Sreeranjini Santhanagopalan and Prashanth Iyengar impressed with their recitals in Kochi.

Sreeranjani Santhanagopalan and veena artiste Prashanth Iyengar performed in Kochi in connection with Tyagaraja Day celebrations. As a welcome change, both the artistes restrained from packing their concerts with too many songs, and did full justice to the few items that were presented in detail.

Sreeranjani presented a volley of kalpanaswaras for ‘Nadasudharasambilanu’ in raga Arabhi with the right spacing, thereby not taxing the audience much. Her voice is at once delicate and high pitched.

However, she has a dynamic and active style of singing that kept percussionists Nanjil Arul (mridangam) and Thrikkakara Shantaram (ganjira) on their toes while playing rhythmic phrases in tandem with her singing. In her second main raga of the evening, Mukhari, Sreeranjani remained on the first four notes for quite long to establish the bhava and then presented an alapana that arose from a fertile imagination and followed it up an arresting delineation. She presented the profoundly moving kriti ‘Karu Baru’ to telling effect.

There was ample variety in her Kalyani alaapana. There were minor hitches where she gathered herself quickly but these were all part of the larger creative process, which she carried off remarkably well.

The fast-paced sancharas were marked with clarity and Sampath put up a crackling good show in his follow up on the violin. The throw and power of Sreeranjani’s voice in her higher octave, especially as it touched the panchama, was breathtakingly admirable. ‘Nidhichala sukhama’ was the kriti rendered.

For niraval, she selected ‘Mamatabandhanayuta’ and took liberties with the short cycle of Misra chapu to present variations of even single words separately. ‘Samajavaragamana’ and ‘Ragasudharasa panamu jesi’ in Hindolam and Andolika respectively, were her selections for the last phase of the concert.

Prashanth Iyengar charmed as much with his veena music as with his traditional attire complete with a ‘namam’. After the Bhairavi ata tala varnam ‘Viriboni’, he painted the quaint beauty of Kambitha gamakas in his presentation of Kanakangi and the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Sreegananatham Bhajamyaham’. In small simple units, he sketched the picture of Saramathi raga before proceeding for a contemplative rendition of ‘Mokshamu galada’.

After giving an introduction to raga Hamsanadam, the artiste said he would be presenting the raga using Shatshruthi rishabham, as it was originally meant to be. He dexterously presented the tanam in quick sancharas to quickly follow it with ‘Bantureeti kolu’. As the decibels rose, the bustle of swaras offered many a thrilling variation.

After a brisk taniavarthanam from Balakrishna Kamath on the mridangam and Mangad Pramod on the ghatam, Prashanth presented ‘Jagadodharana’ in Kapi, after singing it in the high pitch of the veena, and a thillana in Behag. Tyagaraja Day was organised by Kerala Fine Arts Society.