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Absorbing recital

Times Music C Spiritual - Sanskrit Devotional - Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam - Devki Pandit TCCITE 443C - Rs. 65.

SRI LALITHAMBIKA, a manifestation of Devi Parvathi, has been extolled by Adi Sankara in his Lalitha Sahasranamam. The power and efficacy of chanting the divine names of the Goddess is such that it would most certainly elevate one's quality of living, promote peace and prosperity, free one from sickness and mental tension and help the soul to get liberated. The reciting of the Sahasranamam by Devki Pandit, who is gifted with a melodic facile voice, is absolutely absorbing. Instruments such as the flute, sitar, tabla, etc., have been used in such a way that they do not disturb the tranquillity of the atmosphere. The music composer for this album is Murlidhar and the musical arrangement is by Kedar Pandit. The album also features Lalitha Aarthi. An audio volume that would definitely not allow the dust to settle on it.

Pleasant voice

Carnatica CARCD 1020 - Carnatic Classical Vocal - Isai Kolam - Nisha P. Rajagopal - Rs. 175.

Nisha Rajagopal, an artiste with plenty of talent and a very pleasant voice, has had rigid training in vocal music from stalwarts such as Calcutta Krishnamurthi, Prof. T. R. Subramaniam, P. S. Narayana Swamy and others. Her CD for Carnatica has as many as 13 songs by different composers such as the music trinity, Papanasam Sivan, Mysore Vasudevachar, Gopalakrishna Bharati, Arunachala Kavi, Purandaradasa, Subramanya Bharathi, Sant Namdev, Andal, Swati Tirunal and Kyra.

The accompanists are Nagai Sriram (violin), Thanjavur Kumar (mridangam) and Adambakkam Shankar (ghatam).

Nisha's fidelity to diction with the sangathis in each krithi emerging fluently and tight control over laya deserves positive assessment. The Kalyani and Bhairavi alapanas are well-conceived. The initial karvais and slow catchy prayogas and the crowning brighas that come later reflect not only consummate performing skills but also an intuitive perception of the beauty of the melodies.

The mercurial version of G. N. Balasubramaniam's ``Vasudevayani" has been frozen in the mindset of those who were privileged to listen to him.

The artiste's interpretation of this song and the bright swaraprastharas are convincing.

Shyama Sastri's ``Nannu brovu Lalitha," Bharathiyar's ``Muruga Muruga" and Nachiyar Thirumozhi are cast in the mould of T. M. Thyagarajan. Among the pleasing lighter pieces, the Namdev Abhang in Mishra Sivaranjani scores high on the melody scale. -S.P.

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