Geetha Rajasekhar had the audience spellbound with a rocking Keeravani. This disciple of D. K. Pattammal has a clear, ringing voice which is accommodative of the staccato brigas that she is fond of splashing about. The alapana seared through the hall like a shot and, despite the speed, did not lack the emotive appeal.
However, one is constrained to point out a minor shortcoming - the alapana contained some signature phrases of Simhendramadhyamam in the upper notes. It is difficult to countenance the argument that the two ragas have notes all but 'ma' in common, for it is possible to sing Keeravani without a whiff of Simhendramadhyamam -- as indeed was demonstrated by the violinist, M. A. Krishnaswamy. But this purely technical detail did nothing to rob the beauty of the raga rendition.
Tyagaraja's ‘Kalikiyunte Kada’ followed, evoking too much of a déjà vu. It is a great composition, but has, over the years, been milked sufficiently for its value so much so that not even a singer as talented as Geetha could extract an element of novelty out of it.
Earlier, the vocalist sang a neat Abhogi alapana and presented Papanasam Sivan's ‘Nekkurugi’ with scintillating swaras. She also presented Syama Sastri's ‘Virana’ in Kalyani, again with some enchanting swaras. Neyveli Skandasubramanian on the mridangam and H. Sivaramakrishnan on the ghatam provided adequate support.
The main piece came an hour and a quarter after the start of the concert, raising expectations of a RTP. But it wound up soon after. That a Carnatic music concert of a mature musician should last less than two hours is, to say the least, sacrilegious.