Delhi witnessed two riveting music recitals this past week — by O.S. Thyagarajan and the Mambalam Sisters.

His personality on the stage, while giving the vocal concert, was majestic. So was the quality of his recital.

O.S. Thyagarajan, who performed under the aegis of Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha this past week at the auditorium of the Delhi Tamil Sangam, presented kritis of the legendary composer Tyagaraja for the most part of his concert with ease, suffixing kalpana swaras for most of the compositions.

The accompanying artistes had good understanding with Thyagarajan and the resultant team effort translated into close to two-and-a-half hours of fond memories.

While presenting Tyagaraja's “Rara mayintidaka” in raga Asaveri and “Karuna elagante” in raga Varali, Thyagarajan brought out the emotive contents of the composition. The swaraprastaras that followed towards the end of both these kritis were crisp and lively. GNB's composition “Thamasamika thalanu” in raga Abhogi and Tyagaraja's “Kaddanuvariki” in Todi underwent detailed treatment.

Apart from good presentations of the compositions, the delineation of these ragas too was excellent. Further improvisations were in the form of swaraprastaras for the former composition, while for the latter it was both neraval of the phrase “Baddu tappaka bhajiyince bhakta palanamu seyu” and swaraprastaras, which gave listeners an insight into the imaginative flights of the artiste.

Particularly, the solid kalaparamanam in the slow tempo and the understanding accompaniments of the supporting artistes at these places were delightful. “Narada ganalola” in the raga Atana and “Lali yugave” in Nilambari were the other Tyagaraja compositions he chose.

Pakala Ramdass in his violin accompaniment closely followed the main artiste. He presented delightful delineations of ragas Abhogi and Todi, apart from exhibiting his manodharma talents during his takes of neraval and swaraprastaras. J. Vaidhyanathan provided excellent mridangam support.

His understanding of the compositions that were presented and skill at adapting himself quickly facilitated liveliness in his accompaniment. He played a riveting tani avartanam (percussion solo) too, in Adi tala.

Sisters impress

Elsewhere, at the Malai Mandir, R. Vijayalakshmi and R. Chitra, popularly know as the Mambalam Sisters, presented an impressive vocal concert. Participating in the Skanda Shasti celebrations, the siblings' recital consisted predominantly of compositions on Lord Kartikeya.

Dikshitar's “Sree Subramanyaya namaste” in raga Khamboji was the central item of the recital and was given fine treatment. Vijayalakshmi presented a detailed and fine sketch of this raga. The neraval of a phrase form the charanam portion of the composition as well as the subsequent swaraprastaras brought to the fore the creative talents of the sisters. Papanasam Sivan's “Kaa vaa vaa kanda” in raga Varali was also earlier handled well by the siblings. Here, it was Chitra who delineated the raga and brought out its features.

Delhi's R. Sridhar provided confident and enthusiastic support on the violin. However, as an upcoming artiste he has to walk that extra mile to enhance his repertoire and improvised music, which would put him on a still firmer footing while accompanying visiting artistes.

Umayalapuram Mali's mridangam accompaniment was solid He provided delightful percussion support during his entire accompaniment. The singers' father, K.S. Rangachari, provided kanjira support. The tani avartanam of the percussionists in tala Rupakam was enjoyable.