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Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006

Music Season
The Chennai December Festival

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Music Season

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In an expansive mood


Sankari Krishnan's neraval and Priya Sisters' kalpanaswaras added pep to their concerts.

Photos: S. Thanthoni and R. Shivaji Rao.

VOCAL SKILLS: Sankari Krishnan

The curtain came down on the festival with the concert of Priya Sisters — Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya — with Akkarai Subhalakshmi (violin), P. Satheesh Kumar (mridangam) and S.V. Ramani (ghatam). After the Todi varnam "Era Napai" and "Sri Mahaganapati" in Gowla came the rare Bharathiar song "Saga Varamarulvai" in Varamu; the lively kalpanaswaras brought in a merry mood. In "Ramanannubrovara," the Harikambodi alapana of the violinist had more depth than the version rendered by Haripriya. What a pleasant surprise it was to listen to the Shanmukhapriya ragam, which not many take up these days, by the singer bearing the same name. When she was halfway into the raga, it was annexed by Haripriya with gusto. Subhalakshmi revealed maturity in handling the raga.

Priya Sisters

"Parvatinayakane" was rendered with attractive swarakalapanas. Sankarabharanam, the main item, by Haripriya, was standard fare. But it was sung with depth. "Sarojadalanetri" came with predictable neraval at "Korivachina" followed by a tiresomely long swara segment. The percussionists provided lively support. Ramani's enthusiasm was infectious. The two played a very interesting tani. A string of light numbers followed for which most of the audience seemed to be waiting.

Sankari Krishnan's afternoon concert began with a varnam in Mohanakalyani, followed by "Sivalokanthanaikkandu" and Janaranjani raga alapana prior to the Tygaraja kriti "Nadadina." She warmed up with the delineation of Varali, rendering it with involvement and bhavam; in Hemalatha's violin play, there was azhuttham. "Seshachalanayakam" was sung with neraval and swaras for "Aravindapatranayanam." In the vilamabakalam, it was very appealing.

The all-time favourite Karaharapriya has a regal quality and rasikas do not seem to tire of it; though there was nothing new in Sankari's alapana, it was interesting and expansive enough to suit the masterpiece, "Chakkaniraja." The neraval and swaras by both Sankari and Hemalatha were better. Ganapathiraman (mridangam) and Nanganallur Swaminathan (ghatam) were supportive through the concert and played a good tani. The final pieces included "Varuvaro" in Sama, "Unnai Thudhikka" in Kuntalavarali and a Maduvanti tillana.

In her morning kutcheri, N.C. Soundaravalli offered an interesting pattern of swarakalpana for the Hamsadhwani kriti "Jaya Jaya Swamin." This season's favourite ``Evarani" was taken up before Papanasam Sivan's "Balakrishnan" in Danyasi. Experience helped her to overcome limitations in voice with neraval and swaram. The Begada alapana was noteworthy. M.S. Anantharaman's delineation on the violin was rather attractive. Following "Ododivanden Kanna" in Dharmavati and the Kuntalavarali kriti "Bhogeendrasayinam," the alapana of the main raga Poorvikalyani was passable. "Ksheerasagarasayi" was taken up for major treatment. Neyveli Skandasubramaniam on the mridangam and E.K.M. Ramakrishnan on the ghatam offered support with understanding.

G. Ravikiran, a disciple of R.K. Srikantan (Bangalore) and T.M. Krishna, began with lively kalpanaswaras for "Ninnujoochi" in Sowrahstram. He proved his talent in the elaboration of Kedaragowla. Kovai Chandran accompanying him on the violin also came out with an effective rendering, the song chosen being "Venugana." The main item was Todi. Again the raga alapanas of both the vocalist and the violinist were neat. The tani by Madurai B. Sundar on the mridangam was short, after the neraval and kalapanaswaras. On the whole this item was commendable. But since he took close to an hour for it, there was no time left for tukkadas.

Karaikkal Jaishankar has a good voice. After the Vasantha Varnam and "Manasa Etulo" in Malayamarutham with neraval and swaram, he rendered the Atana kriti "E Papamu" and "Kanchadalayadakshi" in Kamalamanohari. The audience was treated to one more session of Todi, which was quite impressive. M.S. Ananthakrishnan's violin had depth. The kriti, "Dasukovale," was sung effectively.

N. C. Soundaravalli.

Jaishankar could have avoided trying difficult sangatis at tara sthayi since his voice did not cooperate. The youngster appeared dedicated to his art but it would be better if he is allowed to train a little longer before performing in public, as he needs to improve his grip on swarasthanam. Calcutta Karthik was very cooperative on the mridangam.

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Music Season

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