Their years of experience came to the fore in the concerts of M. Narmadha, M.A. Krishnaswami and V. Sanjeev.
Shanmukhapriya's ‘Madhuaradhwani Isai Vizha' is dedicated to violin solos by some renowned artists. It is, in fact, an excellent opportunity for the violinists to demonstrate their musical prowess.
Dr M. Narmadha is an explorer of new vistas. One can always expect a good measure of surprises in her presentations.
In this concert, Narmadha showed that her bow and fingers can handle smooth, supple and commanding notes and link them seamlessly. The raga essays of Kalyanavasantham, Ranjani and Sahana alternated between soft melodies and sound harmony. With ease she could touch the peak of the tara sthayi swara without blemish and glide into the madyama region. The swara suites exhibited varieties of colourful designs.
The concert could have been called Tyagaraja special as most of the kritis were of the bard. ‘Nadaloludai' in Kalyanavasantham was adorned with glittering swaras and ‘Durmargachara' in Ranjani was packed with melody. ‘Giripainela' in Sahana expressed piousness.
The boosters were a vigorous ‘Gam Ganapathey' in Hamsadhwani, a swift ‘Sadinchane' in Arabhi and a colourful ‘Raghuvamsa Sudha' in Kathanakoothuhalam. Other significant offerings were ‘Emani Pogaduthura' in Veera Vasantham and ‘Veiynkuzhalin Nadam' in Patdeep (from MS' film Meera).
Mannarkoil Balaji was enthusiastic in his percussion support all along in the rather passive support of K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira. But the duo played beautifully for Kathankuthoohalam and presented a steady and solid tani avartanam.
Following the traditional style, M.A. Krishnaswami opened his concert with ‘Sarasooda', the Saveri varnam, the harbinger of the main raga of the evening that later figured for the Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Kanda Triputa.
Krishnaswami's concert was full of force; all the kritis were suffixed with lengthy and fast paced swaras. His violin sounded well in madyma and mandra sections but went slightly on the shriek tenor in the upper octaves.
The Varali alapana and ‘Seshachala Nayagam' (Dikshitar) followed by niraval and swaras at ‘Aravinda Badra', and spoke of Krishnaswami's musical insight. So were the Yadukulakhambodi essay and the lingering ‘Ninnu Sevinchi' of Subbaraya Sastri.
The Saveri alapana brought forth some pleasant and mandatory phrases of the raga. The tanam was crisp. The pallavi ‘Sankaranai Siva Sankaranai' was presented with professional ease. Krishanswami could create musical thrills and frills exclusive to the instrument whenever he wanted to please the rasikas as in the final swara patterns of Chakravaham (‘Gajananayudam' by Dikshitar). It was nice to hear him present vocal support to drive home the main aspects of the presentation. ‘Anaadudanu' in Jingala and ‘Tsalagalla' in Arabhi of Tyagaraja were bright numbers which were included in the agenda.
With the experienced performers such as K.V. Prasad on the mridangam and Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan on the ghatam, Krishanaswami enjoyed a good and encouraging percussion support.
Flawless till the end
The most commendable aspect of V. Sanjeev's violin solo was the sonorous tenor of his instrument. Sanjeev at no point tried to go overboard to exhibit his talent. Strictly emphasising on sahitya bhava and the raga'a melodic expression, Sanjeev maintained the tempo of his concert in high quality.
Even Mukhari which generally has a tendency to infuse a sombre mood, carried a slightly buoyant touch in the raga alapana and swaras at the same time not forfeiting the air of compassion in the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Enta Ninne' or the niraval at ‘Kanulara Sevinchi.'
The main raga Khambodi and the Tyagaraja composition ‘Evari Mata' were royal and luminous with exhaustive elucidation, niraval and swaras at ‘Baktha Paradeena.' The swara combinations of Sanjeev in all the numbers were like cloudbursts. The build up and finale were carefully but dynamically structured.
‘Chalamela', the popular Natakuranji varnam, was the opening number followed with GNB's Nattai kriti ‘Karimukha Varada' with swarakalpana. The brief treatise of Rasikapriya and the Koteswara Iyer composition ‘Arul Seyya Vendumayya' were multi-hued. ‘Sarasa Dalanayana' the melodious Dikshitar kriti in Khamas, fast paced ‘Krupa Jujudaku' in Chaya Tarangini of Tyagaraja and ‘Ekambresa Nayike' in Karnataka Suddha Saveri were offered as space fillers.
In instrumental solo concerts, especially veena and violin, the onus is on the artist to play continuously and keep the audience interest in tact till the end. Sanjeev with his comprehension of the Carnatic music idiom, executed his performance focussing on the eminence of melody.
When Patri Satishkumar backs somebody on the rhythmic front, it could be definitely dominant. With sharp and definitive strokes, Satish Kumar in the company of Trichi Murali gave adequate impetus to Sanjeev's solo and their tani avartanam was good but a tad strident.