Sriranjani Santhanagopalan retained the core values of Carnatic music during her concert in Palakkad.

Sriranjani Santhanagopalan showed ample proof of her strong classical base in her impressive vocal recital in Palakkad. Well-groomed by her father, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, she has imbibed the core values of classical music.

Strangely enough, deviating from the accepted pattern of commencing the concert with a varnam, she started straightaway with the kriti ‘Saraseeruhasanapriye’, composed by Puliyur Doraiswamy Iyer in Natta. Further, singing elongated kalpana swaras in the very first piece and following it up with a detailed alapana for the second item is not a healthy practice, particularly for a young artiste like Sriranjani. The laudable custom of beginning the concert with a varnam, followed by a few kritis in quick succession (without an alapana) was evolved and successfully adopted by doyens of yesteryear such as Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, to create the ideal concert ambience.

Nevertheless, her creative elaboration of Begada (second item) captured the distinctive fragrance of the raga. Ramaswamy Sivan’s kriti ‘Kadaikkan Vaithennai’ in this raga was a good choice. Her portrayal of the Tyagaraja kritis ‘Raaga Sudhaarasa’ in Andholika and ‘Enthavedukondhu’ in Saraswathimanohari and the energetic kalpana swaras in the latter piece imparted a fine tempo. Reethigowla, an enchanting raga with instant appeal, affords immense aural pleasure. Sriranjani did full justice to it in her superb portrayal. The accent on madhyama and the build-up of ‘akaaras’ and sangathis leading to the ‘shadjam’ deserve special mention. The kriti was ‘Guruvaayurappane Appan’, composed by Ambujam Krishna.

The fast-paced Tyagaraja composition ‘Nenarunchinaanu’ in Maalavi, with a vibrant chittaswaram, was an apt choice preceding the main raga Bhairavi. Strictly adhering to tradition, she presented a wonderful version of the raga, decorating it with a plethora of delectable sangatis. Annaswamy Sastri’s ‘Sri Lalithe Kanchinagar’, a rare kriti in this raga, was rendered with soulful bhava. The orthodox niraval and the well-crafted swara patterns had a good measure of variety and vivacity.

Swati Tirunal’s thillana in Dhanasri ‘Geetha dhuniku’ was full of verve. The Tamil virutham in Hamsaanandhi and Maand, succeeded by Paapanaasam Sivan’s ‘Ramanai Bhajithal’ was rich in aesthetics. The concluding item ‘Niraimathi’ was a song from Thiruppugazh. Kadanad V.K. Haridas (violin), Kaviyur V. Sanalkumar (mridangam) and Kadanad G. Ananthakrishnan (ganjira) provided adequate support. However, their tani was too lengthy. The concert was held under the auspices of the Palghat Fine Arts Society, Tharekkad.