Dr. Krishna Vageesh has a powerful voice and profound musical insight. That was reflected in his vocal concert. ‘Nadhabrahmam Sankaram Bhavaye’ in royal Khambodi was the pallavi of the RTP which he presented. Dr. Vageesh’s music is steeped in tradition and gleamed with grandeur. Neither the raga alapana nor the tanam were too long. The elegant phrases rolled off with supreme confidence, marking his experience and expertise in dealing with a sturdy raga such as Khambodi. The progress in the upper regions was breathtaking. The music which Krishna Vageesh served had an old world charm; he also presented a couple of his own compositions in ragas Rasika Ranjani (‘Rasika Ranjani Niranjani’) and Suddha Dhanyasi (‘Anjana Nandanam Bhaja Manasa’).
A captivating varnam in Thodi, ‘Guruvayoorappa’, with many interesting swara combinations set the pace for his concert. (Was that also his?) As homage to Bharati,
Vageesh sang ‘Ganapathi Thalai’ with a short prelude of Sri and many strips of kalpanaswaras in the end. Not exactly an alapana, but almost all the kritis were prefaced with a viruttam bringing out the quintessence of the raga
before venturing into the kriti.
Tyagaraja’s ‘Raghu Nandana,’ a rare kriti in raga Suddha Desi, a derivative of Natabhairavi, was included in his repertoire; so also was ‘Velanai Ninai Maname’ of M.M. Dandapani Desikar. An emotionally charged Dhanyasi ended with an Azhwar Pasuram. In his Suddha Dhanyasi number in praise of Hanuman, he aptly chose to go for niraval on the word chanting ‘Rama’ which went well with the devotee on whom he had composed the kriti.
Badrachala Ramadas’ ‘O Rama Nee Nama Enta Ruchi’ set in Poorvikalyani showed a lot of piety. Vageeshs’ booming voice cannot be termed just an attraction but the way he employed it to pack almost all his music with a lot of passion is significant.
Krishnaveni on the violin fully comprehended the style of the senior vocalist and responded with a matching mood and feel in her raga essays, niraval and swaras. The way she handled the rare Rasika Ranjani or the popular Khambodi deserves special appreciation. Prapancham Ravindran (mridangam), Madhu Babu (ghatam) and A.T. Rajaganesh (ganjira) almost soft pedalled through the concert allowing Vageesh’s potent voice to dominate.
A suggestion to Dr. Vageesh: It is good to include rare or new numbers in a concert. But should it not be better if they are judiciously mixed with popularly known compositions of the Trinity? In music, familiarity does not breed contempt but camaraderie.