Rithvik's Thodi unleashed his creativity. Vilasini impressed with her open-throated singing.
Rithvik Raja started off with the Saveri varnam ‘Sarasooda' and settled well with his strong voice aligned to perfect sruti. The variations he presented in the last chittaswaram with absolute control over laya set the expectations of the listeners high. He then sang ‘Gajananayutham,' a composition attributed to Muthuswamy Dikshitar in fast pace and topped it with swara phrases in the same pace. Following this, Syama Sastri's ‘Maayamma' in Ahiri was a good choice and Rithvik Raja gave it a soothing touch. The swarams in the anupallavi and the sahityam in the charanam fell in place with precision.
The alapana of Yadukula Khambhodi was pleasing. Violinist Arun Ramamurthy's presentation of the raga was delightful, without compromising on the bhava oriented phrases. Rendition of ‘Paramakripa Sagari' of G.N. Balasubramaniam in rupaka talam stood out in the concert.
The afternoon concert slots are short. However, it is that slot in which the young musicians have to prove themselves to be elevated to the prime ones later. Rithvik needs to revisit the basics of time-management skills to fit his list of songs into a time-frame. He chose to feature a short alapana of Lathangi and followed it with ‘Aparadhamula' of Patnam Subramania Iyer next.
When it was time for the main raga, he chose Thodi, which lends a vast scope for creative artists. Rithvik was no exception to this rule. However, every phrase of the delineation bore the stamp of his guru, T.M. Krishna.
Papanasam Sivan's ‘Karthikeya Kangeya' in two kalais squared off a clean 40 minutes of the concert.
Young N.C. Bharadwaj supported Rithvik well throughout the concert following his every variation precisely, but went for a longer thani when it was time to display his skills. Though enjoyable, it added to the time constraint already created by the main artist and forced him to forego the tukkadas. Rithvik had to bow to the curtains that were drawn just after the main piece and the thani.
S.M. Vilasini began her concert with the varnam in Sahana, ‘Karunimpa.' Tyagaraja's ‘Meru Samana' in Mayamalavagowla followed.
A brief niraval and brisk swarams in the seond piece warmed her voice up for the concert. The leisurely Begada came in with Ramaswamy Sivan's composition ‘Kadaikkan Vaithennai.' Vilasini's control over the laya was evident in switching over from Misra Chapu for this kriti to Adi talam in tisra nadai for Syama Sastri's ‘Parvati Ninune' in Kalagada that featured next.
Vilasini's rendition of the raga Vachaspati spoke of how much open throated singing and practice would help a vocalist in bringing out the best even with a sore throat. She sang ‘Kantajutumi' of Tyagaraja. Violinist Bombay Anand's raga alapana and swarams enhanced the presentation of the kriti.
Muthuthandavar's composition ‘Kaanaamal Veenile Kaalam kazhithome' in Neelambari was unusual to be rendered before the main kriti. To handle a raga like Bhairavi when the voice is not on the musician's side, is a real challenge. Vilasini's concentration in rendering every phrase, met it perfectly. Muthuswami Dikshitar's ‘Bala Gopala' was presented well. Delhi Sairam on the mridangam played interesting laya patterns during the thani avartanam.
Vilasini chose ‘Naatha Hare Jagannaatha Hare,' Ashtapadi in Madhuvanti for the post-thani session and signed off with Sadasiva Brahmendrar's ‘Khelati Mama Hridaye' in Hamir Kalyani.