Crisp strokes and soft notes made Ramanujacharyalu’s recital an aural treat.
On the concluding day of the Madhuradhwani series, organised by Shanmukhapriya, vidwan T.K.V. Ramanujacharyalu played with his daughter Ramapriya. Settled at Tiruchi, this violinist’s soft spoken nature reflected totally in his playing style. A striking factor was that each artist presented in the festival had a distinct style.
As a preamble to the Sahana varnam, TKV’s raga delineation was crisp and to the point. He followed it up with Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Pranamamyaham’ (Gaula-Adi). Both the raga and kalpanaswaras were built using small phrases comprising not more than three or four notes in an effective manner. Vagadeeswari, which has suddenly risen in popularity amongst performers in the recent past, figured next.
TKV built the raga brick by brick but in an artistic fashion and it did wear a fresh look despite this writer having listened to it at more than seven concerts in the recently concluded season. TKV’s reverence to the Saint poet and how he has internalised his kritis were evident in his presentation of ‘Paramathmudu’ and other Tyagaraja kritis that evening. His daughter and disciple next took up Purvikalyani. It was copy book style guided with care by her father. During the exposition, it was heartening to see the father follow the daughter like a shadow.
K. Arun Prakash, a left handed mridangam player, is a cool customer on stage reminding you of some of the south paws in cricket who are always a delight to watch. That evening his combination of deft touches, blows with controlled aggression, gumkis and the arudis during the kritis embellished the concert. The variety fare he offered with his strokes should have inspired the duo. Tyagaraja’s Narayani raga kriti ‘Rama Neeve’ was yet another beauty. The evening’s main Bhairavi was played with all its grandeur intact. Particular mention is to be made of his forays in the mandhra sthayi. There was never a sag.
‘Koluvai,’ a madhyama kala kriti of Tyagaraja intact with emotional content was a roller coaster. The exchanges between father and daughter during the kalpanaswaras with short phrases were captivating. The thani saw the researcher in Arun coming to the fore. It was a paradigm shift from the usual approach. His vinyasam in kanda nadai sub-normal speed (keezh kalam) and the sankirna kuraippu in kanda nadai sub-normal speed towards the end were gripping. It would have been a learning experience for young Krishna (ghatam) while keeping pace with Arun Prakash.