Shankar Ramani has a singular zeal for Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi. Perhaps he doesn’t believe in concluding a concert without one. He presented an RTP in Ranjani. The Raga and Tana were traditional. The Pallavi, ‘Ramachandraswamini Bhaktim Karomi’

in Khanda Jati Matya talam (i.e; 5+2+5). The swaras were in ragamalika, Valachi and Sumanesaranjani. As this critic has mentioned in an earlier review, his control over laya is incredible. Anayampatti A.G. Venkatasubramaniam on the violin succeeded in bringing out the melody.

Shankar started the recital with the Mohanam varnam ‘Ninnukori,’ followed by the Vegavahini piece of Dikshitar, ‘Vinayaka Vighnanaasaka’ in Chakaravaham. The swaraprasthara was absorbing. This was followed by Swati Tirunal’s ‘Sarasaksha’ in Pantuvarali.

Just as in the case of RTP, he has an unbridled enthusiasm for rare ragas and rare kritis. Dikshitar’s ‘Santhanamanjari’ piece commencing with the same word was rendered after a raga alapana. Similarly, Narayana Tirtha’s

Tharangam, ‘Narayanaya Namo Madhavaya’ in Madhyamaraavali in Khanda Chapu was taken up. It has a beautiful chittaswaram. This raga is Kharaharapriya minus Madhyama.

The main piece was ‘Adiki Sukhamu’ in Madhyamavati of Saint Tyagaraja. The raga alapana in all three octaves was exquisite. Niraval and swaras were at ‘Swami Eti Maya, O Rama.’ The thani provided by Kumbakonam K. Ramakrishnan (mridangam) and Nanganallur Swaminathan (ghatam) was of a very high standard. He is undoubtedly a highly accomplished percussionist. What a control over Tala! And what a variety of strokes!

Shankar Ramani rendered a composition of Guru Suraajaananda – ‘Muruganin Maru Peyar Azhagu’ in Behag.

(ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com)

Keywords: Shankar Ramani