Well-chosen songs and a relaxed pace were the highlights of Shreya's violin concert

Shreya Devnath's solo violin concert proved that she has the skill and the potential. At a time when many artists of the younger generation (even rasikas) think speed thrills, it was surprising to note that she chose to present the raga alapana in (ati) vilamba kalam with long, drawn out phrases.

The characteristics of both Vasantha and Mohanam were showcased in abundance in the aesthetically structured rendering, the latter being the main piece. A few fast paced sancharas would have definitely enhanced the picture. When one expected a two kalai song (like ‘Sri Kamakshi') to match the flow of the alapana, ‘Seethamma Mayamma' followed with niraval and kalpanaswaras which was appealing.

Pallavi Sesha Iyer's rarely heard kriti ‘Entane Vinavintura' in raga Urmika in Adi, Tisra gati with kalpanaswaras preceded this and ‘Vandanamu' in Sahana was presented before Mohanam.

Tyagaraja's ‘Mohana Rama' was played beautifully and the first and second speed swaras were well structured and contained all the beauty that can be brought out in the violin.

An emotional ‘Jagadodarana' a Dasar Nama in Karnataka Kapi was preceded by an out of the world sketch of the raga in just a few seconds. The concert commenced with Shreya's guru Lalgudi Jayaraman's lilting composition, a varnam in Garudadhwani and ended with yet a lively thillana in Behag, which is an instrumentalist's delight and listeners' pleasure.

The young team with N. C. Bharadwaj on the mridangam and Ghatam S Krishna performed very well. They gave commendable support throughout and presented an enthusiastic tani later.

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Uma Krishnaswamy December 27, 2011