A vocal recital by T.S. Pattabhirama Pandit, accompanied by T.K.V. Ramanujacharyulu (violin), H.S. Sudhindra (mridanga) amd M. Gururaj (morsing), was hosted by the Rajamahal Vilas Sangeetha Sabha, Bangalore, on Sunday.

“Viriboni”, the ata tala varna in Bhairavi and “Kanjadalayathakshi”, the Dikshithar krithi in Kamalamanohari and adi thala, set the stage for the undiluted classicism of the subsequent items. A brief, but heavy gamaka imbued alapana of Begada, was followed by the Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer krithi “Abhimanamennadu” in adi tala and a spate of rhythm oriented kalpana swaras. Saveri was next taken up for elucidation, with an alapana that commenced and dwelt mainly in the thara sthayi, occasionally highlighting the consonance between the rishabha and dhaivatha, and evoking the matchless appeal of the raga through effortless use of gamakas and sancharas basic to its identity. “Muruga Muruga” the Periyasami Thooran composition in misra chapu thala, was rendered at a sedate tempo that accentuated the emotional import of the lyrics, while the neraval and kalpana swaras displayed a pronounced preference for and command over laya based articulations. Thyagaraja’s “Manavyalakincharadate” in Nalinakanthi, to which were appended a few kalpana swaras, provided a bracing interlude before the main raga of the concert, Kamboji.

The artiste provided glimpses into the immense scope and the myriad shades of the raga through an impressive alapana that incorporated a plethora of phrases in the tara sthayi. The neraval at the charana line “Bhakthaparadheenudanuchu” rendered during the course of the Thyagaraja krithi “Evarimata” in adi tala, included an interesting stint around the plain madhyama, though the main focus was, once again, on the tara sthayi. Deployment of the sahitya in various melodic and rhythmic formations in single avarthana dialogues with the violinist formed the crux of the exercise, leading to the kalpana swaras and the brief thani avarthana that vouched for the technical expertise of all the artistes concerned. An expressive presentation of M.D. Ramanathan’s “Sagarasayana Vibho’ in Bageshri, preceded by a sloka, and a Purandaradasa devaranama in Sindhubhairavi brought the concert to a close.

The overall impact of the concert owed much to the exemplary support provided by the accompanying artistes, evident in the violinist’s prompt and melodious responses, and in the anticipation and understanding of the percussionists, throughout the concert. Though better planning by the vocalist and the introduction of a prathimadhyama raga at some stage would have infused more colour and variety, the performance bore ample testimony to his passion, dedication and prowess.