It was a wholesome fare that Seetha Narayanan offered.

If classicism means dedication to the principles of art, clarity of execution, balance, adherence to recognised standards of form, and conscious craftsmanship, it was fully in evidence in the performance of the versatile Seetha Narayanan.Her Subhapantuvarali and Sankarabharanam bore testimony to her fortitude in preserving tradition.

The way she built the edifice of the ragaswarupa was at once aesthetic and educative.

After the lovely elucidation of Subhapantuvarali, Seetha rendered Tyagraja's ‘Ennalu Urage' in Misra Chapu. ‘O, Rama, how long do you propose to remain indifferent to my plea for protection?' asks the Saint.

The niraval was at the Anupallavi, ‘Ponnalu Saketha' and the kalpanaswaras were spontaneous delivered with mathematical precision at four aksharas after samam.

The piece de resistance was ‘Sankaracharyam' (Sankarabharanam) of Subburama Dikshitar. An apt choice, the venue being Sri Sankaralayam in Chetpet. Her well-seasoned voice brought out the essence and majesty of the raga.

B. Raghavendra Rao on the violin provided quality support throughout. His delineation of both Subhapantuvarali and Sankarabharanam was outstanding.

The short and sweet thani offered by B. Ganapathy Raman on the mridangam and G. Ravichandar on the ghatam, especially the tisra nadai was a rhythmic splendour.

Another offering was ‘Chandrasekharendra Sarswathim Manasa Bhajare' in Chakravakam, composed by P.K. Rajagopala Iyer, a disciple of Tiger, from whom Seetha Narayanan had the unique opportunity of learning it.

Purandaradasar's devarnama, ‘Naanenu Maadithanu' in Yaman Kalyani was unique in its structure. It had virutthams in between. She concluded her recital with a Tulsidas bhajan in Jhinjuti, ‘Kahangke Pathik.' It is a conversation in the forest between Sita and the dwellers.

Those rasikas who braved the inclement weather had a wholesome fare.

One word about the venue: It is indeed a beautiful hall; but the acoustics certainly needs to be improved.

(ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com)