There was conviction in Prasanna Venkatraman's recital
Post a crisp ‘Janaki Ramana' (Suddha Seemanthini, Tyagaraja), up and coming vocalist Prasanna Venkatraman embarked on delineation of Ritigowla in his concert for the Rama Navami series at Asthika Samajam. The alapana stood out for intricate detailing in the tara sthayi shadja-centric sancharas, which would have gained more lustre and impact had they been conveyed through akara.
V. Sanjeev's exposition on the violin had the ring of solidity with concentration in the madhya sthayi. Both the artists resorted to the vadi-samvadi permutations that beckon so invitingly in this raga, highlighting attractive facets.
Tyagaraja's ‘Dwaitamu Sukhama' took centre stage with concise kizhkala swaras and a nod of recognition to melkala swaras.
The structuring of Janaranjani was sound, with raga identity firmly established through economy of phrasing set off by strategically positioned nagaswaram style prayogas. Offering further contrast was a judicious clutch of quicksilver streaks that flashed through octaves.An easy flow and vitality distinguished the violinist's response. Prasanna's choice of kriti was ‘Smarane Sukhamu' (Tyagaraja) in which leisurely pace and treatment enhanced swanubhava. The essence of Hindolam pervaded the senses in a clearly articulated interpretation of the popular Rama Natakam kriti ‘Ramanukku Mannan Mudi.'
In the main raga Simhendramadhyamam, long-winded passages at the panchama were accessed through akara and built-up impetus.
Spontaneous permutations were grouped in vibrant clusters in the lead up to the tara sthayi shadja. Quick-fire volleys in rapid succession rolled out from the shadja and rishaba suites, while the conclusion in the last segment also drew attention. Sanjeev's statements in the bass carried conviction while panchama-varja phrases added a touch of shimmer.
In ‘Needu Charanamule' much care was lavished on the niraval. If Prasanna could lean towards more frequent usage of open-throated akara phrasing, the move would minimise nasal articulation as well as constricted voice production in the upper octave.
R. Sankaranarayanan's percussive strokes (mridangam) were subdued and his tani in misra chaapu was compact and succinct.