Passion play: “Pran-er Khela” at Bengal Shilpalaya
An ashor has only one drawback, it cannot accommodate a big audience but it provides an artiste the opportunity to connect with listeners in a way the usual concerts cannot. This was evident at the latest (July 14) instalment of 'Pran-er Khela,' the musical soiree Bengal Foundation regularly holds at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
The featured artistes were Rezwanul Haque and Sumona Bardhan.
Rezwanul Haque won the top position (music) on the talent hunt “ATN Tarokader Taroka” in 2006. The artiste however didn't do what most of the young participants on reality TV shows do -- trying to get as much exposure and cutting as many albums as possible. Rezwan concentrated on his classical music lessons and the results are impressive.
The singer decided to show off (in a positive sense of course) his classical background. His repertoire included ghazal-tinged adhunik songs from the '60s: “Harano Din-er Kotha Mon-e Porey Jaye” (originally recorded by Mehdi Hassan); “Shundorigo Dohai Dohai Maan Korona” and “Lolita, Okey Aaj Choley Jetey Bolna” (Manna Dey); “Ami Eto Jey Tomaye Bhalobeshechhi” and “Bon-e Noy Mon-e Mor Pakhi Aaj Gaan Gaye” (Manabendra Mukherjee). Rezwan also performed “Prem Ek Shuk Pakhi” (his first original song on “ATN Tarokader Taroka). He wrapped up with a rendition of a Nazrul Sangeet made popular (or unpopular, depending on one's taste) by Muhammed Rafi: “Alga Korogo Khopar Badhon, Dil Wahi Mera Phas Gayi.”
There's an unmistakable Manna Dey/ Niaz Mohammad Chowdhury influence in Rezwan's style. Every mudki and play with the high and low notes was executed with precision and a whole lot of heart.
It was Sumona's turn next. She might yet not be one of the most sought after artistes in the country, but this accomplished songstress has carved a niche for herself in the music scene. Her style has that certain je ne sais quoi that defines the divas of the golden era of adhunik Bangla songs -- traces of Sandhya Mukhopadhyay's enchanting lilt or Haimanti Shukla's melancholy melodies.
Citycell-Channel i Music Awards recognised Sumona's talents as well; she won in the Best New Singer category in 2004.
Sumona started off with a patriotic song “Pakhi Tui Meghke Bolish.” Her repertoire was diverse and included Rabindra and Nazrul Sangeet, adhunik songs and more. Her homage to borsha (monsoon) included a Rabindra Sangeet, “Ami Ki Gaan Gabo Je Bhebey Na Pai,” and a Nazrul Sangeet, “Porodeshi Megh Jaorey Phirey.” A folk song in kirtan style “Ami Nai Morlam” was much appreciated by the audience, and so was an Atul Prasad composition “Apon Kajey Auchol Holey.” Her rendition of the Haimanti Shukla (Sumona's idol) classic “Amar Bolar Kichhu Chhilo Na” was immaculate. Sumona's vocals personified unrequited love and yearning. On request she sang the Rabindra Sangeet “Jagotey Anandojoggey Amar Nimontron.” Her performance ended with a song from her upcoming album -- “Purnimar Oi Chaand-er Alo.”
Iftekhar Hossain Sohel was on keyboard; Almas Ali on violin; Dipon on guitar; Nazmul Alam on percussion and Shorup Hossain, Anup Mandal were on tabla.
The event was sponsored by Eastern Bank Ltd.