United in melody
Saraswathi Rajagopal gave a graceful veena recital, while vocalist T.V. Sankaranarayanan swept listeners off their feet.
Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
In form A file photo of vocalist T.V. Sankaranarayanan.
The connection between the performing artiste and rasikas usually gets forged from the very first piece. But maintaining that connection till the last piece is possible only for a very few artistes. T.V. Sankaranarayanan possesses this rare quality. He managed it again the other day during his Carnatic music concert at Malai Mandir — R.K. Puram’s hilltop temple.
Beginning with “Jaya jaya swamin” in raga Nattai and ending with Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugzhal “Yerumayil yeri”, his enthralling concert lasted for around three hours. The fast tempo swaraprastaras at the end of the Nattai piece were crisp and lively, and one started yearning for more such delights. The presentation of Valajapet Venkataramana Iyer’s “Neeva nannu” in raga Darbar and the subsequent Tamil composition “Arumugam Aadarikkum” in raga Athana helped Sankaranarayanan keep things lively. The Khanda Chapu and Mishra Chapu talas respectively in which these are set added liveliness.
From then on, Sankaranarayanan gave elaborate renditions, including a ragam-taanam-pallavi. Tyagaraja’s “Shambho Mahadeva” in raga Pantuvarali, Dikshitar’s “Subrahmanyena raksitoham” in Shuddha Dhanyasi and the subsequent Tamil composition “Kandanyendra peyaril” in raga Kambhoji were given fine treatment. The detailed alapanas of the ragas were outstanding, particularly the upper octave where it was full-throated. Further improvisations were in the form of niraval and swaraprastaras. While for the Pantuvarali composition, Sankaranarayanan presented niraval of the phrase “Parama Dayakara Mrgadhara Hara Gangadhara Dharanidhara”, for the Kambhoji song it was “Punnagai Mugam Arumugam Arul Varam thedi vadhen Muruga”. The swaraprastaras flowed with rich creativity and the finale had the stamp of the Madurai Mani school.
For the ragam-taanam-pallavi, Sankaranarayanan presented the pallavi “Saravanabhava Guru Guha Shanmukhane Swaminathane” in raga Shanmukhapriya and tisra jati Triputa tala. It had the required technicalities. Earlier, he presented a fine delineation of the raga and melodious taanam. Sankaranarayanan followed the swaraprastaras in Shanmukhapriya with ragamalika swaraprastaras.The post tani avartanam session, though short, contained an emotive “Srinivasa Tiruvenkatam” in raga Hamsanandi, the popular “Eppo varuvaro” in raga Jaunpuri and the Thiruppugzhal. Youngsters Mysore Srikanth on the violin, Neyveli Skandasubramanian on the mridangam and Alandur Rajaganesh on the ghatam were excellent, rising to the occasion. While Srikanth’s delineation of Shuddha Dhanyasi was outstanding, the tani avartanam of Subramanian and Rajaganesh was captivating. Subramanian’s enthusiasm and energy levels did not diminish a bit. On the whole, the rasika’s cup of joy was overflowing.
In another concert organised at the same venue, Delhi’s Saraswathi Rajagopal put up a graceful performance on the veena. She brought out well the raga bhavas of some of the ragas she handled. After the impressive Nattaikuranji Adi tala varnam, Saraswathi presented Dikshitar’s “Vatapi Ganapatim” in raga Hamsadhwani, which contained some creative swara formats. Saraswathi also brought out the emotive aspects of raga Rasikapriya when she presented Kotteswara Iyer’s “Arul seyya vendum”. As her main item, she presented Papanasam Sivan’s “Va va va kanda” in raga Varali. Earlier, she presented a good alap of this raga and melodious taanam, not only in this raga, but also in ragas Revati, Kalyanavasantam, Hamsanandi and Hindolam, which seemed unnecessary at that juncture. Delhi’s K.N. Padmanabhan and K. Ramamurthy on the ghatam provided good support.
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