Beginning his concert, for Brahma Gana Sabha, with Jalajakshi varnam in Hamsadhwani, Rithvik Raja took up Dachukovalena in Todi, with a brief raga alapana, and neraval and swaras at Sowmitri. Rithvik’s raga essays of Anandabhairavi and the violinist Parur Ananthakrishnan were quite enjoyable. The kalpanaswaras for the pallavi line of Himachalatanaya were lively and imaginative.

After a quick Seetamma in Vasanta, the main item came up. The Sankarabharanam alapana was well-nuanced; but one felt that there could be a little more depth or azhutham in Rithvik’s singing. The stamp of the Parur School was evident in Ananthakrishnan’s playing. Akshayalingavibho was the chosen song with exhaustive neraval at Badarivana.

Due to lack of time — the earlier musician took more than his allotted time — Rithvik had to avoid swaras and stop with neraval and let Palakkad Harinarayanan take up his tani avartanam. The mridangam vidwan proved to be an asset for the concert. Rithvik ended with Chandrachooda in Darbari.

One should appreciate the youngster for the way he split the words. It is all very well to appreciate one’s accompanists but it would be better to curtail it to some extent; the sabash could come when it was really warranted; it became even part of the lyric in one song!

Jayamangala Krishnamani has a clear voice with good reach in the upper octaves. Her problem seems to be timing. Her raga alapanas and swarakalpanas take up a disproportionately long time. She sang a somewhat long swara segment even at the anupallavi of Shakti Ganapatim in Nattai. Then came a short essay of Chayavati (janya of Sooryakantam) preceding the Dikshitar composition of the same name. She presented imaginative sancharas in the alapana of Hamsanadam with good akara shuddham. But it was a tad too long for a 90-minute concert. Also, one felt singing in the lower octave at times, would have made it more interesting.

Sanshya Srinath on the violin played attractive flourishes. Bantureetikolu (she pronounced it as Pantu) followed with neraval at Ramanamamane and the tala manipulations in the swaras were imaginative. A thani on the mridangam followed by Srinath Bala.

Both the accompanists were NRIs and gave able support. The raga essay by both the vocalist and violinist for Sumanesaranjani sounded interesting (the audience had to wait to know the name until she announced it). The song was Varuga Varuga. Why such a long essay at the tail end of the concert? Also, the problem with the alapana of such rare ragas is that one can’t be sure if it is being rendered correctly. A tongue twisting Kavadichindu added cheer to the programme.

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Lakshmi VenkatramanDecember 27, 2011