Spirited and spiritual
The Carnatic music concerts in the Veena Festival were rewarding if short.
The series of veena concerts began with Geetha Krishnamurthy (Chennai), presenting in her Saraswathi veena (commonly referred to as the veena) impressively two items, "Saraseeruha" in the raga Nattai, followed by a Dikshitar composition Annapoorne in the raga Sama.
Delhi's Saraswathi Rajagopalan, in her veena recital presented Mysore Vasudevachar's composition, "Bhajana seyera" in the raga Dharmavati. Her depiction of the sahitya in the instrument was impressive, apart from the commendable expression while delineating the raga and mellifluous taanam.
Suma Sudhindra (Banglore) presented a spirited performance, both while playing the tarangini veena (which produces a sound similar to the guitar or mandolin). Shorter in size when compared to a Saraswati veena, the tarangini veena lends itself to comfortable playing of songs set in fast tempos and Suma's presentation of Tyagaraja's composition, "Manavinalakinj" in the raga Nalinakanthi, seemed to have been aimed at this. Mysore Vasudevachar's compositon, "Ninnu near" in the raga Simhendra Madhyamam was presented aesthetically. While presenting the alapana earlier and the swaraprasthara towards the end, Suma brought out some phrases rich in creativity. On the Saraswati veena, she presented an impressive ragam-taanam-pallai, composed in the raga Shanmukhapriya and set to Adi tala, following it up with a ragamalika swaraprasthara in the ragas Kaanada, Kapi and Sriranjani. Delhi's A. Prem Kumar on the mridangam and R. Ramamurthy on the ghatam provided good and understanding support.
It was a good idea to include various types of veena in this festival, with more than a dozen artistes playing both in Hindustani as well as in Carnatic style. Nevertheless, with too many concerts lined up on both days, the time limit for each was restricted, which was a little disappointing. The Foundation has organised such this festival in Chennai and has plans to hold it in Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and even abroad, too. Its efforts, aimed at bringing back the glory of the instrument, are laudable. One looks forward to regular and frequent veena concerts in Delhi with a longer duration.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu