Ravikiran had made a wise decision to keep the main item of the concert – the Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi with ample time to be contemplative as well as demonstrative.
To put it in a nutshell, N. Ravikiran’s chitravina recital was comforting in the first part and inspiring in the second half. There is no doubt that with a complex instrument like chitravina keeping the audience glued to their seats is no ordinary task for an artist. Ravikiran almost popularised to the world that chitravina can be as melodious as the veena, compatible to violin, create a feel of vocal in many places and take the audience in its own inimitable musical trip.
Behag, a raga normally pushed to the concluding pieces was the front liner here. Ravi Kiran’s own composition, a varnam in this raga, perhaps he could have sung along a few parts to make it more appealing and recognisable.
A finer kriti like ‘Teliyaleru Rama’ of Tyagaraja in Dhenuka came with captivating sangatis and considerable swara adjunct. Supple Vasantha essay was the prelude to Dikshitar’s vivid ‘Ramachandram Bhavayami’ which further glistened with swift swaras on ‘Bhoomija Nayakam.’ It was a good juncture to introduce a demure ‘Brovavamma’ of Syama Sastri in Manji exuding piousness.
Ravikiran had made a wise decision to keep the main item of the concert – the Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi with ample time to be contemplative as well as demonstrative. Kharaharapriya raga alapana appeared after ‘O Rama Nee Nama’ in Purvikalyani by Badrachala Ramadas. Kharaharapriya treatise followed leisurely on the linear mode of presentation. The elongated phrases, pauses, quick glides marked by melody. Mysore Manjunath on the violin offered colourful responses from the start. His violin after the initial staccato phrases shifted into freewheeling flights to the upper register and smooth ascends in the middle and lower regions of Kharaharapriya.
The tanam though started traditionally soon landed into a mix of ragamalika razzmatazz. If Ravikiran recited Begada, Manjunath opted for Nattakurinji; then it moved to Varali, Kanada, etc. One cannot but think why all such medley when Kharaharapriya itself carried vast scope to provide an exclusive tanam. Well, variety offers charm at times.
Here, Ravikiran demonstrated his wizardry on rhythm by setting the pallavi in Adi talam (Khanda jati) but employing a different concept of Kanda.
‘Madhusoodana Mamava Hare Krishna,’ the pallavi was a challenge thrown to the percussion trio – K.V. Prasad (mridangam), Tirupunithura N. Radhakrishnan (ghatam) and B.S. Purshothaman (ganjira). Ravikiran also extended his specific appreciation for their willingness and avowal to take this rhythmic cycle for performing thani. The trio’s percussion also was well within the comfort zone through out the concert and they came active individually and collectively in the special tani avartanam.