A distinct tonal divide
WELL-DESIGNED BEGADA alapana with enough rakti sancharas was the outstanding feature of the concert of Sumitra Vasudev under the auspices of Nada Inbam.
A distinct tonal divide was perceptible in her musical perception - fullness in the madhyama sthayi and a fading thinness beyond the tara sthayi shadja.
Cutcheri pantha demands interpretative punch to enliven the style, which was lacking in Sumitra Vasudev's approach to music. Therefore, there was surface sweetness, but not depth, which is the essence of music.
The other raga alapana effort was Malayamarutham ("Dhanyudevvado") and Pantuvarali ("Raghuvara"). The versions of those ragas in the solo session of violinist Amirtha Murali were prosaic. "Sri Guruguha Moorthe" (Udaya Ravichandrika), "Karuninchi" (Sindhu Mandari) and "Thyagarajaya" (Begada) were the songs rendered.
The mrigangist K. V. Gopalakrishnan confined himself to tekas.
That much of the beauty of a kirtana resides in the "Uchcharippu" of the sahitya is not well realised by musicians. The letter `aa' as in Andavan is often intonated with an accent as in the English words, "cat, rat, mat". So `Rama' becomes `Rema'. So are the akara passages in raga alapana.
This failing was much in evidence in the Bahulapanchami concert of Saketaraman under the auspices of Sri Thyagaraja Seva Samithi. His speedy passages in alapana would have impressed much better if they had been in full-blooded akara.
Saketaraman's group of the core of carnatic music is okay, but fast-phrased expressions alone do not contribute to a feeling of relaxation. They have to be well-mixed with madhyamakala movements in alapanas.
Secondly, muffling of the voice to negotiate sancharas in the upper reaches does not give weight to music. He elaborated Aarabhi ("Chaala Kallalaa") Vachaspathi, ("Kanta Joodumi") and Sankarabharanam ("Eduta Nilichite").
It was in the alapana of the last raga that he opened up his voice somewhat. He seems to be familiar with the technique of imparting tempo, the prime objective of young musicians.
B. U. Ganesh Prasad on the violin presented in his solo effort a run of sancharas in the alapanas of the three ragas. B. Sivaraman outlined a brief but brisk tani avaratanam.
Gayatri Girish, in her performance for Balaganamrutam, presented the raga structures of Hamsanadam (a little bit excessive in length) and Karaharapriya tidily in a compact design.
A good exposition of a raga is that which is short in volume but sweet in effect. All the familiar sancharas were accommodated in her Karaharapriya alapana and their movement was smooth. The song session included "Mundu Venuga" (Durbar), "Evan Yaro" (Kambhoji), "Sobillu" (Jaganmohini) and "Chakkani Rajamarga" (Karaharapriya).
Sanjay extended decorous violin accompaniment, unsophisticated in approach to alapanas.
Ganapathiraman (mridangam) provided a brief but punch-packed tani with the ghatam artiste Guruprasad.
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