Chandanabala Kalyan displayed great skill and imagination at her recent concert
Yuva Chetana - 2, a three-day music festival for young musicians accompanied by senior artistes organised by Suswaralaya College of Music, Bangalore, began with a vocal recital by Chandanabala Kalyan. Charulatha Ramanujam (violin), Nanjil A.R. Arul (mridanga) and Udupi Sridhar (ghata) were the accompanists for the evening.
The concert began with a sedately paced, yet highly ornate rendering of “Kamakshi”, the Shyama Shastri swarajathi set to Bhairavi raga and mishra chapu thala, incorporating some unusual touches around notes such as the madhyama and nishada. A sketch of Begada prefaced Muthuswami Deekshithar’s “Vallabha Nayakasya” in rupaka thala, supplemented with fluent kalpana swaras that reflected the brightness and beauty of both raga and krithi. A compact alapana of Ramamanohari was followed by the Thyagaraja krithi “Seetha Manohara” in adi thala sung in a vibrant tempo and suffixed with a beautiful neraval that stayed true to the gait of the krithi, and a spate of kalpana swaras replete with melodic patterns.
Kamboji was taken up next for a comprehensive alapana that enshrined the lilting classicism and immense scope of the raga. While the sancharas around the panchama and dhaivatha were finely nuanced, those in the thara sthayi, especially around the gandhara were noteworthy for their clarity and strength. The fluidity and spontaneity of the exercise and the many brigha-oriented passages were augmented by the richness, flexibility and range of the artiste’s voice. Longer pauses and a slower and more meditative approach at certain junctures would, however, have enhanced the overall appeal of the exercise. The Thyagaraja composition ‘Evari Maata’ in adi thala was adorned with a sumptuous neraval at ‘Bhaktha Paradheenudanuchu’ that included several imaginative flourishes and kalpana swaras in two speeds, attesting to great technical skill and laya control. The concluding part featured several rounds of diminishing thala cycles around the thara sthayi shadja, a few of which had intricate rhythmic patterns, and was succeeded by a fairly elaborate thani avarthana.
A compact raga thana pallavi in Charukeshi raga in khanda jathi thriputa thala and an abhang brought the performance to a close. Superb technical and improvisational expertise was evident in the violin accompaniment, which stayed true to the lead artiste’s style and intent at all times. Exemplary percussion support, co-ordination and anticipation contributed significantly to the success of the evening. The Festival also included vocal concerts by the Bangalore Brothers M.B. Hariharan and S. Ashok, Vrinda Acharya and a veena recital by Shubha Santhosh.