Friday Review » Music

Updated: January 12, 2012 17:13 IST

Intriguing blend of force and finesse

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ADMIRABLE STAMINA: Amruta Sankaranarayanan Photo: K. Pichumani
ADMIRABLE STAMINA: Amruta Sankaranarayanan Photo: K. Pichumani

Amruta Sankaranarayanan's unique style bears a strong resemblance to her father's.

“That was a wonderful flow of music.... never let anyone tell you to moderate your style!” --  weighty words from Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy, the well-known patron-connoisseur of the performing arts, which conveyed her admiration for young vocalist Amruta Sankaranarayanan, in her short speech, towards the conclusion of the latter's vocal recital at the YGP auditorium, at the sabha's Silver Jubilee music festival.

Amruta, the daughter and disciple of maestro T.V. Sankaranarayanan, has assimilated her father's unique style of singing, which is an intriguing blend of force and finesse.  She possesses one of the most powerful voices in Carnatic music I've heard in the course of more than 50 years of earnest listening;  and her apparently unlimited stamina enables her to remain quite fresh even after a couple of hours of highly energetic singing.  

These, of course, are traits which may prima facie call for moderation in the case of a feminine vocalist. Amruta is perfectly conscious of the potential risk of aggressiveness, and in  the past few years she has achieved a fine balance between power and delicacy, just like her father had done early in his career. 

And since her imagination runs more or less on the same lines as her guru's, it is hardly surprising that there's such a close resemblance to his fluent style.    

Moreover, there's a certain subtle element in Amruta's rendering of raga alapanas, which enables her to perceive the melodic patterns from rather unusual angles.

The highlights of the concert were Dikishitar's ‘Tyagaraajaaya Namaste' in Begada, and St. Tyagaraja's evergreen ‘Sakkani Rajamaargamulu,' in Karaharapriya.  A vigorous finish to the fine recital was provided by Gopalakrishna Bharati's ‘Aadum Chidambaramo' in Behag. 

Violinist Padma Shankar was in admirable form, as were the percussionists Neyveli Skandasubramanian and S. Venkataramanan. 


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