Raji Gopalakrishnan offered an enjoyable bouquet of kritis.
With her mesmerising voice, Raji Gopalakrishanan commenced her concert, Vani Mahal Mini Hall, with Mohana varnam, ‘Ninnukori.’ From the beginning to the end, whatever she sang came out effortlessly.
Syama Sastri’s ‘Pahimam Sri Raja Rajeswari,’ a very rarely heard kriti in Nattai had interesting swaraprastara at ‘Sarasapada Yugale,’ with the violin and percussion lending good support with enthusiastic strokes.
This was followed by the majestic ‘Sundari Ni Telusukonti’ (makes sense to start that way) in Suddha Saveri rendered with the tempo intact, and the swara segment, with lots of jandai, had good kuraippu and teermanam at ‘Rajita Maniganabhushani.’
Raji’s raga alapana of Hindolam, which had a very casual and soothing approach with explicit brigas, was a moving rendition. The whole auditorium was reverberating with the waves of Hindolam. She did full justice to Papanasam Sivan’s beautiful kriti, ‘Ma Ramanan.’ ‘Raja Raja Radhite’ in Niroshta by Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar was a fast paced prelude to the main raga Kalyani. The raga alapana was aesthetically built up and was a very exhaustive exercise, without repetition. There was tranquillity in the way she presented it, and was also suggestive of the kriti to follow. Dikshitar’s ‘Bhajare Re Chitta was presented with all its grandeur and, a fitting niraval and swaraprastaram with interesting patterns at ‘Devim Saktibhijodbhava.’ She gave an opportunity to her disciple in niraval and kalpanaswaram. Dr. R. Hemalatha’s exposition of the ragas, on the violin, showed that she was not at her best that day. The thani by Melakkaveri Balaji on the mridangam and G. Ramachandran on the Ghatam was spirited.
Raji concluded her concert with Gopala Krishna Bharati’s ‘Idhuthano Tillaisthalam’ in Behag, preceded by ‘Pal Ninainduttum’ sung in Sahana and Behag, with the violinist following very well. Though Raji hasn’t got the well deserved recognition and a better slot, one feels happy that the venue was filled with genuine rasikas who stayed back to congratulate the artist.