It was raining ragas at the music festival, organised by Rajalakshmi Fine Arts, Coimbatore.
Sanjay Subrahmanian’s concert at the September Season, organised by Rajalakshmi Fine Arts, Coimbatore, turned out to be another jewel in his crown. Authentic depiction of ragas, highly energetic swaraprastaras and the choice of rare kritis won him a standing ovation.
Kavi Kunjara Bharathi’s ‘Siddhi Vinayakane’ in Kalavathi, ‘Sri Kamakshi Katakshi’ (Vasantha - Tiruvarur Ramaswamy Pillai) and ‘Moovaasai Konda Thirumaal’ (Kharaharapriya-Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar) were some of the Tamil kritis that he presented. His RTP in Nalinakanti, ‘Un Darisanam Kidaikkumo’ was a sumptuous treat. The hall was filled with patriotic fervour with the rendition of the ragamalika virutham, ‘Paaril Uyarntha Nilam’ followed by ‘En Thaay Vaazhgenum.’
S. Varadharajan’s creative spirit and speed added to the smoothness and melody of his violin. Palladam R. Ravi and Thirupunithura Radhakrishnan gave good rhythmic support and a vivacious thani.
Akkarai sisters, Subhalakshmi and Sornalatha, began their violin duet with the Ata tala varnam in Kanada.
Sornalatha depicted Bilahari elaborately for ‘Smara Sadha Balagopalam’ by Swati Tirunal while Subhalakshmi etched out Thodi with graphic detail for ‘Emi Jesithe Emi’ by Tyagaraja. Their niraval and swaraprastaras were lifted further with the percussion support by J. Vaidhyanathan (mridangam) and S. Karthick (ghatam). Following their elaborate RTP in Rishabhapriya, the percussionists presented a brief thani that was sparkling as ever, but did not fulfil the expectations of the rasikas who hoped to listen to long and lively fireworks from this duo.
Abhishek Raghuram’s briga-laden raga delineation and the swaras at break-neck speed spoke volumes of his ‘asura sadhakam.’ He began with Lalgudi Jayaraman’s varnam, ‘Senthil Nagar Mevum Mannaa.’ He delved deep into the hidden beauties of Purvikalyani and Abheri for ‘Paraloka Saadhaname Manasaa’ and ‘Nagumomu,’ both by Tyagaraja. The lighter session has kritis such as ‘Saranagati’ (on Bhagavan Ramana), ‘Muruga, Muruga,’ ‘Raamanai Bhajithal’ and ‘Enna Thavam Seidhanai.’
Mysore V. Srikanth on the violin and Ananth R. Krishnan on the mridangam proved to be as creative and energetic as Abhishek.
Sankari Krishnan defined ‘sukhaanubhavam’ through her vocal concert, the following day. Commencing with the Ata tala varnam in Purvikalyani by Pallavi Gopala Iyer, she presented all her songs with the same pleasantness. ‘Sogasu Jooda Tharamaa’ in Kannadagowla brought out the beauty of Rama as described by Tyagaraja.
‘Paavanamuraa Nee Paadha Seve’ by Meeshu Krishna Iyer in Manirangu and ‘Mahitha Pravridha Srimathi’ in Khambodi, one of the Lalgudi Pancharatnams were presented with due ornamentation. The choice of ‘Ennaalu Oorage Unduvo’ in Subhapantuvarali and ‘Arunachala Natham’ in Saranga added to the emotional effect. A vigorous thani by J. Vaidhyanathan on the mridangam and Udupi Sridhar on the ghatam followed the RTP in Shanmukhapriya, ‘Vaa, Guhaa, Murugaa, Shanmukha.’ Usha Rajagopalan followed Sankari with equal deftness on her violin.
Nithyasree Mahadevan’s vocal concert had the usual appeal with a packed auditorium. The highlight was her RTP in Sunaadha Vinodhini with the pallavi, ‘Sundari, Sunaadha Vinodhini.’ She presented the swaras in 24 ragas and the audience struggled to identify those that whizzed across as quickly as they made their appearance.
The excitement in the hall was almost palpable. But there were other songs to cherish, such as ‘Ranganaathude’ in Sowrashtram, ‘Dhandamu Pettenura’ in Balahamsa, and ‘Enunakkinnum Irakkamillai’ in Kaapi.
The detailed delineation of ‘Desi Simharavam’ (Hemavathi) and Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Kantimatim’ with energetic swaras certainly deserves mention. She cast a spell during the lighter session with simple and devout songs that had an instant appeal.
If the romantic ‘themmangu’ (a folk song) ‘Sundara Pennmayile,’ by Muthiah Bhagavatar made the audience sway and tap their feet, the composition on Hanuman, ‘Rama Rama Ram, Avar Raamanin Bhaktharam,’ filled the hall with devotion.
Usha Rajagopalan’s dexterous fingers poured out melody on the violin and the percussionists Nanjil Arul (mridangam) and Guruprasad (ghatam) made it a pleasant experience with their sensitive and skilful support.