Carnatic vocalist Venkitaramanan delved into the core of various ragas during his recital in Thiruvananthapuram.

The legendary musician M.D. Ramanathan whose unique bass voice lingers in the minds of his ardent fans, was commemorated in an event in the capital city. A short concert by Carnatic singer Venkitaramanan was the highlight of it. Although organising such an event, probably the first of its kind in the capital city, was laudable, it was strange and disappointing that none of the MDR compositions were sung in the concert.

The concert began with the kriti ‘Lambodara’ composed by Muthiah Bhagavathar in Navarasakannada. The singer’s clear and emphatic style was graceful, especially when he outlined the flowery raga. The swara portion also explicitly drew the subtle and aesthetic picture of the scale.

The following Mohanam raga elaboration encapsulated the melodic varieties in the scale. Manjula Rajesh on the violin came up with impressive extempore bowing containing exquisite passages of Mohanam. The kriti was the Tyagaraja composition ‘Evaru’, which had colourful patterns in swarams. The interactive singer then went into the details of Amrithavarshini raga with long phrases adorning the succinct visthara.

The vocalist’s informative session with the audience on the rich history behind each composition and raga, was praiseworthy. The blissful kriti ‘Ananthamruthavarshini’ was a pleasant experience. The singer followed it up with a kriti in Kalyanavasantha set to Khandachapu. The main raga Vachaspathi was delineated with phrases flowing through the key attributes and nuances of the scale. The main kriti ‘Shreenagalingam’, enriched with swarams, was sung with great discipline. The tani by Nanjil Arul on the mridangam, although a brief exercise, was a splendid combination of different mathematical manoeuvres. The singer concluded the concert with Swati compositions. The concert was organised by Navarasam Sangeetha Sabha.