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With a fresh lilt

G. SWAMINATHAN

There was exuberance in Nanditha Ravi's approach, while the Sattur Sisters preferred to highlight the swara segments.

Photos: Kamal Anand. S.

SOOTHING STRAINS: Nanditha Ravi and Sattur Sisters.

Nanditha Ravi is a vocalist who believes in presenting music in its pristine form rather than opting for exuberant exercises. True, her voice has its limitations at the upper registers but that did have any impact on her approach to music and its overall quality. Her concert at Ragasudha hall for Sri Chandresekarendra Saraswathi Jayanthi by Smrti testified this.

It was more like a chamber concert with a limited audience, due to the heavy downpour. The audio was at soothing decibels and so was Nanditha's voice. She was ably supported by Amritha Murali (violin) and Ganapathyraman (mridangam). The choice of kritis was on expected lines -- either on the great saint or on the deity Kamakshi.

The raga essay of Sankarabharanam was more methodical than inspiring, with its well known phrases, anticipated pauses and typical finale. ‘Kamakoti Peeta Guro,' a kriti that's not too popular, had precise niraval and swaras on ‘Adi Sankarachaarya Avathara.' Conversely, Nanditha's stance on manodharma in Bhairavi and ‘Sri Lalithe' by Annaswami Sastri and her stimulating niraval at ‘Neelobjadala Lochane' with swara sequences, was creative and engaging.

Amritha Murali matched the proclivity of the vocalist and played her cards in the right manner. Her raga essays and swara responses were impressive. Ganapathyraman with his soft touches, enhanced the overall impact.

Nanditha began with ‘Nada Tanum Anisam' in Chittaranjanai (Tyagaraja), ‘Ekambresa Nayike' (Dikshitar) in Suddha Saveri and included fillers such as the scholarly ‘Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi' in Chakravaham by Painganatham Rajagopala Iyer, ‘Sababathikku Vaeru Deivam' in Abogi (Gopalakrishna Bharati), ‘Sri Kamakshi' in Saranga (Annaswami Sastri) and ‘Ranjani' Ragamalika (Thanjavur Sankara Iyer).

For aural pleasure

The commendable repertoire of the Sattur Sisters was showcased at their concert for Nada Inbam. The concert was lively from start to finish, and their selection of kritis made a good impact on the listeners. There was not much time spent on raga sojourns but the focus was on swara segments. Bhuvana Rajagopal's Begada was a tad sketchy but catchy while Lalitha Santhanam lent freshness to the main Kalyani, which was again not too extensive.

The swara sallies were stimulating and interesting conversations. Many spirited exchanges in Begada and Kalyani compensated for this.

Starting with Lalgudi Jayaraman's lilting Charukesi varnam ‘Innum En Manam,' the siblings made swift presentations of ‘Pahimam Raja Rajeswari' in Nattai (Syama Sastri), ‘Ninnu Joochi' in Sowrashtram (Patnam Subramania Iyer) and ‘Rama Ninne' in Huseni (Tyagaraja) before settling for the alapana of Begada. The not so frequently heard Gopalakrishna Bharati's ‘Chidambaram Hara Hara' with a sumptuous swara adjunct was deliberated upon.

Dikshitar's ‘Neerajakshi Kamakshi' in Hindolam and ‘Saravanabhava' in Pasupathipriya by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar were preludes to their Kalyani essay. Lalitha brought out many alluring phrases of Kalyani with sincerity and ingenuity. Here too, they chose a lesser known Tyagaraja composition, ‘Rama Nee Vadu Konduvo.'

The violin support from B.U. Ganesh Prasad merged well with the musical vision of the sisters. His raga essays and swaras were measured, without any overstepping. Thanjavur Kumar diligently followed the rhythmic segment with a succinct tani avarthanam towards the end.

The concluding section had an interesting Bhairavi ragamalika by Mangalam Ganapathy covering Bhairavi, Anandabhairavi, Nata Bhairavi, Ahir Bhairavi and Sindhu Bhairavi.

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