Suguna Varadachari's recital spelt patanthara. She has imbibed a set of values that mirrors her association with past-masters and their performing styles. Girish almost involuntarily started Ososi and the exquisite dip he afforded as he sang Kasiki Poyyene spelt immense grandeur and class.
Suguna Varadachari has imbibed a set of values that mirrors her association with past-masters and their performing styles. Her very selection of songs at her Kasturi Srinivasan Hall (Music Academy), recital indicated her vidwat. Three raga alapana-s for Yadukula Khambodi (Ninnusevinchina, Subbaraya Sastri) Simhendra Madyamam (Neekenduku Dayaraadhu, Mysore Vasudevachar) and Madhyamavathi (Palimchu Kamakshi, Syama Sastri) were characterised by a potent mix of all the elements that help the listener visualise the raga. The niravals and kalpanaswaras - with many brief single avarthana cameos - were of a high order.
The other songs Lambodharaya Namasthe (Dikshitar, Varali), Saraseeruhanana Rama (Mukhari, Tyagaraja) and the many-worded Karunakara (Begada-SwatiTirunal) laid stress on patanthara. The end-piece was a Javali in Kapi Verum Vambu Vaarthai composed by Suguna Purushothaman that took its tune from the popular Javali, Parulannamata. If there was coarseness in Suguna's voice and if she encountered some difficulties during her sancharas in the upper octaves, it did not matter.
Hemalatha on the violin was in great form and her alapana for Yadukula Khambhodi drew appreciative nods from the main artiste. Her other alapanas and scholarly manner of playing during niraval and swaraprastharams showed maturity. Mannarkoil Balaji on the mridangam conducted himself as one who understood the songs fully while playing for them and gave a thani that vibrated with glowing korvais and arudhis. Vidya Kalyanaraman provided able vocal support.
Girish, towards the end of his concert almost involuntarily started Ososi and the exquisite dip he afforded as he sang Kasiki Poyyene spelt immense grandeur and class. His earlier songs Veenapusthaka (Vegavahini, Dikshithar) Venkatsaila Vihara (HamirKalyani, Dikshitar) and Satre Vilagi (Poorvikalyani, Gopala Krishna Bharati) were proof of a well cultivated vishranti slant. Amba Paradevathe had kalpana swaras that closely followed the trend of the existing chittaswaram.
Tyagaraja kritis were represented by China Nate Na Chey (Kalanidhi) Emi Neramu (Sankarabharanam) and the alapana for Sankarabharanam had many of those rapturous and delicate ravai sangathis that were rendered with a calm efficiency. Girish understandably has this steadfast devotion to the Brinda-Muktha school and that forms the anchor of his concerts. He should consider including some madhyama kala and dhuritha kala kritis.
V.V. Ravi on the violin produced decent alapanas of Sankarabharanam and Poorvikalyani and accompanied to maintain the pace of the concert. Veteran T. K. Murthy on the mridangam and Anirudh Athreya on the ganjira formed the graceful laya combine to present a thani where leading sollus and korvais of the mridangist were to a great extent satisfactorily worked out by Anirudh.
These two concerts were part of the 33rd Annual celebrations organised by the SSI Golden Jubilee Foundation.