Sanjay Subrahmanyan could touch upon some of the out-of-the-ordinary prayogas with élan.
Sanjay Subrahmanyan has achieved fame through his commendable manodharma, his presentation method and the range he always tries to cover notwithstanding the limitations of his vocal prowess. His deliverance always carries conviction and there is a distinctive accent on the passion of the raga and the mood of the kriti.
His concert had the full attendance till the end which is a remarkable achievement for the vocalist.
‘Sarasooda’, the Saveri varnam and ‘Abhimanamen’ in Begada (Patnam Subramania Iyer) with a few slices of swaras made him settle for Abogi alapana. Prolific ingenuity is Sanjay's forte. He could touch upon some of the out-of-the-ordinary prayogas of Abogi even within that short essay. ‘Sabhapathikku Veru Deivam’ of Gopalakrishna Bharati was his preference; the sangatis and the inflections he attached to the word ‘Kripanidhi’ showed his predilection for raga bhava and lyrical importance.
After several cycles of swara add-ons, he gave a precise preface in Ahiri for ‘Deena Rakshaka’ of Tyagaraja, a composition indeed less in circulation. Two main fares followed consecutively; the elaborate exercise in Sankarabharanam and the Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Kalyanavasantham.
Sankarabharanam was initially packed with the full throated expressions and fine motifs. It later landed on curt and short staccato touches towards the end. The weighty ‘Dakshinamurte’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar appended with niraval on the line ‘Sukhatara’ with streams of swarakalpanas.
The Kalyanavasantham elaboration put forth some exotic passages and also some exaggerated ones. The tanam once again went on similar lines. The pallavi ‘Thiru Muruga Gurupara’ set in Adi talam two kalai walked through different modes with ending swara trails on Behag, Darbari Kanada and back to Kalyanavasantham.
Nagai Muralidharan's accompaniment on the violin was substantial as he also reciprocated and represented the ragas and swaras to suit the expectations of the vocalist. The combination of Mannargudi Eswaran (mridangam) and K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira) was mild for the most part but turned robust during the thani.
Sanjay exerts himself a lot to offer the best of music to his rasikas, no doubt. The marathon Season and the successive concerts definitely take toll on the performers. An impartial listener could feel the palpable macro to micro slips in the sruti or swarasthanas or in rhythmic ventures. Here, popularity helps; for the ardent admirers, the average audience who come to hear their favourite singer, these hardly matter; but that faith also ethically adds an additional accountability on the performer.