Children from Chennai’s Issai Mazhalai group enthralled the Delhi audience with their Carnatic music recitals

They came, performed and conquered. Under the aegis of Delhi Tamil Sangam, Chennai-based children from ‘Abaswaram’ Ramjhi’s Issai Mazhalai gave a good account of their musical talents in two delightful Carnatic music concerts, one flute and another vocal, this past weekend.

N. Vishweshwar began his flute concert confidently, with an Adi tala varnam in raga Kalyani. Muttuswami Dikshitar’s popular “Vatapi Ganapatim” in raga Hamsadhwani was his next item. The kalpana swaras towards the end were indicative of his creative talents. Papanasm Sivan’s “Paratpara Parameswara” in raga Vachaspati was neatly handled. As his main item, Vishweshwar took up yet another of Sivan’s compositions, “Kapali” in raga Mohanam. He played a detailed raga alapana bringing its features to the fore. Kalpana swaras and the finishing korvai were delightful too. The rich tonal quality and clarity of notes was a remarkable feature of Vishweshwar’s playing. Vishweshwar was ably assisted by children almost his age — in the 15-16 age group — namely Raghavasimhan on the violin, Tirucheri R. Kaushik on the mridangam and Shrisainath on the ghatam.

In another concert in this programme, G. Abilash exhibited incredible maturity, whether in handling the kalpita music (music as taught) or manodharma music (creative aspects like raga alapana and kalpanaswaras, though he did not take up neraval) during his vocal recital. Exhibiting a smiling disposition, Abilash dashed off straight away with Gopalakrishna Bharati’s “Sivaloka nadanai” in raga Mayamalavagowla. His kalpana swaras flowed richly. So was the case in the subsequent song, Periaswami Tooran’s “Taaye Tripurasundari” in raga Suddha Saveri.

As his main presentation, Abilash took up Sivan’s “Unnai allal” in raga Kalyani, which was preceded by a fine delineation of the raga. The ragamalika viruttams in ragas Saveri, Sahana, Sindhubhairavi and Behag before singing Gopalakrishna Bharati’s “Irakkam varamal” were another remarkable feature of this concert.

S. Sriram on the violin, R. Akshayram on the mridangam and S. Krishna on the ghatam provided excellent support. The youngsters showed team spirit, each not only contributing significantly to the concert outcome, but also appreciating the other whenever one produced an exhilarating phrase.

Under the ‘Isai Mazhalai’, children from the age of 4 to 12 years are trained to perform full-fledged concerts professionally. Delhi Tamil Sangam certainly deserves credit for featuring these children for the first time in the Capital. Memories of the performances would will linger on.