Seetha Rajan's recital for Swati Tirunal Day was compact and creditable. The veteran singer chose to introduce rasikas to a bouquet of not frequently heard compositions of the Maharaja.
Those who came to enjoy the vocal concert of Seetha Rajan were in for a pleasant surprise.
For at the concert organised to celebrate Swati Tirunal Day at Gana Vihar of Krishna Gana Sabha, the veteran singer chose to introduce rasikas to a bouquet of not frequently heard compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal.
It is well known that the versatile royal composer has written many songs spanning a variety of musical forms, most of them in Sanskrit, Malayalam, Hindi and Manipravalam.
Seetha Rajan's concert opened with the regal Nattai kriti ‘Pahi Sowre Padmanabha', followed by ‘Sri Kumara Nagarajaya' in Atana. She then moved on to essay Poorvikalyani.
Here the kriti chosen was ‘Panchabana thanuhara'. Seetha's musical communication is always a treatise on discipline. The phrases are precise yet rich, subtle yet strong, and on the whole, compact and creditable.
Her voice definitely showed the strains of ageing, especially in reaching the upper notes, nevertheless the quality remained in tact.
Backed by her long innings in the field, Seetha's swara segments were neat demonstrations on how to pick and use the best swaras imbued with the raga image. The combinations of swaras and their framing spoke of Seetha's musical prudence.
One could feel this in all her swara sections earlier in Nattai and later for the Mukhari kriti, 'Bhavathi Viswaso'; this also carried a foreword of a brief raga alapana. The main part was devoted to Thodi and the well known ‘Sarasijanaba Murare' with a detailed raga essay to start, niraval and swaras at ‘Muravari Dasameera Mohana Maniboosha.'
The crisp and imaginative extrapolations were coupled with impressive kizh kala swaras and radiant madyama kala exercise with ‘shadjam' as focal note. It showcased a proficient musician who can captivate the audience without resorting to any exaggerated parades.
The other lesser known but likable inclusions were ‘Gangeya Vasanadana' in Hamir Kalyani and ‘Kanakamaya' in Huseni. The last section of the concert carried a lovely khayal ‘Bansiwale Na' in Mohana Kalyani.
Embar Kannan played the violin, providing caressing touches to his raga images and sharp and swift ones in swarakalpana. Umayalpuram Mali on the mridangam and S. Karthick on the ghatam were bright supporters on the rhythm all through. Their thani was quite stimulating.
The cool ambience, soft lighting and well balanced audio system were the other praiseworthy and pleasing factors of the programme.