Young artists enthral rasikas
Photos: V. Ganesan
Vijayagopal, Suryaprakash, Sumitra, Abhishek Raghuram and Prasanna Venkatraman delivered classical fare.
Talented lot: Vijayagopal
B.Vijayagopal, flautist, in the company of Srilakshmi Venkataramani and Rajna Swaminathan were on the stage for their performance at the Music Academy.
The flautist began with the Navaragamalika varnam in Adi tala of Patnam Subramania Iyer. Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Pranamamyaham’ in Gowlai, Adi tala came next in line with a very short prelude of the raga and swarams at ‘Pranamam
yaham’. Just the plain song, ‘Guruleka,’ Gowri Manohari, Khanda chapu of Tyagaraja was the next kriti.
Purvikalyani was taken up and the effort was average. Being Arudhra Darshanam day, the kriti of Neelakanta Sivan’s ‘Ananda Natamaduvar’ in Rupaka talam and swaras at ‘Ananda Natamaduvar’ were played.
Mohana ragam was the main raga with Papanasam Sivan’s hit song, ‘Kapali’ in Adi talam followed. His Mohana ragam was a decent presentation and one felt he needs practise more to make a mark. After the niraval and swaras the thani was played well. From the very take off, the mridangist’s calibre was evident. The concert came to a conclusion with ‘Govardhana Giridhara’ in Darbari Kanada and was played beautifully. Violinist Lakshmi Venkataramani was good in parts and also needs to put in more hours of practice.
Rajna’s mridangam was outstanding throughout. She accompanied the music with anticipation giving enough fillip to the concert.
It was disheartening to find a poor attendance initially. Later the numbers improved. One must congratulate Vijayagopal on taking up the flute for flautists and vainikas are dwindling in number these days.
R.Suryaprakash sang Panthuvarali, Adi tala varnam of Shatkala Narasiah. Bahudari kriti ‘Sadananda Tandavan’, Adi of Achuta Dasa was an apt song for Arudhra Darshanam. The kriti was preceded by Bahudari raga coming out in a striking flavour. Amrutha’s (violinist) Bahudari was full of raga essence.
Niraval and swaras at ‘Muktharum Siddharum’ came out aptly. A small essay of Bhooshavati raga was sung. It was followed by a rare kriti of Muthuswami Dikshitar, ‘Bhooshapathim’ in Rupaka talam extolling Bhooshapati the Lord of Goddess Saraswati, Brahma. The lyrical beauty of the kriti was arresting.
‘Sarasiruha Pallava,’ the anu pallavi of the kriti, ‘Parama Purusha’ of Vasantha ragam Adi talam of Swati Tirunal was the next one in the itinerary. Swaras at ‘Parama Purusha’ were catchy. Suryaprakash’s Kharaharapriya was brilliant in parts and somehow lacked the totality of the raga swaroopam. It took sometime to come to grips with this raga. Amrita’s raga effort captivated the moods of the raga consummately. ‘Rama Neeyeda,’ Adi tala, Tyagaraja kriti, niraval, and swaras at ‘Gana Sowkyamu’ were enticingly approached. The banter between the vocalist and the violinist had flavours of their own and the kuraippu swaras came by. One found the swara volleys a little too lengthy.
Later, he handled a dwi-raga pallavi in Saranga and Brindavana Saranga adeptly. One has to have a sharp intellect to handle ragas in quick succession and Suryaprakash came out with flying colours in tackling the dwi-raga pallavi. Saranga was the purvanga ragam, while Brindavana Saranga was the uttaranga raga. The pallavi was set in Khanda Triputa talam. The whole drill affirmed the vocalist’s control over raga essays and swara interludes.
A virutham in Sindu Bhairavi and Mohanam was followed by a kriti, ‘Darisanam Kandarku Marujanmam Illaye’ in Rupaka talam that was the concluding piece.
Suryaprakash tries gallantly to bring the effect of the late Madurai Mani Iyer’s swara singing style using more of jhanta prayogam. There can be only one Madurai Mani Iyer to sing matchlessly in this fashion. But this does not preclude one from honestly trying to revive those memories. Karakurichi Mohanram’s mridangam was full of sunadham and his sarvalaghu execution came out exceedingly well.
Sumitra Nitin opened her recital with a sprightly kriti of Muthuswami Dikshitar, ‘Ganapathe’ in Kalyani, Rupaka tala. Swaras were sung at the pallavi opening. Ritigowlai came next. The very first prayoga revealed the raga and in a way she had to fight with her initial trepidity and come to terms. Ritigowlai raga calls for maturity and only after assimilating the salient features one can hope to impact an audience. N.Gokul, violinist, started the raga well but down the line his imagination dried up. ‘Janani Ninnuvina’ of Subbaraya Sastri, misra chapu tala was sung. She tried her level best to effect the feel for the song but it was flat unfortunately. In the higher reaches her voice was not cooperative.
Tyagaraja’s Deepakam kriti, ‘Kalalanerchina’ in Adi was sung. This kriti did not suit her voice texture. Khambodi ragam was taken up before rendering the awesome kriti ‘O Rangasayi,’ Adi tala of Tyagaraja. The skills of developing a raga with all the nuanced pidis is a tremendous task for a youngster and Sumitra, though her intentions were good, could not make her mark. Her voice is slender and sounded weak and in Khambodi raga, she has to sing in the upper octaves to bring out its essential beauty. She could not do justice in mantra, madhyama, and tara stayis. This song is a demanding one and the kriti was rendered feebly.
The point ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntham’ was taken up for niraval and swaras. Mridangam by Ashwin Sreedharan was an asset to the concert.
A kriti, ‘Venkatava’ in Sama raga, Adi tala by Arasi was preceded by a Pasuram having a ragamalika comprising Varali, Nalinakanti, Hamsanandi, and Sama.
Abhishek Raghuram, the grand son of Palghat R.Raghu sang in the company, Mysore Srikanth and A.Anand. He is an artiste who is a class apart and his musical acumen bore the stamp of his rich lineage.
The concert began with the ever-popular kriti, ‘Vatapi’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar in Hamsadhwani raga, Adi tala. The tempo was set and the listeners were waiting with bated breath for other kritis to follow. Then he proceeded to sing Natabhairavi ragam. His raga approach is not on the dotted lines and breathes originality. The kriti was ‘Sri Valli Devasenapathe’ and swaras were sung at ‘Sri Valli’. Mysore Srikanth’s violin essay came out gently, sedately and in a tranquil fashion after the energetic outburst of Abhishek. The swara showers for this kriti were delightful.
‘Singara,’ an Annamayya composition tuned by Nedunuri Krishnamurti in Kamas raga, khanda chapu tala and ‘Kava Va,’ a Varali kriti of Papanasam Sivan, Adi tala were sung. Madhyamavathi came next. The treatment of this raga had full range and was stretched to the brim. Madhyamavathi had pronounced shades of Brindavana Saranga and in the middle of the raga rendition it sounded more Hindusthani.
Srikanth’s Madhyamavathi was unadulterated one. ‘Ramakatha Sudha’ kriti was sung with niraval and swaras at ‘Bhama Mani’. During the fast speed of niraval and swaras the raga effect gets nullified. The permutation and combination of swaras was stupendous. The kuraippu swaras and the thani followed later. Mridangist A.Anand’s artistry was classy and commendable. Abhishek’s concert was full of verve and vigour and there was never a dull moment. His brigas dazzled. He is a musician blessed with a rare ingenuity and he would do well to delve into deeper recesses of music to unearth the intrinsic beauty of Carnatic music.
Prasanna Venkatraman, accompanied by T. Hemamilini and P. Jayabhaskar, took to the centre stage. The kutcheri began with a Sri raga, Adi tala varnam of Karur Devudu Iyer followed by a Khamas kriti, ‘Santanagopalakrishnam’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar set to Rupaka tala. Swaras at ‘Santanagopalam’ were deftly sung. Then came Kalyani raga. This prati Madhyama raga came out strikingly, and his manodharma found expression in an aesthetic fashion and it was a laudable one. Kalyani raga was a classical treat and his musical comprehension came to light. The kirtana, ‘Rama Ni Vadu’ set to Adi tala, tisra gati of Tyagaraja had niraval and swaras at ‘Na Manasu’ and this came out with pin-point clarity and precision.
Arunachala Kavi’s Huseini kriti set to misra, ‘Chari Eppadi Manam’ conveyed the emotions of the composers lyric. In Saveri raga, a rakti, one had the singer discovering the richness and the elaboration was packed with bhavam. His akara rendition was in the correct pace, neither too slow nor too pacy.
Syama Sastri’s ‘Durusuga,’ an exquisite song in Saveri set to Adi tala, was a pleasant addition in the song list. The chittaswaras were sung well. Saveri throbbed in the niraval segment at ‘Parama Pavani’ and swaras were woven at this point. In the entire Saveri segment, the sanctity and serenity of the raga were kept intact. A viruttam in Kapi on Lord Muruga starting with ‘Siva Shanmugane’ was the concluding piece.
Prasanna Venkatraman, trained under Bombay Balamani, is now under the wings of Sanjay Subramaniam. His base in Carnatic is solid and the music has the right focus. After one hears Prasanna, one feels Carnatic music is in the safe hands of artists who are not lured by the modern-day gimmicks. When classical music is undergoing a sea change, the fact that there are a few musicians who have not lost sight of its value is heartening. Violinist T. Hemamalini and P. Jayabhaskar played their roles fittingly.
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