani). His second act was a thumri.

After that the much-awaited Indian vocalist Vidya Shah appeared on stage. She was accompanied by Zohaib Hasan (sarangi), Irshad (harmonium) and Bashir Khan (tabla). It was noticeable from the outset that the musicians hadn’t worked together before. Despite that Vidya Shah gave an unruffled performance. She started off with a khayal in raga kedar. It was evident that she’s an established vocalist for the way she painted the picture of the raga and the manner in which she built the khayal was impressive.

Vidya Shah followed it up with a couple of Begum Akhtar numbers, including a dadra that the legendary singer had sung in 1938. She also rendered the famous Mir Taqi Mir ghazal, Ulti ho gaeen sub tadbeerein. Then the organisers requested her to sing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Hum ke thehre ajnabi, composed by Arshad Mehmood, and the vocalist did not seem to be prepared for it. She still somehow managed to sing the

Perhaps the high point of the evening was sitar player Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan’s masterful playing of raga mian ki malhaar. His ability to make each note sound audible was striking.

The last musician of the festival was Ustad Shafqat Salamat Ali (son of Salamat Ali Khan) who presented raga ragheshwari.


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