The Ragam Sisters seemed to be in an urge to finish their kutcheri.
One of the concert approaches that seems to pay short term dividends but is not viable in the long term, is a fast-paced presentation, with minimum measure of bhavam and enjoyment. The ragam sisters, V. Sivaranjani and V. Nalinakanti, have cast themselves in this mould. Their concert seemed like a race to the finish. Opportunities for mellow and reflection were generally bypassed.
‘Nenarunchara’ (Simhavahini, Tyagaraja), appended with super fast swarams at ‘Thalli Thanri’ established the general ‘urge’. The Arabhi ragam by Nalinakanti was structured well and had nice phrases, but one felt the voice modulation and sound production could have been more sensitive. The briga segments poured out as vocal exercises. There was a volley of sangatis (and later swarams) in ‘Juthamurare’ (Tyagaraja) that suited the sisters’ hurried style. Even ‘Mayamma’ (Nattakurinji, Syama Sastri) which is intended to provide relief from the general tempo, did not quite achieve that objective. ‘Santhana Ramaswaminam’ (Hindola Vasantham, Dikshitar) was too brief to create an alternate impression. ‘Bhajare Re Manasa’ (Abheri, Mysore Vasudevachar) was rendered competently even as the lack of variation in kalapramana was unmistakable.
Sivaranjani’s Sankarabharanam raga alapana brought semblance of ‘sowkhyam’ to the concert, with some lovely sketching in the lower octaves. ‘Swararagasudha,’ the popular kriti was capped with niraval and swarams at ‘mooladharaja.’ The niraval did not stay in the mind, but the swarams were engaging. The big bang flourishes at the end won audience approval.
B. Ananthakrishnan on the violin stuck to his pleasant bowing and kept some leash on the concert. His Sankarabharanam ragam did portray him to be a competent violinist with aesthetic credentials. Calcutta Karthik and Nerkunram Sankar were largely resigned to a passive sarvalagu journey that fitted the concert tenor.