Sri Krishna Gana Sabha: It would have been nearly impossible for listeners to do anything but just listen.

Sushma Somasekhar’s vibrant singing was perhaps well-suited for a post-lunch concert at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. So energetic and enthusiastic was her recital from start to finish. It would have been nearly impossible for listeners to do anything but just listen.

This is the distinct impression she made in the very first song in Atana, ‘Sri Mahaganapatim Bhajeham’ of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar. She did everything in her vocal power to sustain the feeling through most of the subsequent compositions. The next piece in Mohanam was a case in point. For the kind of alliterative expressions in Dikshitar’s ‘Gopika Manoharam Bhajeham Govardhana Giridharam, Suravaram’ quite naturally infuses zest into the singing.

The extensive exposition of Reetigowla was built on the tempo established so far. ‘Ragaratnamaalika’ was an exquisite delivery, in the spirit of composer Tyagaraja’s invitation to join in the celebration of music. The niraval and the following improvisation bore ample evidence of considerable training and sustained effort.

Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Sri Krishnaswamikku Sari Yevarae’ in Kedaragowla and Tyagaraja’s “Oorajupu,’ marked the interlude before the main piece.

The disciple of Lalitha Sivakumar then launched into an essay of Kalyani and Dikshitar’s famous Navavarna kriti. In the ensuing ornamentation, she indulged herself in a few noteworthy rhythmic variations, before letting the percussionist take over.

Perhaps of interest to Chennai’s devotees was the penultimate song – a composition penned by D. Pattammal. ‘Vadapazhanidanil Uraiyum Tirumuruga’ in Bageshri.

M. H. Raghuram on the violin and R. Ramkumar on the mridangam gave splendid support to the main artist.