Shreya Devnath and Narayanan’s commitment to music came to the fore in their delineations.

There is a significant difference between the violin solo of Shreya Devnath a few years ago and now. When instrumentalists practice and gain experience, they invariably become tempted to profligate. But Shreya comes from the school of high discipline. It was evidenced through her greater consideration in playing and exploring the beauty and nuances of the ragas and kritis. Her raga delineations of Suddha Dhanyasi (‘Subrahmanyena’ of Dikshitar) and Khambodi (‘O Rangasayee’ of Tyagaraja) were replete with powerful yet poignant phrases and stops.

The swaras she had appended for ‘Ninnunera Namminanu’ in Pantuvarali (Tyagaraja), ‘Subrahmanyena’ and the streams that flowed for ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’ in Tyagaraja’s oeuvre were delightfully sequenced. The finale was gracefully built and rounded off.

A knowing smile on her face, an appreciative nod to the percussionists and the attentive bowing during fast swara passages showcased the musically matured Shreya Devnath throughout the concert. A western flavoured Lalgudi Jayaraman’s Garudadhwani varnam at the start and the lilting ragamalika of Bharatiyar ‘Muruga Muruga’ at the end punctuated the concert’s start and finish. M.S. Venkata Subramanian on the mridangam and Harihara Subramaniam on the ghatam extended soft and soothing support.

Incidentally, it was Shreya Devnath who accompanied Subiksha Rangarajan on the violin in her concert for SAFE (FR4, 13/12/2013). The name has been wrongly mentioned as Sreya Madhuvanth. The error is regretted.

A. Narayanan is yet another student from the school of Lalgudi. He is being guided by S.P. Ramh. Narayanan’s voice carries no special charm but his commitment could be gauged in his renditions. Lalgudi’s ‘Devar Munivar’ varnam in Shanmukhapriya was the opening piece. He pepped up the proceedings with ‘Vara Vallabha’ in Hamsadhwani (GNB), ‘Sogasuga’ (Tyagaraja) in Sriranjani and he settled on the alapana of Purvikalyani.

New-gen male singers invariably exhibit a tendency for grandiosity in creativity for reasons best known. Narayanan is no exception. Though he provided good and nourishing phrases in his exercises, showed a tendency to overshoot through loud and laboured tours. Luckily, it was, indeed, a wise proposition for him to just stop with the niraval in the Purvikalyani-Syama Sastri kriti ‘Ninnu Vina.’ The main Kapi raga essay, because of its vakra and alien swara character, offered abundant scope for him to indulge in many subtle, sweet to showy passages. His choice here went for Tyagaraja’s ‘Intha Sowkya.’

Narayanan’s accompanists were also enthusiastic. Chidambaram G. Badrinath on the violin showed equal modesty and flamboyancy while Thiruvidaimarudur S. Sankaran and H. Prasanna on the mridangam and ghatam were a tad over active.