The current Carnatic music scene has many promising and highly talented young male vocalists who have made their presence felt over the last half decade. Sandeep Narayan is one such whose grooming under Sanjay Subrahmanyan, has resulted in his adhering to classical values and not resorting to performing to the gallery.
In this CD, Sandeep asserts his place in the kutcheri circuit in the years to come. He has a voice which is pleasing and capable of handling intricate brigas with ease. The added swarasthana gnanam gives an extra sheen to his presentations.
Beginning with a not oft heard Swati Tirunal composition ‘Paramananda' (Kedaram), Sandeep has offered select compositions on Lord Siva. The chittaswaram sung for the opening number has some similarity to the jati oriented chittaswaram sung by select vocalists for Dikshitar's ‘Ananda Natana Prakasam.'
A bright start is given by Sandeep with this composition. The vocalist's guru has a strong liking for the compositions of the late M.M. Dandapani Desikar and Sandeep follows suit with the second number being ‘Paadavendume' in Hamsanadam.
The brief raga portrayal has a fine sense of proportion to match the length of the song and deserves appreciation. Full throated singing in the upper octave enhances the beauty of this delicate raga.
Grammar of raga intact
Raga Kannada is flawless coupled with the artist's manodharma. ‘Sri Mathrubhootham' extolling Lord Siva sanctified in the rock temple at Tiruchi is a weighty kriti and the singer does full justice to it. The grammar of the raga does not go haywire during Sandeep's vocalisation.
A vinyasa of Shanmukhapriya tugs at the listener's heart and warrants repeated listening. The raga reply by Mysore Srikanth is as gripping as the vocalist's essay. Papanasam Sivan's ‘Parvathi Nayakane' has a patanthara and Sandeep's niraval and swara prastharas are mature displays of his artistry.
Neyveli B. Venkatesh (mridangam) and K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira) accompany with gusto. The mridangam player association with Sandeep's guru is evident in his anticipatory playing for the disciple.
The tani avartanam is chiselled and polished.
The curtains come down on this CD with a Chenjuruti Tamil song ‘Thirisila Giriyar' and a thillana in Raga Gavathi (Tanjore S. Kalyanaraman) which are effectively sung.