Simple yet profound
The concert was rich in rendition but low on histrionics.
THE 15TH annual music festival of Sharada Bhakatha Mandali was inaugurated by Rangachari, financial adviser to the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The admirable feature of the function was the modest way in which it was conducted, with little or no fanfare, pomp or pageantry. After the customary investiture, Vijaya Shiva, the disciple of the late D.K. Jayaraman gave a vocal concert. Srinivasa Rao was on the violin and Balaji on the `mridangam'.
The style of the school is so simple and yet so rich in melody; it is known for its suppleness and elegance with a variety of harmonious details. There are no confused digressions, no histrionics and no gimmicks. If anything is wanting, it is the inadequacy of the voice, which has a lean timbre.
The concert started off well with the `Kedragowla varnam' followed by `Thulasidalamula' in `Mayamalavogowla.' `Madhyamavathi' was well portrayed and the `kriti', `Adigisukhamu', was sung with intense feeling. The `Navagraha kriti', `Divakarathanujam' in `Edukulakamboji' was in keeping with the auspicious day. The highlight of the concert was the raga, `Bhairavi', which was elaborate and also pleasing The `kriti' of Shyama Sastry, `Sarievvaramma' had `sangathis' that were not quite in tune with the lyric. The accompanists gave good support.
The vocal concert of Srivatsan J. Menon was a sedate one. The artiste sang with deep dedication and sincerity. Low `sruti' and shortfall in the registration of the lower octaves lost the desired thrill. The starting `varnam' in `Natakuranji' built up the tempo and the following `kriti', `Deva deva' in `Mayamalavogowla' built up the pulse. The `Pancharathna' in `Sri', `Endaromahanubhavulu' found itself too familiar to the audience. The `alapana' for `Poorvikalyani' was striking and the uncommon song, `Saatileni' was well received. The classic piece in `Dwijavanthi', `Chetasi', was blended with fair amount of erudition. Srinivasa Rao on the violin and Balaji on the `mridangam' contributed their might to make the concert enjoyable.
For long, three violinists, Lalgudi, M.S.G. and T.N. Krishnan have occupied the centre stage each by his own rights, decades of `thapas' and profound experience has made Krishnan burn with enthusiasm even at this age. The uniqueness of T.N. Krishnan who played solo violin on the third day, is the rich `mada' he produces and the sparkling tonal modulations he indulges to bring out both lyrical and melodic ecstasy.
It is difficult to evaluate the different items Krishna played, for the simple reason that every item was as good as the other. The image that stayed fast in the minds of the listener was the `alapana' of `Todi' and the associated `kriti', `Endukudyaradura'. `Pantuvarali' (Raguvara) gave glimpses of the renderings of maestro Ariyakudi. Nalinakanthi (Manavinalagimparadate) presented a dreamy flavour.
Guruvayoor Dorai, a maestro on the `mridangam', gave his exhilarating touch. `Somauyajulu' on the `ghatam' enhanced it.
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