A word of appreciation to Shanmukhapriya for organising a series of violin solo concerts titled Madhuradhwani Isai Vizha. Often violin vidwans as accompanists toe the line of the main artist which they are expected to do. Same is the case even in duets. It is the solo concerts that are revelations of their true self. His/ her siddhantha of music comes to fore in such performances.
V.V. Ravi, whom we have heard several times as accompanist or part of a trio, went on to present his solo concert, unmasking and showing a different dimension of himself. Vishranthi was the hallmark of that evening’s concert at the cosily air conditioned Swamy’s Hall, Mandaveli past Friday. It was a very passionate approach to the evening’s fare. Impeccable bowing added to the lustre. Sadly music students never take cognisance of these entry free concerts to enhance their knowledge. Beginning with Veena Kuppier’s ‘Vinayaka Ninnu’ (Hamsadhwani-Adi) Ravi went on to present Tyagaraja’s ‘NadaTanumanisam’ (Chittaranjani-Adi). Handling Kumudakriya sans any Hindustani touch Ravi played Ardanareeswaram (Dikshitar-Adi (tisra nadai)). Next was a detailed Vachaspati. Unhurriedly V.V. Ravi crafted the phrases. Absence of acrobatic jumps that are possible in a sampoorna raga made the listening even more pleasant. Parathpara (Papanasam Sivan-Adi) played neatly found him doing the niraval effectively in ‘Hari Ayanum Kaanaa Ariya Jothi’ with swaras. It was a well measured approach of accompaniment by
Kallidaikuruchi Sivakumar (Mridangam) in the company of Adambakkam K. Shankar (ghatam). Sivakumar’s patterns in the topi were mesmerising. With Sivaratri falling that night the choice of kritis were apt. ‘Pancha Bhuta’ (Kiranavali-Khanda Ekam-Dikshitar) a rarely heard piece was interesting.
Thooran’s ‘Thaye Tripurasundari’ (Sudda Saveri-Khanda Chapu) preceded an aesthetic delineation of Charukesi (‘Adamodi’-Adi-Tyagaraja). Madhyamavati, the evening’s main [raga], was a delight where Ravi gave it all the colour and pleasantness. One striking aspect of the concert was Ravi’s right proportioning of the raga alapanas. The niraval in the charanam of the kriti ‘Palinchu Kamakshi’ (Adi-Syama Sastri) was more oriented towards showcasing the raga than butchering the lines. Ravi should consider including at least one major/ heavy raga in his future concerts. Sivakumar and Shankar with a perfect on stage camaraderie presented a thani that saw them weave several captivating patterns going with the mood of the concert. The person at the helm of sound balancing did an outstanding job to make the listening