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Vidya Subramaniam’s theme based concert revealed skill and ingenuity. G. SWAMINATHAN

Photo: R. Shivaji Rao.

Melody in perfect proportion: Vidya Subramaniam.

Thematic concerts, mostly based on a single composer, are in vogue. Vidya Subramaniam’s vocal recital for Karthik Fine Arts, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Mini Hall was based on the compositions of Sadasiva Brahmendrar, a 17th century poet who took to an austere life at a very early age. His lyrics are mostly in bhajan style, focussing on Lord Rama or Krishna. Brahmendrar has also composed numbers on Nirguna Brahmam. His compositions invariably find a place onl y in the post tani segment, as a light item. Further, he has not composed too many songs.

Vidya Subramaniam has to be credited for her sound articulation and choice of songs and for managing the task neatly in a concert format. She set her concert rolling with ‘Tungathirange Dheere’ in Hamsadhwani with a dash of kalpanaswaras. ‘Kelathi Mama Hrudaye’ in Atana preceded the Poorvikalyani exposition in detail. Subramaniam’s vocal chords are sharp and clear; she had planned the phrases with competence and progressed well with her ingenuity.

Fine fillers

Along with technical perfection, music, especially Carnatic music, also demands dexterous voice modulation to suit the phrasings and pauses. If these had been given a little more attention, Vidya’s music would have gone to a higher plane. ‘Poorla Bhoolokam’ was the song in Poorvikalyani, with niraval and swaras added at ‘Sooryantha Sada Koti Prakathitha Brahmam.’ Later Vidya delineated Keeravani for ‘Tatva Jeevatham.’ Keeravani with its intrinsic blues needed greater indulgence from Subramaniam. There were layers of niraval and strings of swaras focusing on panchamam adorned at ‘Paramahamsa Guru.’

To the practised ear, ‘Maanasa Sanchara Re’ (Sama), ‘Bhajare Gopalam’ (Hindolam) and ‘Bruhi Mukundethi’ (Chenchuruti) came as fine fillers. Padma Shankar’s assuring support on the violin ably filled the pauses of the vocalist. Her versions of Poorvikalyani and Keeravani carried the exact proportions of music and melody. K.V. Gopalakrishnan’s beats on the mridangam were soft and protective.

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