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Updated: October 28, 2010 21:12 IST

Grand finale to a musical celebration

Harish Bal
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Sreevalson Menon Photo:B. Jothi Ramalingam
THE HINDU Sreevalson Menon Photo:B. Jothi Ramalingam

The soothing tenor of Sreevalsan J. Menon's voice enhanced the contemplative style of his rendering

Changampuzha's birth centenary was observed in a grand manner at Edapally, featuring classical music concerts on all nine days of Navarathri.

Sreevalsan J. Menon's Carnatic vocal concert on the final day was the grand finale of the fete. It was a tremendous success, owing to its melodic appeal and charm of the madhyamakala. His flawless rendition of Vasantha raga varnam ‘Ninnukori' in Adi tala gave listeners a hint of the treat that was to follow. A packed mukthaippu and korvais marked the rendition of Dikshithar's Shanmukhapriya kriti ‘Sidhivinayakam.' Sama raga, with its poignant feel, was enhanced with swaras in sarvalaghu as Sreevalsan sang ‘Annapoorne vishalakshi.' He chose to keep the Todi alapana terse and succinct. The Tyagaraja composition ‘Endukku dayaradura' was enriched with an engaging niraval.

More than the alaapanas, the vocalist focussed on swara renditions, which seemed to be a spontaneous expression of his manodharma. The jhanda passages in Todi raga, usages eschewing the panchama, and his musical exchanges with violinist Edapally Ajith had the listerners in raptures.

Usually such situations lead to chaos in rhythm, but this was prevented on account of the rhythmic excellence of Palakkad Mahesh Kumar on the mridangam. After the rarely heard ‘Panchashatpeetha roopini' in Karnataka Devagandhari (Abheri), the vocalist unfurled raga Nattakurinji. The raga bhava was strong in expression and Sreevalsan could bring out the full bloom of the raga in clear definite phrases.

With élan

‘Mayamma,' a vilamba kala composition by Shyama Sastri, was sung with elan and the vocalist's swara singing was slower and more contemplative. He dwelled on the jeeva swara ‘madhyama' and sang various permutations of complex patterns.

The taniavarthanam saw Mahesh Kumar using several tonalities. Transition to the shorter jathis was abrupt as he played in tandem with Mangad Pramod on the ghatam. However, there was slight variations in kalapramana at the end points. Sreevalsan sang the popular Ranjani ragamalika made popular by his guru, NeyyatinkaraVasudevan. This featured ragas Ranjani, Sriranjani, Megharanjani and Janaranjani. ‘Aliveni Enthu Cheyvu,' the peppy ‘Appane Ayyapane' in Nadanamakriya and ‘Karpagame' in Madhyamavati were the closing pieces.

The event was organised jointly by Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram, Edapally Sangeetha Sangeetha Sadas and Avishkar.

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