V. Sankaranarayanan’s training was sound, but had to adopt a style to meet rasika’s expectations.
Abundance of brigas and scarcity of peaceful passages in raga alapanas were the infatuation for V. Sankaranarayanan. It is part of today’s kutcheri culture that, accepted standards of deep involvement in the soulful core of sangita has to be relegated to the background. Sankaranarayanan represented this clan.
A roller-coaster, fast-flowing streams of sancharas in the Kalyani raga alapana with occasional glimpses of the swarupa formed the main item in his programme. It was, of course, an expounding Kalyani with briga patterns going up and down that seemed to be dear to his heart. An attractive Kalyani was, at his hands, a titillating exercise.
The kirtana was ‘Etaavunara.’ The very same vein of musical fervour as in his alapana permeated the interpretation of the song. The Tyagaraja kirtana still survived such a treatment.
Sankaranarayanan’s performing technique appeared to be not adjustable to the violinist Bombay V. Anand. It was a bit out of sorts, but maintained his modest presence by sticking to his musical equipment.
Sankaranarayanan sang the kriti ‘Eti Jenma Itiha’ in Varali preceded by an elaborate vinyasa. It was a symmetrically arranged sanchara almost in the same pattern as his Kalyani. The foundation of his musical training was sound, but has got inclined to performing sophistication to meet rasika’s expectations.
The percussion wing with R. Sankaranarayanan on the mridangam and Harihara Subramanyam on the ganjira, played with minimum of fuss. In the thani they opened up releasing frenzied korvai patterns tied to the tala.