04/04/2017 12:11 PM IST | Updated 04/04/2017 1:06 PM IST

15 Extraordinary Performances By Kishori Amonkar That Bring Out Her Unique Genius



With the passing of Kishori Amonkar, an era has ended in the world of Hindustani classical music. Known for her vocal range that could traverse octaves and wring out emotions from a range of compositions, few could rival the virtuosity and depth she brought to music.

We chose 15 from her rich repertoire of performances that are now part of her unique legacy, the stuff of legend. First, a selection of her khayals.

1. Raga Bhoop

Amonkar performed this pentatonic raga several times, recording it in studio as well as performing it live. An evergreen favourite among her fans, it always showed her in immaculate form, capturing the joy as well as pensiveness associated with the twilight raga.

2. Raga Basant Bahar

A seasonal melody, sung to usher in spring, Amonkar brought out the mood of melancholy and longing in it with uncanny effect.

3. Raga Gaud Malhar

One of the finest among her Malhar series, which she recorded in her 60s, this raga is supposed to conjure the mood of the sun coming out after a shower. Amonkar brings in the goosebumps in a live performance.

4. Raga Todi

Also known as Miyan ki Todi after Tansen, this is one of the most majestic morning ragas. Amonkar brings devotion and pathos in equal measure to her rendition.

5. Raga Hansdhwani

Yet another pentatonic raga, this one adopted from the Carnatic scale, which Amonkar turned into her own singular masterpiece.

6. Raga Sampurna Malkauns

Similar to Kaunsi Kanada and a Jaipur gharana favourite, this raga expresses a dark and sombre mood, which comes through ringingly in this performance.

7. Raga Bhimpalasi

The magnificent Bhimpalasi is sung at sun down, leaving behind the regrets of the day and ushering in the beauteous night.

In another mood

While her Hindustani classical renditions are an experience in themselves for the ardent enthusiast, some of her most popular numbers are the shorter, lighter thumris, bhajans and abhangas.

One of her most popular songs perhaps is the Marathi bhav-geet 'Hey Shyamsundar', written by the illustrious poet, Shanta Shelke, and composed by musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar.

Another one of her gems is the abhanga, 'Bolava Vitthala, pahava Vitthala', written by Saint Tukaram, and composed by vocalist and musician Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki.

Her rendition of 16th-century Hindi song 'Pag ghungroo bandh Meera naachi', which has been adopted in popular culture through various songs and dialogues, including by Bollywood, is also a treat.

Here are eight of the most popular songs performed by Amonkar.

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