Top singers, 100 musicians at Laxmikant-Pyarelal concert

Organised by Vijay Alva and Pradeep Manjrekar of Kakas Entertainment, Maestros 2011 - A Musical Journey Of Laxmikant-Pyarelal was a 150-minute musical bonanza staged in Mumbai on May 7 at Mumbai's Andheri Sports Complex. Siddhartha Kashyap was co-organiser of the event.

Legendary composer Pyarelal, 66, personally conducted the 100-piece orchestra, making it a first-time and rare occasion for Mumbai after Laxmikant's death in May 1998. Some of the musicians present had played for the duo since the '60s, including in their debut film, Parasmani in 1963.

The show started 30 minutes late and many songs had to be scrapped, including Ek pyar ka naghma hai (Shor) and Choli ke peeche (Khal-Nayak) because of the 10 p.m. ceiling on open-air shows by the Mumbai Police. In all, 21 songs were presented by topline singers Sonu Niigaam (who rendered songs originally sung by L-P's favourite singer and Sonu's idol Mohammed Rafi), Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam, Alka Yagnik and Sudesh Bhosle along with Shail Hada and Vibhavari Joshi (both of Guzaarish fame), Shrikant Kulkarni and Sidhant Bhosle, Sudesh's son.

The show began with Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam's prayer invocation Shantakaram bhujagshayanam and a musical medley of L-P's memorable musical themes from Hero, Karz and other films. A tribute was paid to a garlanded picture of the late composer Laxmikant with Sonu singing the line Woh jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye (from Parasmani) and the song repertoire began with Kavita's rendition of the soulful Om namah Shivaye from L-P's last musical triumph, Bhairavi (1996).

Kavita stated that the feeling of singing again under Pyarelal's baton (L-P had introduced her as a singer) with friends as co-singers and musicians was like returning to the recording halls of Mehboob Studios and her musical family. She added that a reserved and serious person like her had opened up only after she sang Hawa Hawaii (Mr India), which was the next song she presented.

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