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Bhimsen Joshi-Sur Merges with the ‘Sur-Infinite’

Bhimsen Joshi-Sur Merges with the ‘Sur-Infinite’

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Published by GRK Murty

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Published by: GRK Murty on Mar 24, 2011
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05/12/2014

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Bhimsen Joshi:
Su
 
Merges with the ‘
Su
-
Infinite’
 
GRK Murty
 
Bhimsen Joshi, a divine miracle, was born in Karnataka on February 4,1922. His obsession for music made him leave home in search of aproper Guru in places such as Rampur, Delhi and Calcutta. Finally in histravails, he was directed by Vinayakrao Patwardhan to go to SawaiGandharva. It was under his tutelage that this prodigy acquired hismastery of music.He was blessed with an extremely sweet, flexible voice. With grueling
riyaz
, he trained his voice in such a way that at one moment flowingsmoothly like a tranquil stream, it could suddenly take a mighty leap of two or more octaves in the next
avartana
and then, with a graduallydiminishing vigor, revert gently back to
sam
. His recitals were repletewith such beautiful moments.He had a tremendous control over his voice: he could make his full-throated voice take on a soft velvety texture, could lift it from oneoctave to another, from there to the next, back again to the second andagain to the third, rising high and gliding gracefully back to the point of 
sam
, in one breath. It was under the influence of this impressive feat of physical endurance and breath control that his listeners, perceiving it asa divine miracle, swayed in delight.
 
He had supreme confidence in his own abilities.His performance/rendering of ragas withuncanny and astounding imaginative skill andrare artistry made him the darling of theconnoisseur as well as the layman. Stepping onto the stage for concert, Bhimsen Joshi wasknown to automatically slip into his element, becoming oblivious of everything except presenting a precision-driven tuneful
bandish,
 gracefully enriching it with a disciplined, systematic and methodicalraga, punctuated with an elegantly elaborate
alap,
decorated by thechoicest forms of embellishments
taans
. No wonder he made such aterrific impact on his audience right from the start of the concert thatlisteners simply remained glued to their seats till the last notes of his
Bhairavi 
. His splendid performance, a delectable treat for the audience,carried them to celestial heights.Bhimsen Joshi had transported as much respect for the poeticcontent of the lyric as he had for the notes of the raga in all his recitals.This made it easy for him to get fully absorbed in the sentiments of the
bandish
. Obviously, it is this emotional engagement that made hisclassical singing acquire mass appeal.

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