The young vocalist paid a marvellous tribute to some old masters.
It was a wide spectrum alapana of Simhendramadhyamam. Endowed with a mellifluous voice, V. Deepika succeeded in bringing out every shade of the handsome raga. B. Ananthakrishnan on the violin too came up with a fine elucidation.
Deepika's tanam rendered with the mridangam accompaniment of Srivanchiyam Sriram brought to mind the concerts at Navarathri Mantapam in Thiruvananthapuram. It adds a lot more of value to the tanam. ‘Pasupathi Vanditha Parthasarathy' (khanda triputa) was the pallavi. Perhaps to rhyme with the pallavi, she sang swaras in Saramathi, Manavathi and Nithimathi too!
The Arabhi which Deepika sang was extensive as well. She used her prowess in brigas to the maximum, making the alapana even more appealing. For Syama Sastri's ‘Palayasumam Paradevathe,' (tisra triputa) she presented a few exquisite swaraprastharas.
In our system of music, the choice of a raga for a krithi is perhaps the most important aspect. The precise expression of musical thoughts depends on the raga that gives the kriti its very identity. While we are used to the rendering of ‘Thaye Yashoda' (Oothukkadu) in Thodi, MLV has rendered it in a ragamalika starting with Kuntalavarali for a movie, if I am not mistaken. Deepika's version was in that style, with Pilu, Brindavani and Sindhubhairavi. It was not only different, but agreeably so.
Earlier, she commenced her concert with the Abhogi varnam, followed by ‘Ra Ra Phanisayana' (Harikhambodi). There is a school of thought which believes that this is not a Tyagaraja kriti. Another kriti, supposedly of the Saint, was ‘Muthyala Savi Keno' – tuned in Hamir Kalyani by Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. It is doubtful if the saint might have left behind any kriti un-tuned! Whatever it is, both are lovely compositions. Dikshitar's Margahindolam kriti ‘Chandrasekharam' was brilliant.
In ‘Nada Loludai' in Kalyanavasantham (rupakam), Tyagaraja wants our mind to attain the bliss of Brahman by losing ourselves in nadha. Deepika rendered it beautifully. As a tribute to her great grand Guru GNB, she included ‘Sarasasamadhana' in Kapinarayani.
Deepika wound up her brilliant recital with an MLV favourite ‘Muralidhara Gopala.' I feel she deserves the prime time slot!