On a high note
B. Arundhati gave a concert that was composed of Swati Tirunal kritis to pay tribute to the royal composer.
Lively: B. Arundhati's high-pitched voice struck a chord with the audience.
On the occasion of ‘Swati Tirunal Day,' Carnatic vocalist and playback singer B. Arundhati presented a concert in Kochi that comprised only Swati Tirunal compositions. Arundhati began the concert with a flourish with ‘Pahi Shoure' in raga Natta, which had supple swaras. Raga Revagupti and the famed composition ‘Gopalakapahimam anisham' were sung next. Arundhati's trademark high-pitched voice kept the audience interest alive throughout the concert.
Swati Tirunal's expertise in Hindustani music is evident from his numerous compositions based on North Indian ragas and perhaps the most captivating of them is ‘Gangeye Vasanadhara' in raga Hamir Kalyani. Arundhati was very precise when she rendered this number. However, sruti lapses were frequent during the concert, especially during the sustenances in the upper octave.
The ragaswaroopa was unveiled from the very start in the vocalist's presentation of Nattakurinji and her presentation of ‘Mamavasada varade' had some unique sangatis. Nanjil Arul gave exemplary support on the mridangam. His presentation was lively and unostentatious.
Ragaalaapana of Shanmukhapriya was marked by appealing sancharas in the lower octave.
The niraval in the kriti ‘Mamava karunaya' was interesting for its variety and liveliness. For this item – and a few others – the vocalist resorted to a rehearsed mukthaippu, often read out, with jhanda passages. Violinist Trivandrum Sampath excelled in his delineation of the raga.
Saveri, the main raga
‘Bhogeendra Shayinam' in Kunthalavarali, set to Khanda chappu tala, gave that much needed variety to the performance. The main raga for the evening was Saveri.
Even though there were repetitive phrases in the alaapana, it was noteworthy for its stylish flavour.
The niraval in the first line of the pallavi was impressive. Taniavartanam by Nanjil Arul and Mangad Pramod (on the ghatam) was short but sumptuous.
Arundhati sang just one Swati padam – ‘Aliveni enthu cheyvoo' in Kurinji. One felt that the vocalist could have included more of Swati Tirunal's padams towards the end, as the composer's literary stamp is more evident in these.
‘Chaliye kunjan mo' in Brindavani and ‘Madhavaloka' in Jonpuri were the closing numbers. The event was organised under the aegis of Edapally Sangeeta Sadas.
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