Combining popular and rare kritis made for some happy listening.
The flute concert by veteran T.S. Sankaran and his grandson/disciple Jayanth was, as usual, classically oriented and tonally appealing. After the Nattakurinji varnam came ‘Gajananayutham’ in Chakravakam with swaras by Jayanth; some of the prayogams were inescapably flute Mali.
‘Telisiramachintana’ in Poornachandrika, not often heard these days, had interesting ‘nadai’ changes in the chittaswara segment. One could not but help exclaim “Vow!” for Jayanth’s essay of Pantuvarali. Nagai Sriram’s version on the violin was equally good. In fact throughout the concert he proved equal to the flute duo in all the aspects.
‘Ninnenera Nammi’ had niraval and swaras by Jayanth, which were also interesting. After ‘Bhogeendrasayinam’ in Kuntalavarali and the Kannadagowla kriti, ‘Sogasu Choodatharama,’ with brief introductory phrases of the raga and later attractive swaras by Jayanth, the main raga Thodi was taken up.
A chaste exposition of the raga was rendered by Sankaran, followed by the younger artist, who was equally good. When he plays, the sound of the flute gets a sense of pervading the atmosphere.
Sriram’s effort was awesome. The song was Tyagaraja’s ‘Kaddanuvariki’; after rendering it with traditional sangatis, the swaraprasthara by the three instrumentalists was excellent, each seemingly challenging the other.
Mridangam support was by Trichur Narenderan and ganjira by Venkatramanan. During their thani, Narendran’s playing reminded one of his Guru Palghat Raghu. Venkatramanan followed his tisra nadai and its faster tempo resulting in sankeernam. The recital concluded with the Javali ‘Apadurku’ in Khamas.
The most commendable aspect of the vocal concert by Sathur Sisters - Bhuavana and Lalitha was their neat rendering of kritis without unnecessary sangatis. The songs chosen were those not heard often in the concert circuit.
Beginning with ‘Hara Hara Siva Sankara’ in Nattai (Gopalakrishna Bharathi), they moved to Syama Sastri’s ‘Parakela’ in Kedaragowla. A decent raga essay of Dhanyasi by Bhuvana was prefixed to ‘Paruvam Parkka Nyayama’ with swaras for the pallavi. Then came an appealing Devagandhari kriti of Dikshitar, ‘Kshithijaramanam’.
The main raga, Kalyani, was presented by Lalitha; except for occasional innovative touches, it was a standard fare. The effort by violinist K.J. Dileep was better; he did quite well overall; this young artist could be graduated to better slots. The song chosen in Kalyani was Tyagaraja’s ‘Sive Pahimam’ which was rendered with niraval and swaras. Were the swaras really ‘kalpana’?
The mridangam artist Sri Ganesh provided good support to the sisters as well as an enjoyable thani. After the tarangam ‘Srinilayam’ in Kapi, the concert concluded with Maund thillana.
Shradha Mohan has a good voice and she does not rush through the ragas or songs as many youngsters tend to do. She took her time to develop the ragas and niraval, in fact, a little too much in proportion to the allotted duration of the concert, that the tukkada became a victim.
Also a quick item in between would have made the concert a little more attractive, instead of singing everything in a slow tempo. After the varnam, Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Lambodaramava’ in Khambodi had lengthy niraval of ‘Surabhoosura’ followed by swaras.
The somewhat long elaboration of Dhanyasi was quite impressive, though repetition of prayogams could have been avoided. Dikshitar’s ‘Mayuranatham’ was rendered in a balanced pace. The main raga was Kharaharapriya which was well developed by Shradha and K.P. Nandini on the violin. ‘Rama Ni Samana’ had all the usual sangatis and the pallavi was taken for niraval and swaras; she could at least have shortened these. N.C. Bharadwaj on the mridangam provided good support throughout and the concert ended with his spirited thani.
The chitravina concert by Vishaal Sapuram was quite lively. He began with ‘Mahaganapatim’ in Nattai. A brief essay of Atana was prefixed for ‘Bhajanaseya’ of Tyagaraja. His elaborations of Saveri and later the main raga Shanmukhapriya were indeed commendable. The effort of Pappu Gyandev on the violin was passable. The Saveri kriti ‘Muruga Muruga’ by Periasami Thooran had niraval and swarams. The Palahamsa composition of Oothukadu Venkatakavi, ‘Neelamohitaramani,’ came before ‘Mariveradikkevarayya’ in Shanmukhapriya. The swaras, presented within a short time span, were good, as was the thani by Karthik Narayanan on the mridangam. The final item was Ravikiran’s thillana in Bindumalini.
The first song ‘Gajavadana’ in Sriranjani in N.S. Aruna’s recital had lively swaras. After a reasonably well rendered ‘Muruga Muruga’ in Saveri came ‘Ni Dayarada’ in Vasanthabhairavi with a brief alapana. Wonder if Lord Rama would offer ‘daya’ if asked in such a demanding manner! Unnecessary flourishes and sangatis marred whatever beauty was left of the kriti; the so-called swarakalpana seemed like an attempt to ‘show off’.
The elaboration of Kalyani was quite impressive though there were some cinematic phrases; some such ideas towards the end made the alapana go awry.
The essay on the violin by Priyamvada was more on the classical line. In the Tygaraja Kriti ‘Ethavunara,’ Aruna attempted niraval at ‘Sri Garudaku’; the adventurous attempt took its toll on the whole effort to some extent. The swaras, however, had a few attractive matrices. The thani by Kirthivasan was passable. Unfortunately, both the vocalist and the violinist were at a loss as to when he was going to conclude it, since the mohara was not quite clear! The finale was ‘Enna Thavam’ in Kapi.