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Veterans show their calibre

M.S.Gopalakrishnan and daughter Narmada... packed all the ingredients of a great concert. - Pic. by R. Ragu.

VETERAN VIOLIN maestro M. S. Gopalakrishnan and his daughter, Dr. Narmada, packed all the essential ingredients of a great concert — vidwat, sruthi alignment, laya, bhava, bhakthi, melody and tempo (built into raga alapana and kalpanaswaras) within the limited time frame just like a one-day cricket match, where the players have to show their allround ability within the limited overs allotted.

Weighty varnam, ``Sarasijanabha'' (Khamboji) played in two speeds (each avarthanam twice) from pallavi to the end bore testimony to this good beginning. Subsequent Nattai (``Swaminatha'') with kalpanaswaras in Pallavi and a melodious Malayamarutham (``Manasa Etulo'') with Neraval swaras reached great heights. Narmada's Sriranjani alapana (``Bhuvini Dasuda'') exhibited her arduous training and the good influence of the Parur heritage. This was followed by an excellent Pantuvarali (Raghuvara) raga alapana by MSG with Neraval in ``Manasuna'' displayed the duo's total control over finger and bowing techniques. Slow paced ``Giri Pai Nela konna'' (Sahana) was full of bakthi and rakthi. Neyveli Narayanan (mridangam) and Ramani (ghatam) made the concert lively and their Thani was well executed.


Sundari Ramakrishnan's handling of Suddha Dhanyasi (``Samodam'') with Neraval swarams was good. Krithi Bhuvaneswariyam (Mohan Kalyani) with beautiful sangathis in Pallavi was enjoyable. Todi with brisk and medium sancharas preceding ``Karunajuta'' showed her gnanam. But anxiety to do well made her jump the gun in an abrupt ``Eduppu'' in the midst of Thani by Balaji (mridangam). Violinist Venkateswara Rao should improve in all aspects.

Fine patterns

Endowed with a good voice, Shoba Ramesh elaborated the ragas Poorvi Kalyani (``Paraloka'') and Karaharapriya (``Srinivasa'') with ease. Kalpanaswaras in ``Paraloka'' and Neraval swaras in ``Kamalaja Manohara'' had good patterns. However, she should pay attention to Laya aspect.

The vocalist's ``Eduppu'' after the Thani needs correction and experience. Radha Sundaresan (violin) and M. R. Balaji (mridangam) lent adequate support.

Subtle nuances

With proper guidance, practice and encouragement, Bhavani Govindan can go places. The swaraprastharas for ``Thaye Thripurasundari'' (Sudhasaveri) though routine were carefully handled. The main raga Khamboji (``Ma Janaki'') had both reach and good vistaras with subtle nuances. Neraval and kalpanaswaras for ``Raja Raja Vara'' could have been better. Excellent melodious support by Padma Shankar (violin) and Gopalakrishnan (mridangam) complemented the concert.

Good coordination

With a good understanding and coordination, sisters Chitra and Vijayalakshmi did well in singing the krithis ``Ramadaya'' (Dhanyasi), and ``Marubalka'' (Sriranjani).

A balanced Sriranjani raga by Chitra was ably supported by Hemalatha on the violin. The Pallavi kalpanaswaras were routine. ``Mayamma'' (Ahiri) in Chowkakala had a pleasing effect on the listeners. Vijayalakshmi's Kalyani raga alapana was shared by Chitra in the higher sthayi.

The krithi ``Bhajare'' with niraval and kalpanaswaras in ``Devi Shakthi'' had Korvai and Makutaswaras. Tani by Rajasekar had the desired effect. Experience and practice should add lustre to the duo's concert.

Fluent play

An invocation of Lord Ganesa through ``Shri Ganeshatparam'' (Veena Vadhini) welcomed the rasikas to the veena concert of Kannan. With his fingers easily flowing on the frets, Kannan rendered ``Vageeswari'' (Saraswathi) in madhyamakala and ``Janani'' (ReethiGowla) in Chowkakala with poise. The short delineation of Amrithavarshini (Sudhamayi) with good sangathis and chittaiswarams had some twisted kalpanaswaras to sustain the audience attention.

With percussionists Mali (mridangam) and Ganesh Kumar (kanjira) joining the fray, the atmosphere was surcharged and the orchestral effect was rather loud.

``Venkata Girinatha Charanam'' tuned by Vainika Vidwan Pichumani in raga Revathi had good devotional glimpses of first ``Panchathi'' of Veda Upanishads ending with ``Om Shanthi''.

Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi set to Aditala in Sucharitra, a Vivadi raga, was dedicated to the memory of the veena maestro S. Balachandar.

Utilising all the 3 1/2 octaves in frets along with the techniques of chords (western) and plucking, the blending effects of Suddhadaivatham and Suddhanishadam in the raga elaboration was brought out beautifully.

The dancing Kalpanaswaras ``ma sa, pa sa, ga sa'' alternating with the percussionists and punctuated with Kanakkuswaras and Muthaippu had a scintillating effect.

The tani of Mali and GaneshKumar was performed with great gusto. A thillana in Nagaswarali rounded off the concert.

Needs practice

Endowed with a rich voice and clear diction, Radha Parthasarathy dealt in detail with the raga Simhendramadhyamam followed by Swathi Thirunal's krithi ``Rama Rama'' (Adi).

Adherance to sruthi was evident. Although the niraval ``Muni Manasa'' had good sancharas, the swaraprastharas in both speeds (kaalas) were devoid of good pattern.

With intense practice and effort, her voice should become more melodious.

Jayanthi Kesav (violin) and Siva Kumar (mridangam) lent good support.

Departing from the traditional pattern of singing varnam, O. S. Thiagarajan started off well with the krithi ``Vandeham'' (Hamsadhwani) in Kantachapu tala including a short spell of kalpanaswaras for the pallavi.

Brisk swaras in ``Manasunilpa'' (Abhogi), an eloquent niraval ``Sannuthanga'' in ``Marivere'' (Shanmukhapriya) and the aesthetically brought out ``Mamavasada'' (Khamas) bore the stamp of good paatanthara.

However, the discerning listener wondered why at least two main raga alapanas were not included in a concert exceeding two hours.

In spite of mike failure at the crucial stage, one could enjoy his sweet kalpanaswaras punctuated by korvais.

Vittal Ramamurthy proved his mettle throughout the concert. Highly competent laya exponents Srimushanam Rajarao (mridangam) and Hari Shankar (ganjira) presented a good but loud tani avarthanam and their support to the entire programme was also evident.


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