Kartik Fine Arts
Kuldeep Pai’s expansive delineation of raga Bhavapriya with consummate ease, made the audience sit up. The violinist, V. Suresh Babu, gave a short sketch of the raga. The kriti that followed was Tyagaraja’s ‘Sri Kanta,’ sung beautifully. The kalpanaswarams were inspired, and there was commendable support from the violin and percussion artists.
Earlier M. Kuldeep Pai opened the concert with Vasantha varnam, ‘Ninnukori,’ presenting two speeds, (better control over tempo in chowka kalam is necessary). He then went on to sing Dikshitar’s ‘Ekambresa Nayike’ in Suddha Saveri with kalpanaswaram at ‘Pamarajanapalini,’ focusing on rishabha and daivata notes. It was very engaging, and the violinist’s contribution noteworthy. ‘Brochevaru’ in Khamas, which followed, was a good choice. Pai’s pronunciation, splitting of words and diction also need special mention here.
Tyagaraja’s beautiful, but not often heard, Divyanamam, ‘Pahi Rama Duta,’ in Vasanta Varali, and Oothukkadu sahityam, ‘Kalyanarama,’ in Hamsanadam, acted as good fillers. He then ventured into the main ragam, Saveri, which was strung together with care like a garland and presented in an unhurried fashion.
The violinist’s account of the raga was equally soothing. The kriti, ‘Durusuga’ of Syama Sastri, with an elaborate niraval at ‘Parama Pavani,’ and Panchama Varja prayogams in kalpanaswarams were handled very well. The thani after this, offered by Vijay Natesan on the mridangam and D. V. Venkata Suramanian on the ghatam was excellent.
He concluded the concert with Oothukkadu sahityam, ‘Aadum Varai Aadattum,’ in Huseni, and Balamuralikrishna’s fast-paced tillana in Kuntalavarali. It was very evident that good understanding and support of accompanying artists can elevate a concert and make it lively. That most of the listeners stayed back to congratulate the artists is a testimony to the standard of the concert. (The acoustics in at the Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall was also better that day. )