Rare kritis and unusual swara twists made for happy listening.

Pantula Rama began with Syama Sastri’s ‘Sankari Sankuru’ in Saveri with niraval at ‘Shyamakrishnasodari,’ followed by a brief spell of swaras. It was a nice change to listen to the alapana of Devagandari, which was quite well done, except in between, when she strayed a little. The kriti was ‘Namoralakimpa’.

A quick ‘Palukavademira’ in Devamanohari served as a break. It was a long winding essay of Rishabhapriya by Rama, which kept people guessing for a while. M.S.N. Murthy’s essay on the violin was laudable.

It was quite a rare kriti ‘Mahatmulae’ of Mysore Vasudevachar that Rama chose to sing in this raga with swaras for the pallavi.

The main raga was Kharaharapriya prefixing ‘Chakkaniraja margamu.’ It was rather attractive when she sang in the lower levels. The niraval of ‘Sri Saketharamuni’ followed by swaras was better than the alapana.

As always, J. Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and Dr. Karthick on the ghatam almost ‘sang’ with their instruments and presented a rather short thani. The programme concluded with ‘Chelinenetlu’ in Paras and the thillana in Kanada.

R. Raghavendra

‘Sumasayaka’ in Kapi was the first song in the concert of R. Raghavendra, after which came ‘Senapathe’ in Gowla. The essay of Lathangi, though brief, was quite interesting; the chosen song was ‘Aparadamula’ of Patnam Subramania Iyer. The niraval and swara for ‘Kripajesina’ as well as the kriti itself were rendered in a rather hurried pace.

Again, the alapana of Sriranjani too was fine but rather fast. It was well supported by M. Vijay on the violin. After a long time, one could listen to ‘Ini Oru Kanam’ in that raga, as also the following ‘Gana Amuda Paanam’ in Jothiswaroopini of Koteeswara Iyer.

The main item was Bilahari. Its elaboration was quite appealing when rendered in vilamba kala and at a lower octave. The same could be said about Vijay’s effort. On the whole it was an excellent attempt.

Dikshitar’s ‘Kamakshi Varalakshmi’ was sung well with a short niraval at ‘Kamakale’ with kalpanaswaras. When Raghavendra sings in tara sthayi, the decibel level rises. In this segment, Vijay’s effort was more impressive. The thani by Thanjavur Praveen Kumar was enjoyable, as was his percussion support through the concert.