Neelambari was lilting and Saveri, full of aesthetic touches.
Sumitra Nitin's selection of items for the afternoon concert showed that she had done her home work well. She presented Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar's composition ‘Lambodara sodara’ set in Sankeerna chapu tala and Syama Sastri's less heard Neelambari kriti ‘Brovavamma’ among the major songs in the concert.
She took up Muthuswami Dikshitar's ‘Sri Rajagopalabala’ in Saveri as the main item, which is again not often heard these days. A composition of Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar, ‘Sivatraya mahaganapatim’ is another rare one.
The lilting Neelambari was the highlight of the day though Sumitra's Saveri was rich in aesthetics. Preceded by a slokam, the rendition of the Neelambari kriti was full of poise in chowka kalam, invoking the lullaby mood. The pleasing undulations added beauty to the raga.
Tyagaraja's ‘Chentane sada’ in Kuntalavarali with chittaswarams at the right pace and with measured swirls was neatly positioned before the extensive alapana of Saveri. Explorative phrases and gradual progressions during the alapana and in the niraval at ‘Dheeragraganya’ were impressive. The plain notes, gliding phrases, the swift moves, brigas, all fell in the right places.
Anand Viswanathan's versions of Saveri and Neelambari were admirable. R.S.R. Srikanth provided a soft and subtle mridangam support, but the kalapramana gradually became pacy and the final round of syllables was hurried.
For the tukkada sessions, Sumitra chose Guru Surajananda's ‘Muruganin marupeyar azhagu’ (Behag) and Rajee Krishnan's ‘Indha pillai enna seyyum’ (Atana). Save for a few slips from sruti, Sumitra's was a pleasing concert.