Young Carnatic vocalists got their place in the sun at recent concerts

Two young Carnatic vocalists performed in the Capital recently to bring listeners a whiff of fresh talent. While it is the usual practice among cultural organisations to invite well known artistes from Chennai to perform in New Delhi, it is a welcome step to also offer an opportunity to upcoming musicians by scheduling their performance just before the seniors. This is in keeping with the trend of the Chennai music season where concerts are scheduled chocabloc, with the “prime time” slots going to the more popular performers or maestros.

Sriranjani Santhanagopalan who gave a vocal recital in one such slot was very impressive. The occasion was Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha’s Thyagaraja Music Festival – 2 013. Daughter and disciple of the popular vocalist Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan, Sriranjani’s delightful performance was reflective of both the rigorous training she has received and her own hard work.

Sriranjani started her concert with an Adi tala varnam in raga Begada. After neatly presenting this varnam, Sriranjani took up for the most part compositions of Tyagaraja. “Ninne bhajana” in raga Nattai revved up proceedings, and the kalpana swaras towards the end of the song showed her depth in creative music.

Though detailed handling of “Rajuvedala” in raga Todi came as a surprise at that point of her concert, Sriranjani did excel at it, as well as while handling various improvisation techniques, namely the raga alapana, neraval of the phrase “Sevanuganisurulu virulachepremanu” and the subsequent kalpana swaras. Yet another song which came in for detailed presentation was the popular “Evarimata” in raga Kambhoji and once again Sriranjani’s musical depth came to the fore. “Daya juchutakidivelara” in raga Ganavaridhi, a song rarely heard in concerts, too was well handled.

Towards the end of the recital, Sriranjani included a scintillating viruttam in raga Behag, before singing Gopalakrishna Bharati’s “Aadum Chidambaramo”. Young K.P. Nandini on the violin and the seasoned Manoj Siva on the mridangam provided Sriranjani excellent support.

Sandeep Narayan, another young vocalist, also made a fine impression in this series. A disciple of well known vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Sandeep is gifted with a good voice.

He included a ragam-tanam-pallavi in his recital, the only youngster in such slots to do so in this series. He skilfully presented the pallavi “Tamarasadala netritya garajuninitri” in raga Todi set to Adi tala. He also presented the pallavi in three more ragas, namely Kambhoji, Sriranjani and Ranjani. In an unhurried delineation of the raga he brought to the fore its features.

Sandeep had set the pace with his opening , “Sivalokanadanai” (Gopalakrishna Bharati) in raga Mayamalavagowla, following it with crisp kalpanaswaras. Tyagaraja’s slow paced “Nenenduvetukudura” in raga Karnataka Behag and the fast paced “Sarasasamadana” in raga Kapinarayani underwent fine treatment. Sandeep then took up Tyagaraja’s “Ennalluurake” in raga Shubhapantuvarali for detailed presentation and brought the emotive contents of the lyrics to the fore. The scintillating alapana, neraval during the charanam segment and the subsequent kalpanaswaras bore testimony to his creative talents. “Ramanaibhajital” was the only song Sandeep could sing in his miscellaneous session, which too was appealing.

Seasoned Mullaivasal G. Chandramouli on the violin and youngster Mannarkoil J. Balaji on the mridangam provided perceptive support to Sandeep Narayan.