In her delineation of ragas Vidya lingered on the upper octaves most of the time.
When the opening phrase of the alapana tells you the raga without any ambiguity, the listeners follow the construction of the raga throughout the exercise. Vidya Kalyanaraman displayed this ability in her concert at Mylapore Fine Arts Club.
Her elaborate delineations of ragas Purvikalyani and Kiravani stood out on that day. She rendered Swati Tirunal's ‘Deva Deva Jagadeeswara’ followed by a short alapana of Purvikalyani and garnished it with a quick niraval and fast swaras.
‘Innamum Sandeha-p-Padalamo’ in Kiravani, by Gopalakrishna Bharati, was taken up next as the main item for the day. In both the kritis, she took up the phrases beginning at the upper shadjam for niraval and moved above. However, the unhurried and leisurely embellishment of the raga and the kriti counterbalanced the effect.
Blessed with a mellifluous voice, Vidya has a tendency to hover around the top octaves most of the time, whether it was alapana, niraval or kalpanaswaras. The verses in the mandhara sthayi are hardly heard.
Her presentation of ‘Sogasuga’ in Sriranjani was set in a wonderful tempo that was slightly slower than the normal pace in which the kriti is usually rendered. This enhanced the listening experience. The Suddha Dhanyasi kriti of Diksitar ‘Sri Parthasarathyna Palithosmyaham’ was crisp and well-handled.
She concluded her concert with the Kulasekara Azhwar Thirumozhi, ‘Mannu Pugazh Kosalai’ set in ragamalika. The stanzas set in Brindavana Saranga and Subha Pantuvarali gave the perfect effect of the lullaby.
Bombay Anand on the violin gave the space to exhibit the vocalist’s creativity and added value to the concert. But he tried to pack in as many sancharas he could within a short time in his Purvikalyani solo session and slipped in a few. Kumbakonam Swaminathan played a neat six-minute tani avartanam and rendered a good overall support through the concert.