Concerts by Chennai-based youngsters of Isai Mazhalai group were enlivening.

That being brought up in Chennai, being taught Carnatic music by the gurus in Chennai and being part of the Carnatic music scene of Chennai is a boon to young practitioners of Carnatic music came to the fore recently during the impressive performances of four Chennai-based youngsters under the tutelage of four different gurus, all under the Isai Mazhalai group. Not only were their performances impressive, they also showed tremendous maturity in areas like concert structuring, improvisation techniques, and even establishing an instant rapport with their Delhi-based accompanying artistes. In their recital of about an hour, most of them started with varnams, took up two items for detailed presentation and ended up tillanas. The concerts were organised by Sri Hayagriva and Lok Kala Manch as part of the North-South Cultural Meet last weekend.

It was a thoughtful gesture on the part of Brinda Manikkavasagan (currently under the tutelage of Suguna Varadachari) to start her concert with a varnam in raga Hamirkalyani composed by the late T.R. Subramanian who passed away recently and dedicate this to him. The kalpanaswaras at the end of the next song, which was Papanasam Sivan’s “Tatvamariya tarama” in raga Reetigowla, brought to the fore Brinda’s depth in swara singing. Brinda’s mature handling of Tyagaraja’s “Shyama sundara” in raga Dhanyasi and Papanasam Sivan’s “Mahalakshmi” in Shankarabharanam was delightful. Brinda brought out the characteristics features of these ragas in excellent delineations.

VSK Annadurai on the violin, Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan on the mridangam and N. Harinarayanan on the ghatam provided good support.

Anjani (disciple of Kamala Aswathama) exhibited a composed disposition during her entire veena recital, particularly when the contact mike did not work. She too delighted music lovers with her talents. Her concert sans the contact mike turned out to be a blessing in disguise as music lovers could get to hear the original sound of the instrument, which is now a rarity.

Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan on the mridangam and N. Harinarayanan on the ghatam provided percussion support to Anjani.

Krithika Natarajan (disciple of late maestro Lalgudi G. Jayaraman) started her concert with a varnam in Adi tala and raga Mohanakalyani. She took up Tyagaraja’s “Nada Loludai” in raga Kalyanavasantam and Papanasam Sivan’s “Venkataramana” in Latangi. Her creative talents came to the fore during the improvisation techniques that she made use of for these two items.

Krithika concluded her concert with a scintillating tillana in raga Madhuvanti.

K. Dharini (currently under the tutelage of R. Vedavalli) in her vocal recital took up two Tamil compositions for detailed presentation — namely, Ramiliga Adigalar’s Arutpa “Appa nan vendudal” (which she said was set to tune by Guruvayur Ponnammal) in raga Poorvikalyani, and “Taamadhame en Swamy” in raga Todi. Dharini was at her best while singing these compositions and bringing out the emotive contents of the lyrics.

The raga alapanas, particularly Todi, and the other improvisation techniques were a treat. Arvind Narayanan on the violin, Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan on the mridangam and N. Harinarayanan on the ghatam provided appropriate support to both Krithika and Dharini.

Each concert was an enlivening experience.