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Updated: March 4, 2010 18:26 IST

Melodious symmetry

Madhavi Ramkumar
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Bombay Sisters: C. Saroja and C. Lalitha. Photo: V. Ganesan.
The Hindu
Bombay Sisters: C. Saroja and C. Lalitha. Photo: V. Ganesan.

The veterans, Bombay Sisters, presented a recital steeped in stately classicism

The 14th Annual Music Festival of the Rajamahal Vilas Sangeetha Sabha, Bangalore, began with a concert by renowned vocalists C. Saroja and C. Lalitha (Bombay Sisters), accompanied by Mysore Srikant (violin), K.R. Ganesh (mridanga), and H. Sivarama Krishnan (ghata).

“Jayajayajaya Janakikantha” in Natta raga and khanda chapu thala, to which were appended a few kalpana swaras, set the tone for a recital steeped in stately classicism. Thyagaraja's composition in Harikamboji, “Rama Nannu Brovara” featured a neraval and kalpana swaras at “Meppulakai Kannathavu”, highlighting the melodious symmetry latent in the scale. ‘Teratiyagarada' in Goulipanthu preceded a compact, yet unhurried alapana of Purvikalyani and “Hanumantha Deva Namo” set to adi tala, incorporating a finely crafted neraval of the pallavi sahithya and kalpana swaras interwoven with unobtrusive rhythmic patterns.

Todi was elaborated in detail, capturing many of its myriad moods in phrases that returned repeatedly to crucial notes such as the madhyama, panchama, the tara sthayi shadja, gandhara and madhyama, and touched briefly on the plain rishabha. Thyagaraja's “Rajuvedala” in rupaka thala, incorporated a neraval at “Kaveri Teeramunanu” that was especially captivating in the segment around the tara sthayi shadja and was followed by kalpana swaras rounded off with diminishing tala cycles landing at the panchama, underscored by expert violin and percussion support. The concluding items included an appealing “Innudaya Barade” in Kalyanavasantham.

An outstanding feature of the concert, worthy of emulation by young aspirants, was the ideal kalapramana in which each composition was presented, effectively reflecting the true spirit and beauty of both lyrics and raga.

Padma Gurudutt, accompanied by S. Seshagiri Rao (violin), K.U. Jayachandra Rao (mridanga), and S.N. Narayanamurthy (ghata), presented a vocal concert under the auspices of Raga-Sangama recently.

The performance began with “Intha Chalamu”, the adi tala varna in Begada, and continued with “Girirajasutha Tanaya”, the Thyagaraja krithi in Bangala raga and adi tala, bedecked with crisp kalpana swaras. Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar's beautiful composition “Vandeham Sive” set to Kathanakuthoohalam raga and matya thala, was followed by a bhava laden rendition of Thyagaraja's “Nee Dayarada” in Vasanthabhairavi.

A short and sweet alapana of Arabhi prefaced the Pancharatna composition in adi thala, in which the artiste reverted to the pallavi “Sadhinchene” after each of the swaras and corresponding sahithya, instead of to the more commonly heard charana sahithya beginning “Samayaniki”.

The rendition was also notable for clear enunciation and demarcation of words and complete synchronisation with the accompanying artistes.

The main raga of the evening, Purvikalyani, was elaborated in detail. The senior artiste's expertise and experience were manifest in the interesting improvisational patterns that emerged during the course of the alapana, traversing the entire gamut of the scale, touching the tara sthayi panchama and descending well below the mandra sthayi panchama with ease.

Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar's krithi “Paramapavana Rama”, set to adi tala, was presented in a sedate tempo commensurate with the musical structure and lyrical content of the composition. The neraval and kalpana swaras at “Kanakambaradhara”, scholarly exercises in which the veteran violinist and percussionists also participated with gusto, were followed by an impressive tani avartana.

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