A bold voice, clear diction and adherence to tradition marked Prema Rangarajan's concert for Meenakshi Sundararajan Fine Arts. It was a concert set in a neat pattern beginning with a varnam and ending with a tillana, had more tinge of Sanskrit compositions of various composers.
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar’s Atana composition Sri Maha Ganapatim presented with bright swarams, after the Todi varnam, set the concert to a brisk start.
The skill of presenting a raga like Mukhari vivaciously proved the artist's versatility. Tyagaraja’s Sangeeta shastra gnanamu was the kriti with elaborate niraval and swaram at Prema bhakti sujana.
Prema rendered a Purvikalyani immediately after Mukhari with confidence. Natamadum naadanadi in Khanda Chapu was appended again with niraval and swarakalpana. Amrita Murali followed her loyally in every bit of the alapana and swarakalpanas which enhanced the tempo of the concert.
A measured Shuddhadhanyasi alapana followed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s Subramanyena had an interesting place for the swaras. Prema chose the madhyama kala phrase Venkateswara nama roopena for the swara segment. Mridangam by Nellai Balaji complimented the fast-paced swaras.
The scholarly alapana of raga Hemavathi (Desi Simharavam) was followed by the leisurely presentation of Dikshitar's Madhurambikayam. She chose the anupallavi lines Chidananda rasikayam for niraval and swaram. Though set in a tad slow-paced rupakam of two kalais, the neat presentation kept the flow enjoyable.
Nellai Balaji's tani was crisp and compact. The lighter segment of the concert had Kandarpa Janaka of Annamacharya in Kalavathi and Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi Lalitha lavanga in Yamuna Kalyani and a tillana in Behag.
A concert like this one, with students as most audience, would need a little information about the songs presented to make them enjoy the beauty of the lyrics or compositions and the way they are presented.