Bangalore-based musician Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath enthralled the audience during a concert in Thrissur.

The timeless appeal of classical music is its greatest strength and the true test of its purity. Even in these fast paced times, the fact that youngsters take to classical music and make it their profession, shows its ageless allure. Although a biotechnologist by training, Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath, a young Bangalore-based singer, has chosen to stride forward on the path trodden by artistes over the centuries. A recent concert organised by Rasikapriya, Thrissur, proved the calibre and proficiency of this young singer. Her passion and commitment to her art are strikingly apparent.

She began her recital with a masterly rendition of the Ada tala varnam in Raga Bhairavi, Viriboni. Her professional ease was evident from the first note she sang. Swati Tirunal’s famous composition in raga Mayamalavagowla, ‘Deva deva kalayamithay’, in Roopaka tala, with niraval and swaras at ‘Jataroopanibhachela’, was of a high standard. Here, the composer praises his deity, saying, ‘You who are adorned with gold raiment, please wipe away my sins!’ ‘Orajoopu’, a Tyagaraja kriti in Raga Kannadagowla, set to Adi tala, was sung in a brief manner, without much elaboration.

‘Darita magadha mahipa yadhuttama’ (You are the gem of the Yadhuvamsa, O destroyer of the King of Magadha) – this is how the composer king Swati Tirunal describes Lord Krishna in his kriti ‘Deva deva Jagadeeswara’ in Raga Poorvikalyani (Adi tala). Aishwarya set her innovative swaras and niraval at ‘Darita.’

‘Marivere’ in raga Anandabhairavi, the Shyama Shastri kriti set to Mishra Chapu tala, was a major item in this concert. Aishwarya presented a detailed picture of the raga. Her alapana was accurate and proficient. The violin accompaniment by Sunitha Harishankar deserves special mention. She traversed the raga with ease, exploring every nuance, effectively capturing the essence of Anandabhairavi.

‘Varanarada’, a Tyagaraja composition in Raga Vijayasree, in Adi tala, declares the saint as the greatest devotee and compares him to Lord Vishnu. Kharaharapriya was the main raga presented by Aishwarya. Tyagaraja’s deep mysticism and commitment to the spiritual path are evident in his famous kriti, ‘Chakkkanirajamarggamu’ in Adi tala. This gifted artiste did full justice to the raga as well as the composition. Her alapana was detailed, as also the niraval and manodharma swaras at ‘Kantikisundarataramagurupame’.

The flow of notes between the violinist and the singer was easy and efficient. Taniavartanam was an unbroken rhythmic pattern created by Sreeduth S. on the mridangam and Mangad Pramod on the ghatam. The artistes got into the spirit of friendly banter and the prolonged tani was a treat for the audience.

A jawali by Dharmapuri Subbarayar in the mood of ‘prema bhakti’ took the concert to the final segment. The composition in Raga Karnataka Kapi in Roopaka tala begins with the words, ‘Parulannamata’. This kriti was one of the masterpieces of the great Semmangudi. A shloka in the same raga preceded the Yamunakalyani composition, ‘Krishna Nee Begane Baro’. It pictures the Lord as a young and attractive child. Mangalam in raga Saurashtra brought the recital to an end.

Aishwarya’s outstanding qualities are her talent and commitment. These are promising signs of a bright future both for her and for the art she practises.