Prema Rangarajan rendered kritis, with commitment to classical aspects as the objective.
The performance by Prema Rangarajan for Sri Thyagaraja Seva Samiti was sampradaya-based and restrained set to accomplish the aim kept in view. The duration of alapanas and rendering of kritanas, the discipline in handling them spoke of the good aspects of her kutcheri technique. Consistency, vocal balance in gana-naya formed the relevant basis.
Pantuvarali, Mohanam and Thodi were taken up for raga alapanas. The abbreviations of sancharas helped her to gather quickly the moorchanas of the ragas. Their build-up provided convincing revelation of the values she has acquitted from good training – mainly to keep at arm's length any exhibitionistic tendencies. So, the raga pictures stressed commitment to classical aspects. The urge to stick to this objective was manifest both in raga vinyasa and interpretation of kirtanas.
What was heart-warming was the importance she gave to sahitya clarity in songs such as ‘Vaadera Deivamu' (Pantuvarali), ‘Rama Ninnu Nammina' (Mohanam) and ‘Jesinadella Marachitivu' (Thodi) to mention a few. Her insight into the core of the kritis lent a sense of poise in her presentation giving meaning and importance to the songs of Tyagaraja.
The violin accompaniment by M.R. Gopinath was in tune with the quietude of Prema Rangarajan's exposition. The solo versions of the ragas were well articulated with discriminating choice of sancharas.
There are numerous ways for a mridangam artist to embellish a concert and Mannarkoil Balaji preferred not to pack passages of passion in his beats or korvais.