Modumudi Sudhakar's recital was replete with popular kritis and ragas.
Some musicians have the art of drawing in the audience minutes into their concert; some warm up after considerable time. Modumudi Sudhakar's recital fell into the second category.
It was replete with popular kritis and ragas with varied composers and talams. Yet there was something missing and as we waited patiently for that magic to happen, going by his reputation as a singer. Well it did with the ragam, tanam, pallavi in Karaharapriya. An in-depth alapana set the mood with the tanam providing the stimulus. The audience wallowed in the raga vistaram relishing the cadence of what followed and the pallavi was a carefully crafted piece in praise of the Paramacharya of Kanchi, in keeping with the occasion of his jayanthi celebrations. Kanchi paramacharya devam Chandrasekharam… scaled the three octaves steadily with Sudhakar exhibiting his full command over the medium. The improvisation embellished the pallavi in its full potency.
The ragamalika that followed was also perfect. The centrepiece being the highlight of this recital, the others need to be dealt in order of merit. The next best that happened was the Anandabhairavi swarajati of Shyama Sastri: Mari vere gati yevaramma…. The brief alapana touched the fringes of this ragam while the sangathees were well laid out. The swaram was touching at the core of one's being, so typical of a Shyama Sastri lyric! Burra Sriram enriched the ragam with his adroit hands on the mridangam, while Shyam Kumar on the kanjira made his presence felt.
The Malavi poured forth like a gushing river with Nenarunchinanu… with its rapid action chittaswaram that was reeled out effortlessly by the vocalist.
The Panthuvarali was another favourite with many among the audience as it is a popular piece. Ennaganu Rama bhajana (Bhadrachala Ramadas) began in a rather lukewarm manner but gained momentum with the neraval at Sannuthinchi Sri Rama… and manodharma later which was indeed praiseworthy.
The alapana for Panthuvarali nor Bilahari (earlier) for that matter was all that impressive, considering the innate sweetness and richness of these two ragas respectively. The Bilahari alapana was way too brief and the Paridhanamicchithe palinthuvemo… a lovely kriti did not get its rightful treatment at the hands of a maestro like Sudhakar. The reeling out of the swaras was just that and was way too far in lending a depth to the kriti or the ragam.
Another hot favourite with women in particular was the Sarasi janabha sodhari… in Nagagandhari (Dikshitar) which did not make a dent on the sensitivities. The Mohanakalyani, Sangeetha samrajya sancharini… a Sanskrit composition rich in content but lacking the depth of a Dikshitar or Thyaraja, seemed a light, semi-classical rendition with the lyric also in the same mould. The opening with Nata ragam and a Pancharatna kriti-Jagadhananda karaka… was the usual rendition sans any frills or laces.
It must be mentioned that never did a violinist draw so much attention by the sheer beauty of swara play or replay as the case may be, as in this concert. Dinakar excelled in his accompaniment with his dexterous bowing style and clarity of rendition.
The concert was organised by Sri Chandrasekharendra Sangeetha Educational Society at Keyes High School.