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Friday Review » Music

Updated: January 6, 2010 16:57 IST

Promising start

Bala Shankar
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Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan.
Photo: S. Thanthoni
The Hindu Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan. Photo: S. Thanthoni

Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan stuck to familiar ragas and kritis of his illustrious predecessors.

Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan has big boots to fill. The son of TVS and grandnephew of Madurai Mani Iyer has the responsibility to carry forward one of the popular concert styles of Carnatic music and therefore, comparisons are inevitable. The early signs are positive.

Mahadevan stuck to the familiar track (this is not compulsory, though) of his illustrious predecessors – the choice of ragams, raga alapanas and the swara korvais all flowed from the bani.

Mahadevan's main elaborations were Saranga, Mohana Kalyani and Kharaharapriya. While Saranga promised much with no significant impression, Kharaharapriya was an elegant effort with a lot of typical TVS phrases. Mahadevan's fast sangatis in Mohana Kalyani were impressive, underlining his competence. The kritis were, ‘Entha Bhagyamu’ , ‘Saeve Srikantham’ (Swati Tirunal) and ‘Rama Neeyeda’.

Mahadevan's voice is silky smooth and the reach is excellent but he fails to make use of this for sancharas either in the raga alapanas or niravals. He appeared to hold something back and looked short of confidence. The sangatis lacked punch, as Mahadevan's voice modulations were to the minimum. He was in full flow in the swara korvais, the kuraippu and the missing voice exploits suddenly showed up. He has to use his best suite more confidently and with good effect. In between the main songs, ‘Kamalamba’ (Ananda Bhairavi, Dikshitar) came and went like a whimper. This was a missed opportunity to showcase vilamba kala expertise.

Mysore Srikanth is a talented violinist and played out a Kharaharapriya raga alapana full of character and polish. While he lent sowkhyam to the concert, the same cannot be said of Tiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam, especially considering the soft tone of the vocalist. The ghatam vidwan was mostly passive.


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