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Updated: December 25, 2009 14:55 IST

Lively tempo

P. S. Krishnamurthi
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Hemmige S. Prashanth
Photo: V. Ganesan
The Hindu Hemmige S. Prashanth Photo: V. Ganesan

Hemmige S. Prashanth began his concert with Sadasiva Rao's composition in Harikhambodi and a brisk Rupakam, ‘Saketa Nagara Natha’. Putting his deep, powerful, flexible voice to advantage, he took the stage to a lively tempo by the time he was on the niraval and kalpanaswaras at the charanam lines ‘Ramachandra Bhoopala Raajita Amara Paala’. Augmenting his efforts were the violinist B. Ananthakrishnan and percussionist S. Arvind. The concert turned to the pratimadhyama use with raga Saranga after this. Without any preamble, Prashanth took up Tyagaraja's ‘Nee Vaada, Nee Gaana’ in sprightly Khanda chapu talam. Marked by full-throated emphatic statements, clear diction and impeccable grammar, he had no trouble turning up the wick of activity on the stage. Alapana in Anandabhairavi over the next six minutes led to Syama Sastri's ‘O Jagadamba’ in Misra Chapu. Prashanth's main item was not Anandabhairavi, judging from the short, if exquisite, treatment he gave to the alapana as well as the krti (‘O Jagadamba’). In Sankarabharanam the singer managed to infuse an aura of solemnity from start of the alapana around gandhara. The numerous innovative excursions in this and other passages of his improvisation spoke of rich creative potential.

Every facet of the madhyama of Sankarabharanam, the vibrant nodal swara of the raga, flowed in, adumbrating the raga's laskhanas. Deliberation at the suddha-madhyama with purity, sans admixture of izhaippu, gamaka or briga, presented one face of the raga frequently. A slight fading and faltering on karuvai at a high-pitch was given a timely turn into a flight of pleasant sangatis. After a 10-minute sketching, Prashanth passed the floor to Vijayaraghavan, who complemented the sculpted style of the vocalist with his own characteristic version, rounding edges, to dish out a sweet fare. The alapana was marked with clusters of notes scattered around attractively, but not pointing in any direction. Bestowing attention to developing an overall picture and eschewing a penchant for delectable phrases (which stay in the memory as just some sparkles here and there) could have enhanced this bit. The sancharas at the niraval ‘Badari Vana Moola...’ were original and made an impression, which got somewhat marred by going off-note at ‘Vakra Pidippu’. Considerable sensitivity and restraint was shown by Arvind when accompanying, through careful modulation. The kalpanaswaras demonstrated active imagination. The thani lasting for just over five minutes was strewn with brisk and pleasant phrases. The concert came to a melodious close with Viruttam in Sindhubhairavi followed by a tillana in Kanada, Tisra Adi, leaving the listeners satisfied.


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