Friday Review » Music

Updated: December 21, 2010 19:21 IST

Unusual and info-packed

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M. Narmadha. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
The Hindu
M. Narmadha. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

With crisp and neat playing, Narmadha kept the audience enthralled.

Violinist Dr. M. Narmadha's concerts offer plenty of entertainment the traditional way as well as provide information for the lay rasikas. She announces the songs, ragas, talas, composer and adds a little more educative titbits in her concerts.

Narmadha began her concert with a varnam in Begada. Playing it in two speeds, she ensured that the ambience was set for the evening. Muthuswamy Dikshitar's ‘Siddhi Vinayakam' followed. For many in the audience, her introduction of the raga Chamaram, as it is called in the Dikshitar school, for this composition was worth making a note.

She took up ‘Raghunatha Nannu' in Suraranjani composed by Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar set to Adi next.

She sang and explained the arohana and avarohana so that the listeners could follow the beauty of the kriti as Narmadha did herself. After a crisp but rich delineation of Abhogi, ‘Sabhapathikku' by Gopalakrishna Bharati was rendered. Narmadha added flavour to the song with kalpanaswaras.

Following this were two compositions by Swati Tirunal – ‘Vande Sada Padmanabham' in Navarasa Kannada and ‘Seve Srikantham' in Mohanakalyani. Navarasa Kannada is just right for instruments. But Narmadha's choice of Mohanakalyani with a brief raga elaboration and quick swaras that day was a little unusual.

Percussionists Poongulam Subramaniam on the mridangam and Pudukkottai Ramachandran on the ghatam went along the path that Narmadha laid. They knew the rhythm of silence wherever needed.

Relief came with ‘Manasa Sancharare' in the raga Sama. She then took up the main raga of the day, Thodi. The dexterous display of the raga and the composition were a pleasure to listen to.

She presented ‘Ninne Namminanu.' She sang the line of the niraval at ‘Kamakshi Kanchadalayatakshi,' so much so the rasikas did not get a chance to guess it. She knew it was the best way to interact with the audience. The thani in misra chapu was well measured and pleasing to the ears.

The tukkada session had ‘Muralidhara Gopala' of Periasamy Thooran in Maand and Bharati's ‘Parukkullae Nalla Nadu' in Jonpuri followed by ‘Chaliye Kunjan Mo,' again by Swati Tirunal in Brindavani. The piece gave Narmadha an opportunity to showcase the Hindustani style to her playing, which the Parur parampara is well known for. She concluded with the slokam ‘Harivarasanam' on Lord Ayyappa.

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