Concert: Mathangi Satyamurthy's melodic voice and presentation skills were evident during her recital in Palakkad. K. Ganapathi

Judicious selection of songs, perfect sruti alignment, energetic presentation and competent accompanists made Mathangi Satyamurthy’s vocal recital in Palakkad a memorable one. Gifted with a powerful voice that has a wide range, she sang with admirable zest, maintaining excellent tempo right through the concert.

Mathagi made an impressive start with the melodious varnam of Veena Kuppa Iyer, ‘Vanajakshi nine’, in Reethigoula raga, set to Ada tala. The next item, ‘Karimugavaradha’, a composition of GNB in Natta, was well essayed; the raga swaroopa emerging beautifully, both in the kriti rendition and kalpana swaras.


Listening to the less-heard kriti of Hari Sundareswaran, ‘Chandrakalaadharam Sachidaanandaroopam’ in Sri ranjani, tagged on with an interesting chittaswaram, was a refreshing experience. The spontaneous flow of swaras at ‘Saamagaanapriyam’ in the charanam, particularly the ‘sancharas’ around ‘rishabha’ in the upper octave, were delectable.

‘Gowri Sukumaari’ in Vasanta, composed by Krishnamacharyulu, yet another rare kriti, was rendered with verve.

The alapana of Kalyani, adorned with classical sangathis, revealed Mathangi's reverence for tradition. The kriti chosen was Swati Tirunal's ‘Paripaahimamayi’ in Misra Chaapu tala. The neraval at the anupallavi, ‘Saranaagatha dhaarani’, followed by a cluster of swaraprastharas, projected the multifarious traits of the raga. ‘Chaala kallalaadu’ in Aarabhi was an apt choice, before the main item. The lilting sangathis in this enchanting composition of Tyagaraja were a delight to listen to.

Karaharapriya, the mainraga selected for ragam, thaanam and pallavi, was elaborated to the brim. Mathangi did full justice to the delineation, effortlessly traversing in all the three ‘sthayis’. The weighty gamakas and gliding sancharas unfolded the classic structure of the raga. The thaanam was crisp and precise. The pallavi ‘Maal marugane Murugane guhane Umaiyal magane Arulthirumaal marugane’ in Kanda jaathi triputa tala was executed intelligently in four kaalas. Contours of Hindolam, Ranjani and Varaali found a place in the comprehensive swara patterns.

The Kanakadaasa song ‘Yaadavaraaya’, rendered in ragamaalika format in the ragas Basanth, Sindhubhairavi and Durga, was rich in aesthetic nuances. The Thiruppugazh ‘Orupozhudhu’ in Ataana and Swati Tirunal’s popular thillana in Dhanasri were the concluding pieces.

Splendid accompanists

The supporting artistes did a splendid job of performing as a team. Violinist Manjoor Ranjith’s accompaniment was praiseworthy. His solo raga versions were mellifluous. Palakkad Harinarayanan proved his skills as an mridangist. His support as an accompanist was valuable, while his tani was marked by well developed korvais. Manjoor Unnikrishnan (ghatam) paired well with the mridangist, with deft strokes. The thani won a big round of applause.

The concert was held under the auspices of The Palghat Fine Arts Society.