THE EXUBERANCE and enthusiasm of the octogenarian musician Sangita Kalanidhi B. Rajam Iyer that was palpable in his vocal concert for Srutilaya Kendra on December 16 would put many a young artiste in the shade. His voice was as firm and steady as ever. ``Manavyala kincjara" of Tyagaraja in Nalinakanti with impromptu swaras attached to the pallavi merited plaudits.
Jayamanohari, sung with gay abandon bordering on the lighter vein, followed by "Nee Bhakti Bhagya Sudha" of Tyagaraja and a spate of swaras in the pallavi were well appreciated. Pantuvarali was given solid treatment with pertinent prayogas and not too many sancharas in the tara sthayi that conformed to the raga lakshana. V. V. Ravi on the violin presented a composed alapana with clean strong bowing and pleasant phrases. ``Ramanatham Bhajeham," a favourite of Ariyakkudi rendered in the same mould, the neraval for ``Kumara Guru Guha Mahitham" and the swaras both in sarva laghu and also tisra nadai were reflective of the vidwan's strictly classical leaning. Begada's various hues were described in detail by the vocalist and delicately defined on the violin. ``Kadai kann vaithen" and the niraval and swaras have an extra spirited thrust sustaining interest. Chaste alapana of Varali by the vocalist and the violinist were prelude to Dikshitar's ``Seshachala Nayakam" set to Rupaka talam. The niraval for ``Aravinda patra nayanam" with an adheetha eduppu and the swara improvisation were spontaneous efforts.
K. R. Ganesh, one of the bright stars in the contemporary percussion firmament provided able support on the mridangam.
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