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Kolkata Classics Plays It’s Heart Out!

Rita Bhimani

There were many elements, and elemental ones too that played into a magnificent evening as Kolkata Classics presented the Hathor Series, aimed at “stirring the soul and healing the body of Kolkata through music.” The setting was a perfect early winter evening at the Hyatt Regency lawns, as Jennifer Heemstra, who has given us so much good music while she has been in the city, was back once more in a four hands recital with Deborah Moriarty and Jim Forger on the saxophone, the last named being both professors at the Michigan State University College of Music.

While the few drop of rain made the audience wonder at how the concert would continue, the artistes were not in the least phased and played an incredible repertoire right through, and, as if like a blessing from above, the last bars were greeted with a light shower. The selection was a charming one—John Williams Escapades from Catch Me if You Can and Improvisation 1, where the Japanese Shakuhachi flute tones were sought to be reproduced. There were a set of Dvorak Slavonic dances and three Debussy preludes, an Aria and Oodles of Noodles from Jimmy Dorsey, spanning a couple of centuries, thus. Slides in the background enhanced the meaning of the performances.

All the while, another element came into play—the passionate painting that simultaneously took place by artist Reena Diwan, responding in jugalbandi style to the melody and the meaning of the pieces, and even doing a marvelous saxophone on canvas with actual antique watches at the stops. Reena, who is associate vice president Emami Art, is an accomplished artist, who often paints in conjunction with music, and her series of canvases, painted at different events, will be auctioned for charity in a curated exhibition.

It’s all to do with the harnessing of the power of music. The Kolkata Classics Club has, under it Season III of the Hathor Health Fair, worked with many NGOs and hospitals to provide free medical and social services, a concert and games for trafficked women and children.