An overdose of brigas became a dampener.Lakshmi Venkatraman
After beginning with the Natakurinji varnam, ‘Chalamela’, Akshay Padmanabhan moved on to ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ in Mohanakalyani. The alapana of this raga was full of flourishes.
He has a strong voice with a good reach in the higher octaves; but he too seems to have been bitten by the briga bug! Of course, his voice has the ability to produce them non-stop, but after a point it, it can get tiresome; one starts longing for some straight lines.
The song had racy swaras for the pallavi. In fact the brigas in the raga essay of Anandabhairavi lent a feeling of floating and threatened to go off-key any moment, though fortunately that did not happen.
The effort of Arun Ramamurthy on the violin was neat. The song taken up was ‘Mariveregati’; some unnecessary sangatis marred the beauty of the kriti.
‘Sarasasamadana’ in Kapinarayani was ripped apart; poor Tyagaraja would never have imagined such a fate for his creation! The detailing of Thodi was quite adventurous. Akshay’s voice too troubled him beyond the tara sthayi shadjam. Grihabedam also found place in it.
Arun’s essay was more appealing. The chosen kriti was ‘Endukudayaradura’; the niraval of ‘Thyagarajanuta’ was a little too long; nevertheless the combinations of notes in the kalpanaswaras were attractive.
A enjoyable thani was provided by Arjun Narayanan on the mridangam and his support through the concert was unobtrusive. A sloka, pleasingly sung, in ragamalika of Khamas, Atana, Kapi and Maund was followed by ‘Ramanai Bhajithal’ in the last mentioned raga.