THYAGA BRAHMA GANA SABHA
Adherence to classicism
SRIVIDYA GANESAN'S vocal recital was underscored by her firm resolve to stay true to the tenets of traditional classicism. The pursuit of this ideal led her to handle weighty ragas and krithis with composure. Presenting a mature profile of Varali she notched her score up by several points as the alapana glowed with sensitive imagery. Sadly, some of the more delicate nuances were lost due to the muffled tone resulting from the use of the `ukara' where the `akara' would have been that much more effective. The Dikshitar krithi ``Maamava Meenakshi" was marked by fidelity to patanthara.
The Bhairavi delineation included well-positioned vadi-samvadi permutations followed by Thyagaraja's ``Koluvaiyunnade," an exacting composition to which the vocalist did justice. The neraval, however, was cluttered with too many convoluted swirls from the word go, when a gradual progression after establishing an initial even cadence in the keezhkaalam would have carried the mood better. A source of puzzlement was the artiste's tendency to handle her voice with an extreme care bordering on caution that conveyed an impression of fragility in parts. ``Arumugam kaana vanden" in Brindavana Saranga touched a chord with the audience.
Nimble-fingered Charumathi Raghuraman, the young violinist, was alert and quick on the uptake while handling kalpanaswaras and exhibited an understanding beyond her years during the raga suites. An attempt at economy of phrasing would have imparted greater focus and direction to the alapanas. The mridangist V. Sivaraman played with consideration and a sense of chivalry that extended to keeping his tani avartanam short and sweet to allow the vocalist more time for the tukkadas.
Robust delivery and a powerful voice intelligently modulated in the upper register proved to be assets to Radha Bhaskar's music. It also helped that she had the support of cooperative accompanists in V. L. Kumar (violin), Erode Nagarajan (mridangam) and A. S. Krishnan (morsing). A confident foray into Nattai assured an energetic pace with the composition ``Ganapathy yenna paaliso" that was adorned with a chittaswaram and vigorous kalpanaswaras to which the violinist replied in kind, skimming over the strings to create engaging raga and swara patterns. Radha etched Poorvikalyani with bold strokes and the krithi ``Ksheerasagarasayee" was sung with involvement.
The main Kiravani raga was a well-balanced exposition with contrasting areas of energetic bursts of speed and the leisurely dip and swell of notes. Good time management enabled the vocalist to bestow attention upon the krithi ``Nee charanaambuja" and the extensive neraval at the line ``Sripurari rani."
``Kandanaal" in Madhuvanthi and ``Vishweswara" in Sindhubhairavi completed the satisfactory tally.
The rhythmic interludes between the mridangam and the distinctive sounds of the konnakkol made for an enjoyable tani.
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