Manimaran’s Purvikalyani alapana was expansive and inspiring.
Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, who is a great composer, belongs to the Sishya parampara of Saint Tyagaraja. Disciple of Patnam Subramanya Iyer, Poochi Iyengar was also an eminent musician and a lakshana vidwan.
V.K. Manimaran in his morning concert at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha rendered Poochi Iyengar’s Purvikalyani kriti, ‘Parama Pavana Rama.’ Making full use of his resonant voice, he offered an expansive and inspiring alapana of this rather delicate raga. In contrast, M.A. Sundaresan (violin) presented a brief, but sweet elucidation. Manimaran offered a lively niraval at the charanam, ‘Kanakambaradhara.’ His concluding swara korvai was splendid. Melakkaveri Balaji (mridangam) and Papanasam Sethuraman (ganjira) presented a charming thani which went well with the composition. There was perfect understanding between them throughout the concert.
Manimaran’s Hindolam alapana had several ornate sancharas and the concluding part in the soulful Mandhra sthayi brought out its very quintessence.
Sundaresan’s delineation was in the typical Parur style. Arunachala Kavirayar’s ‘Ramanukku Mannan’ was the chosen kriti, while kalpanaswaras were at ‘Pattam Katta.’ There was something very attractive about the concluding korvai. Melody, thy name is Manimaran!
Commencing with the Nattakurinji varnam, he rendered Dikshitar’s ‘Gajananayutham’ in Vegavahini. Swaras were at ‘Kunjarabhanjana’ (Madhyama Kala). Koteeswara Iyer’s ‘Arul Seyya’ in Rasikapriya came forth with its intricate sancharas. He rendered ‘Rama Daya Chudave’ of Bhadrachala Ramadas in chaste Dhanyasi. This is a DKJ favourite.
After a brief sketch in Begada, he offered a splendid rendition of ‘Kadaikkan Vaiththennai’ (Misra Chapu) of Ramaswamy Sivan (elder brother of Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer). This kriti has a few original and highly imaginative patterns of musical beauty. The niraval and swaras were at the charanam, ‘Santhatham Pugazhndhu.’ His ‘Niravadhi Sukhada’ (Tyagaraja- Ravichandrika) along with its chittaswara was like the Duranto Express! Flashy to the core. The captivating Andal composition ‘Karpooram Narumo' proved to be a fitting finale.
Voice is her asset
Simhendramadhyamam is an imposing raga, it is as pensive as it is bold. Every facet of this raga is charming. Aishwarya Srinivas, in her afternoon concert at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, succeeded in outlining the raga beautifully in her alapana. She has a sharp voice with a broad range and reach. Shraddha Ravindran, the young and promising violinist, brought out the solid core of the raga through her arresting sancharas, in response. ‘Ninne Nammithinayya’ is a masterpiece of Mysore Vasudevachar in a gorgeous Misra Chapu. Niraval and swaras were at the usual anupallavi, ‘Pannagendra Sayana.’ The glittering thani by the young Madurai B. Sundar was sandwiched between the anupallavi and charanam. He played different nadais in rhythmic cycles.
An RTP in an 80 minute concert might seem difficult. Yet she handled it, albeit a bit hurriedly. The Hindolam pallavi, ‘Neerajakshi Kamakshi’ in Rupaka Talam (Rettai Kalai) had eduppu at the little finger. She later converted it into Adi Tala Tisra Nadai ingeniously using the simple equation 6x4 = 8x3. I wish she had given the brilliant violinist her turn in the tanam and in the various nadais of pallavi. That was certainly a drawback.
Aishwarya commenced her recital with the Kedaragowla varnam, followed by a well-rendered ‘Mayamma’ (Ahiri). Then followed the Tyagaraja kriti in a lovely Nayaki, ‘Nee Bhajanagana.’
She also rendered ‘Yaar Endrennamale’ (Sankarabharanam) of Arunachala Kavirayar. Aishwarya has all the ingredients of a good vocalist. With a bit of fine tuning she will be a sought-after musician in the concert arena.