A short and bright sketch of Kalyani and Abhogi on the flute by J.B. Sruthi Sagar was followed by a neat presentation, by Sruthi Sagar and sister J.B. Keerthana of Adi tala varnam Vanajakshi, and Tyagaraja’s Nannubrova neekinta tamasama, respectively. Sruthi Sagar brought out the texture and modulation beautifully.
Syama Sastri’s Parvati ninnu ne in Kalgada preceded a Pantuvarali raga alapana in which the essence of the raga was brought out with effect by Keerthana, and violinist Sudha R.S. Iyer played a short and neat raga.
Swati Tirunal’s Sarasaksha sung in a faster pace with suitable neraval and kalpanaswara by the duo and the violinist as well, was lilting. It would be better if the violinist relegates to the background for the flute.
Kapi, the main raga of the evening, was preceded by GNB’s Malavi raga kriti Mariveregati nakevaru. The siblings vied with each other to bring out different aspects of Kapi without repetition. It was an expansive raga essay rendered a la seasoned artists. Tyagaraja’s Inta sowkhyamani ne with elaborate neraval saw the violinist pooling in well.
Keerthana’s kalpanaswara did not have spontaneity and was repetitive at times. She should also curtail the loud sounds of appreciation (of her brother).
B. Srinivasan gave excellent support on the mridangam throughout and it was a fine display during the thani. The concert concluded with verses from Tevaram and Tiruppugazh . On the whole, the unusual combination of vocal and flute was lively, though the instrument takes a back seat unless there is a solo chance.
The dais in the mini hall is too small to accommodate two main artists, two accompanists and a tambura.
After warming up with the adi tala Surati varnam, Ento prema, G. Ravikiran, with a clear diction, chose Dikshitar’s Gowla raga kriti, Tyagaraja palayashu maam with a short spell of kalpanaswara. At this stage itself, it was evident that the violinist Arunachala Kartik was not as supportive as an accompanying artist should be. However, Tanjore Praveen Kumar (mridangam) co-operated well with soothing strokes.
Swati Tirunal’s Sanskrit composition Narasimha mamava bhagavan in Arabhi was a pleasant inclusion before Ravikiran embarked on Sriranjani raga alapana and managed to present a decent picture of the raga despite the violinist playing spoil-sport. He chose Marubalaka with a short neraval and kalpanaswaras. Slow paced Ardhanareeswaram in Kumudakriya was rendered well. However Toli nennu jeyu in Kokiladhwani did not create the impact it should have.
The main piece was Dikshitar’s Mamava meenakshi which was preceded by a Varali raga alapana depicted at a leisurely pace, dwelling on each and every note. The violinist played a decent Varali. The neraval and kalpanaswaras at Shyame shankari sung with his facile voice reaching up to tara sthayi nishadam, proved Ravikiran’s prowess. The tani which followed was enjoyable.
The tail pieces included Behag Javali, Vagaladi, Shapasya kousalya in Jonpuri and a tillana.
The two-hour concert of Rajini Hariharan for a handful of raskias, was packed with songs. She has a robust voice. Better modulation, strict adherence to sruti in raga alapana, neraval singing and kriti rendition will boost her presentation.
Rajini began with the Sahana varnam, Karunimpa, followed by Dikshitar’s Gajananayutam in Vegavahini and the Oottukkadu sahityam, Palvadiyum mugam, in Nattaikurinji. The soul was missing in the elaboration of these ragas as well as in Shyama Sastri’s Ananda Bhairavi kriti O jagadamba rendered later.
Next came Tyagaraja’s Paripurna kama, which was preceded by the raga essay of Puvikalyani; it lacked a smooth flow. The neraval and kalpanaswara, however, were sung with verve. Mal maruga shanmuka in Vasanta came as a good foil before the main piece, Mohanarama.
The alapana of Mohana raga was imaginative, but did not achieve the desired effect since it was not developed step-by-step but in a haphazard fashion. The Tyagaraja kriti Mohana Rama was rendered neatly with lively kalpanaswaras.
The violinist Tirvellore Parthasarathy followed the vocalist faithfully and his returns to neraval and swaram were enjoyable as was the tani by mridangam vidwan Hanumanthapuram Bhuvarahan.
The tail pieces included Bho shambho sung with vigour, Arula vendum taye in Saramati, a Dandapani Desikar composition, Arumugam kanavanden and Dasanamadi, a Dasar nama.
The acoustics at the Narada Gana Sabha mini hall is very poor. It is too loud for the tiny hall and there is nobody around to adjust it. It disturbs both the artists and the listeners.