Vigour without bhava
The uniqueness of Sri Thyagaraja Seva Samiti, which has completed 10 years, is the arrangement of concerts on Bahulapanchami day every month. While in the present musical scene the programme list of musicians gives less priority to Tyagaraja's songs, the Seva Samiti's insistence on the saint's compositions exclusively makes for the difference. Sri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam too arranges such monthly recitals.
The annual Tiruvaiyaru mela is all glitter and glamour, while Seva Samiti is more reverential in its homage to the saint. .
The sabhas, however, can only arrange aradhana or Bahulapanchami concerts. It is for the musicians to put their heart and soul into these events which are different from the usual kutcheris. Do musicians approach the occasion with the reverence it warrants, one wonders.
Usha Lakshmi Krishnamoorthi in her concert at the Samiti's Bahulapanchami sought to effect impressiveness through vim, vigour and vitality in exposition helped by her voice. Lakshana-wise her alapanas of Mohanam (`Enduko Bhaga Teliyadu') Kapi (`Meevalla') Kalyani (`Enduko Nee Manasu') were impeccable but visranti was far from her objective. Two or three songs `Ne Morabettithe' (Rupavathy) `Nee Chittamu Naa Bhagya' (Vijayavasantham) `Raa Raa Nannelukora' (Sowrashtram) found a place in her programme. They were rendered with the same vocal thrust without bhava.
The violin accompanist is expected to reflect in a large measure the musical approach of the vocalist, which Usha Rajagopalan did remarkably well. While her raga versions were on the same wavelength as that of the vocalist, her kapi presentation was sparklingly lilting. Mannargudi Subramanian (mridangam) relished the tempo.
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