It was an enjoyable concert by Subha Ganesan when she rendered brigas in sangatis at apt places.
Even when one sings a heavy Kiravani raga followed by a slow-paced Anandabhairavi kriti, the concert could leave a mesmerising effect. This was evident from Subha Ganesan's concert in which she took up Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar's ‘Amba Vani’ in Kiravani, preceded by an elaborate alapana and kalpanaswaras. This was followed by a Kamalamba Navavarana kriti in Anandabhairavi.
While the Kiravani alapana was marked by madhyama kala akara phrases and swift swaras in the line ‘Vara Veena Paani,’ it was a peaceful rendition of ‘Kamalamba Samrakshatu’ set in a right pace that brought out the beauty of Anandabhairavi in full.
The concert began with the Kalyani varnam, ‘Vanajakshi’ in Adi talam, followed by a quick presentation of Tyagaraja's ‘Seethamma Maayamma’ in Vasantha and ‘Manavyalakinchara’ in Nalinakanti, where the brigas in sangatis fell in right quantity at the apt places.
The main raga of the evening was Mohanam. Subha chose to present a lengthy alapana spanning the three octaves at a stretch in some of the phrases. But it meandered in the middle octave mainly. The different facets of the raga were well brought out. It was remarkable that Subha did not repeat any of the phrases during the entire alapana. She rendered Papanasam Sivan's ‘Narayana Divya Namam’ with a clear diction. Subha was at her best on the manodharma in this kriti, both in the niraval in ‘Mara Janakan’ and the kalpanaswaras that followed.
Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan on the violin provided a good support. He played a decent essay of Mohanam and the intellectual exchanges in the kalpanaswara were enjoyable. But, the acoustic balance does matter a lot in any concert and the violin was set to a higher volume. In the swara singing, Subha's upper octave phrases got immersed in the sound of the strings.
Subha's father, V.M. Ganesan, an accomplished mridangam vidwan gave life to the sahityas. He let the vocal brigas to be heard precisely and enhanced the vital points of the song with a sharp chapu. His short tani avartanam kept the impact of the Mohana raga kirtana, by the vocalist lingering. Is that also the reason for Subha to have the Thiruppugazh in Chakaravaham as the only piece after the main item?