Padma Varma charmed the audience in Palakkad with her chaste concert that gave due prominence to sahitya bhava.

Veena vidushi Padma Varma's chaste concert highlighted the charm and elegance of the veena.

Head of the Department of Veena in RLV College, Tripunithura, Padma was initiated into music by her father, Raghava Varma. She was then trained by stalwarts at Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram. Her skills were polished by violin maestro T.N. Krishnan. She has developed her own ‘gayaki' style, which gives prominence to sahityabhava. The musician was accompanied by Krishnaprakash (mridangam) and E.M. Dipu (ghatam).

Padma began the concert with ‘Sumukha', an Adi tala varnam in raga Saraswati, an apt start for a veena concert. Next came a detailed exposition of Arabhi, followed by Dikshitar's ‘Sri Gananadham', in Misra chappu tala. The composition was adorned with excellent swarakalpana.

‘Divakarathanujam', one of Dikshitar's Navagraha kritis, evoked a contemplative mood. This kriti in praise of Saneeswara was set to Chowka kala.

Tyagaraja's ‘Guruleka' in Khandachappu tala was followed by a dexterous playing of ‘Gourimanohari,' which was studded with laya-laced swara patterns.

Dikshitar's ‘Kamalamba' and ‘Hiranmayeem', Patnam Subramanya Iyer's ‘Raghuvamsa Sudha' and Muthiah Bhagavathar's ‘Vanchathonuna' showcased Padma's ability in making the veena sing.

The highlight of the concert was a bhava-laden Reethigowla alapana that had a well-structured tanam. Subbaraya Sastri's ‘Janani ninnuvina,' which had chittaswara (anupallavi) and chittaswarasahithya (charanam), was impressive. Padma concluded the concert with ‘Bho Sambho' (Revathy), a thillana in Desh and a mangalam on Mookambika Devi in Madhyamavathi.

The concert was organised by Swathi Sangeetha Sabha, Palakkad, at Vithunni Saneeswara temple.

Keywords: Padma Varma