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Display of virtuosity



Vocalist with a distinct style.

Varistha

Swathi's Sanskrithi Series. K.V. Narayanaswamy Carnatic audio CD Price Rs. 300.

K .V. Narayanaswamy was one vocalist who carved a distinct style of his own yet adhering to the kutcheri paddhati laid down by his mentor Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. KVN's repertoire, outside that of Ariyakudi's, reflected his imaginative skills and his penchant for true classicism.

The set of two audio compact discs released by Swathi Soft Solutions is from a live concert held under the auspices of Sri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam, Chennai.

KVN has been accompanied by V.V. Ravi on the violin, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman on the mridangam) and on the ghatam by T.V. Vasan. The vocalist's voice settles down after the initial two kritis, ‘Sobillu' (Jaganmohini) and ‘Sogasuga' (Sriranjani). These compositions are rendered without being decorated with niraval or solfa passages.

Pantuvarali is the first raga chosen for vinyasa. Both the vocalist and the violinist offer gripping and brief portraits of the melody. Tyagaraja's 'Vadera Deivamu ' is a pacy rendition with apt niraval and kalpanaswaras at ‘Dathri Vinuthdai.' The sense of proportion displayed in these manodharma sections is a perfect match for the kriti.

Masterly exposition

KVN's vinyasa of Yadukula Khambodi is yet again a masterly exposition and the Khanda chapu kriti ‘Hecharika' is majestically sung in a chowka kala followed by niraval and swaras at the sahitya point ‘Ninnu Juda.' The raga bhava has rightfully been given prominence and does not take a back seat during the swara bouts. The violinist is sincere in his replies.

An outline of Thodi precedes the rare composition ‘Kotinadalu.' The sarvalagu swaras are precise and not overdone.

A detailed picture of Mohanam replete with karvais and pure notes is a highly engrossing display.

The kriti ‘Evarura Ninnuvina' in Misra chapu is the main piece of this concert. Niraval singing was KVN's forte and he excels in this aspect at the chosen sahitya ‘Ee Jalamu Seya.' His laya expertise comes to the forefront during the exciting niraval and swaraprasthara sessions.

What takes this concert to sublime heights is the masterly mridangam accompaniment by Umayalpuram Sivaraman. His playing for the kritis, the theermanams between the pallavi, anupallavi and charanam phases of the songs, not to speak of the brilliant thani avartanam in Misra chapu are breathtaking. Mere words cannot suffice to describe the quality of his playing. His thani avartanam in Misra chapu is probably the best heard by this scribe in this tala.

Sivaraman has a good upa pakkavadya artist in T.V. Vasan who collaborates with a touch of class. His solo playing is appreciated by Sivaraman which can be heard in this recording and certainly enthuses the ghatam vidwan.

The arai chapu is synonymous with Sivaraman and it is a treat to hear this sollu through his magical fingers.KVN continues the concert with ‘Intha Sowkhya' (Kapi), ‘Sukhi Evvaro' (Kanada) and the Ritigowla composition ‘Badalika' which fall pleasantly on the ears.

The auspicious Madyamavati kriti ‘Nadupai' brings this good concert to a finish.

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