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Making a mark

WITH PERFECT shruti sudham and self-confidence, the mandolin duo, SreeUsha and Sreesha, made their mark as budding young artistes at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, reminding one of Mandolin Srinivas.

In the rendering of the kritis, ragas and kalpanaswaras, there was good harmony and tempo. Ragas Hindolam and Kharaharapriya played by the duo were gamaka-oriented and neatly presented, barring minor slips.

The main piece, "Chakkani Raja" (Kharaharapriya), majestically wended its way through "Rajamargam" with intertwined kalpanaswaras in "Kantiki Sundara," which also brought out their assiduous `sadhana'.

With more exposure and experience, as an accompanist, Raghuraman (violin) could do well in future because he displayed talent in patches. Chandrsekharan's percussion support and tani were adequate.

Soulful rendition

Preceded by a Kalyani varnam (Vanajakshi, Adi) and "Ninne Bhajana" (Nata) with durithakala swaras in "Seethanatha," Subha Ganeshan's vocal concert settled down well in the soulfully rendered Poorvikalyani and kriti, "Iniyakilum" with simple but effective kalpanaswaras. The artiste's Todi raga with all its nuances, intricacies and long karvais, along with Akkarai Subbulakshmi's melodious violin contribution, which lasted for about 30 minutes, mesmerised the audience.

Vishranthi and sowkhyam found their richness in "Dasukovalena" (misra jhampa) as well as in neraval followed by kalpanaswaras in "Sowmithri Thiagaraju". Considering the artiste's resonant voice, the mike's volume could have been lowered. The percussion duo Balaji (mridangam) and Ravi Chandran (ghatam) contribution to the concert, enhancing its value.

Highly poised

Subhasini Parthasarathy's neraval and manodharmaswaras in "Karpaka Manohara" (Malayamarutham) added lustre to her rich and sweet voice. Well-patterned raga delineation both in Dharmavati and Kambhoji could have included a few brigas. There was good `sukhabhavam' throughout the concert. The neraval and kalpanaswaras rendered in Paranjothi (Parandhamavathi) and "Bhakta Paradeenudanu" ("Everimata") were highly poised and measured devoid of the jet speed swarakorvais. Gnanasundaram (violin) played a melodious Kambhoji with competence matching the main artiste's needs.

Madipakkam Suresh (mridangam) and Adambakkam Shankar (ghatam) proved their mettle both as an accompanist and in their tani.

Sweet lullaby

With perfect sruti alignment, which is difficult to achieve in a wind instrument, Mala Chandrasekhar proved her mettle as a flautist. The Saveri raga ("Sankari Samkuru" _ tisra, adi) adorned with gamakas sounded like a sweet lullaby followed by sharp neraval at "Shyama Krishna Sodari" with neat madhyamakala swaras.

"Maragatha Valleem," with a vivid exposition of Khamboji raga, had its full impact with a garland of kalpanaswaras in two speeds. H. N. Bhaskar proved his competency on the violin with his deft fingering, although he slipped in one or two places in the swara eduppu.

The prayoga, `ri sa ni sa ni da' in Khamboji could have been avoided. Both Poongulam Subramanian (mridangam) and Karthick (ghatam) provided a good and laudable percussion support, which also lifted up the concert.

Troubled voice

In spite of a troubled voice, Vijayalakshmi Ramakrishnan (vocal) could produce some of her best in the Madhyamavathi raga delineation ("Dharmasamvarddhini"). Madhyamakala kalpanaswaras in "Nirmala Hrudaya Nivasini" were catchy.

G.N.B.'s brisk "Kamala Charane" (Amrutha Behag) was followed by Hemavathy raga, which had adequate range. The artiste should follow correct kalapramanas for kalpanaswaras to make the concert more appealing. S. P. Anantha Padmanabhan (violin) combined well with the artiste.

Tani by Vaitheeswaran Koil Parthasarathy, though short, was good. The ragamalika virutham, "Thiruppavai" (Bhairavi) and Shanthi Nilava Vendum drew the curtain for the concert. — MN

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