It was a showcase of vidwat by Sowmya.
A well-trained and poised voice and choice of time-tested kirtanas in familiar ragas provided a strong base for S. Sowmya’s music. Apart from natural talent, chaste taste too mattered. Discipleship and sadhakam contributed to classical purity.
These are plus points when deployed for presenting rakti ragas and recognising the position of great songs in a programme. But Sowmya, in her recital for the Carnatica series, perhaps thought that she had sufficient vidwat and experience to construct a programme without following tradition.
Great music is as much because of proper exposition as for the choice of compositions with substance and grandeur.
“Jagada Ananda Karaka” (Nattai) as the first item, gave a hint of the performance’s rhythm which gradually faded with following songs.
“Ganamoorte” (Ganamurti) was passable. A meandering, yet painstaking raga alapana of Vagadeeswari with shades of Harikhambhodi for the most part and occasional touches of Shatsruti rishaba riveted her attention. It was okay: she has garnered enough vidwat to elaborate any raga at great length. But restraint during such a display had also to be kept in mind. In the bargain, the spiritual “Paramaatmudul Velige” lost its sheen.
Then followed the other pieces - “Kalavati Kamalaasana Yuvati,” (Kalavati) and Tyagaraja’s “Daya Joochutaki Di Velara.”
Sowmya’s voice has a felicitous flow and so she had the right to sing the way she felt. The Varali raga alapana was good for the kriti “Noremi Ninnaada Rama,”an unfamiliar one.
M.S. Ananthakrishnan, a young and energetic violinist, was quite comfortable with Sowmya’s singing and Poongulam Subramanian (mridangam) and Chandrasekhara Sarma (ghatam) presented a gamut of skilled beats to the tala segments of the performance.