G. Ravikiran’s vocal concert had a lot of highs and some unwarranted lows.

The high point of G. Ravikiran’s vocal recital at Palakkad was a masterly ragam, tanam and pallavi in Sankarabharanam. He glided through the entire gamut of the raga in his comprehensive delineation. His creative instincts came to the fore when he ascended the notes in a leisurely pace, offering ‘sowkhyam’ to the listeners.

The tanam passages in Gowli, Arabhi, Varali and Sri, apart from Sankarabharanam, stood out for their grandeur. The pallavi ‘Daasarathe karuna payonidhe Inakulathilaka’ in Adi tala (four ‘kalais’) was presented competently. The shower of swaraprastharas bore the stamp of originality. Ragamalika swaras in Atana, Kedaram, Saveri and Hamsaanandhi glowed with polish.

Earlier, the vocalist made a brisk start with the Kaanada raga varnam ‘Neranammithi nayya’ in Ada tala. Choosing the kriti ‘Padavini sadbhakthi’ of Tyagaraja in Salaga Bhairavi as the second item was odd. This is a piece that is usually sung in the middle of the concert, suffixing a major kriti or after the taniavarthanam. The next item ‘Sri Mathrubhootham’, a composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Kannada, was a pleasing presentation.

Poorvikalyani was well elaborated; the sangathis leading to shadjam in the middle octave and those that followed had a touch of class. The niraval and swaraprastharas at ‘Parippoorna Nishkalanga’ in the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Gnanamosaga radha’ were full of vibrancy.

Ravikiran’s alapana of Surutti , embellished with imaginative sancharas, reflected the style of his mentor, renowned musician T.M. Krishna.

‘Sri Venkatagireesam’ in praise of Lord Venkateswara is one of the best creations of Dikshitar, noted for its evocative bhava and lyrical excellence. The artiste succeeded in rendering a majestic picture of the deity, through his soulful rendition of the kriti. The niraval at ‘Alarmelumanga Sametham’ was rich in classicism. Curiously enough, no kalpanaswaras were rendered after the niraval. It was indicative of the trend of deviating from deep-rooted convention established by masters of Carnatic music.

Another rather undesirable feature of the concert was the absence of small, fast-paced kritis that usually find a place in between major items, and sung to sustain the momentum of the concert.

Poorvikalyani, Surutti and Sankarabharanam were taken up continuously with alapanas. This denied wholesomeness to an otherwise enjoyable recital. Sadasiva Brahmendra’s ‘Broohi Mukundethi’ in Chenchurutti and a thillana in Poornachandrika were the concluding numbers prior to the mangalam ‘Bhujaga Saayino’ of Swati Tirunal in Yadululakambodhi.

Violinist T.H. Subrahahmaniam was brilliant in his delectable, easy flowing raga essays and precise swara spells. Mridangam artiste Nanjil A.R. Arul was in good form, with his powerful strokes. But his playing was a tad excessive during most parts of the concert. Vazhappally Krishnakumar (ghatam) showcased his talent in abundant measure. Their tani in Adi talam was a good show, save for the excessive noise.

The concert was organised under the auspices of The Palghat Fine Arts Society, Tharekkad.