Sowmya’s recital at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha was replete with graceful expressions, quite in keeping with the rasanubhava aspect of Tyagaraja’s kirtanas. The occasion prompted her to over-soften her exposition, which ensured a tranquil atmosphere.
Whether it was brief alapanas or rendering of songs, there was harmony between sound and sensitivity, which was realised with ease in her smooth voice. The clear articulation of the sahityas was the most attractive facet of the recital.
The rasanubhava theme awakened her manodharma instincts and the richness of her interpretation of songs showcased Tyagaraja’s solemnity particularly in ‘Nannu Vidichi Kadalakura’ (Ritigowla) and ‘Inta Sowkhyamanine’ (Kapi).
In the presentation of these two pieces, which are rooted in tradition and filled with spiritual messages, Sowmya conveyed serenity.
The elusive quality of refinement and the beauteous areas in the songs were enjoyable like the play of Rama’s curly locks on his forehead, depicted lovingly by Tyagaraja in ‘Alakalalla Aadagagam’ (Madhyamavati).
The sangati-studded ‘Dorakuna Ituvanti’ (Bilahari) documented the aesthetic aspect of the kirtana and its structure. It showcased Sowmya’s skill at handling the different paces, say in ‘Nannu-Vidichi’ and ‘Inta Sowkhya’ on the one hand and the Bilahari song and ‘Balamu Kulamu Ela Rama Bhakti Karanamu’ (Saveri) on the other.
The way she brought out the rasanubhava served to inform rasikas that Tyagaraja’s music is a world of grace. The brief explanation she gave after each song helped in bringing out the essence of the saint’s compositions and their spirituality.
With emphasis on the presentation, the raga alapanas of Madhyamavati, Kapi, Saveri and Bilahari were exquisitely chiselled in brevity.
The violin support by Narmadha was impressive. Her technique reflected Sowmya’s smooth grace. So were the percussion artists Poongulam Subramanian (mridangam) and K. R. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira). In the tani, they revealed their mettle.