Icon of purity
Ravikiran's chitraveena recital was flawless.
Good Chitraveena artiste that he is, Ravi Kiran bestows as much attention on sangita vichara as on the concert vichara. With clear musical values, his energetic presentation was the main characteristic of his playing style. He did not handle the ragas and kirtanas just for their accessories, but to provide an entire image of Carnatic purity. It was a conscious process of creativity aimed at optimising professional expertise.
In his concert for the Krishna Gana Sabha, there was not even a faint suggestion of faltering or a minimal sag in tonality. A rich and radiant tone lent appeal to the precise and fluent sancharas of Pantuvarali, Ritigowla and Hamirkalyani. The picture he drew of these ragas was a blend of delicacy and dexterity, refined and relaxed.
His interpretation of the kirtanas "Appa Rama Bhakti", "Ennadu Joothunu" (Kalavathy) "Brova Bhaarama" (Bahudari) and "Venkata Saila" clearly brought out the radiance of the compositions. In the alapanas Ravi Kiran never erred on the side of over-indulgence. But this was to be seen in the solo session of the violin accompanist Sriram Parasuram. A good violinist has to know when and where to stop and not go on playing for ten minutes when the main artiste himself had taken just five minutes. No doubt, the violinist exhibited good musical statements.
It was a challenging exercise to understand the percussive style of Guruvayur Dorai on the mridangam.
After the C. R. Reddy's "Democracy, Indian Constitution and National Integration" book release function, the concert of Nisha Rajagopal was marked by an air of freshness by her free-flowing musical idiom. It was an intermingling of lyrical passages in raga alapanas and tonal firmness. The simple, straightforward presentation of the ragas Kedaragowla ("Venugana Loluni") and Karaharapriya ("Rama Neeyada") was familiar but the impact she aroused was impressive. A vein of musical passion permeated every sanchara of the two ragas. The other kirtanas, "Maapaala" (Asaveri) and "Venkataramana" (Latangi) were rendered without any fuss.
Except during the solo sessions, the violin accompanist Padma Shankar was indifferently passive. There was not much interaction with the vocalist. Gentle, persuasive percussive support came from the mridangist Thillaisthanam Suryanarayana.
Verve and vitality
The highlight of Sangeetha Sivakumar's concert was the carefully structured and feelingly expressed alapana of Madyamavati and Kambhoji. There was verve and vitality in the sancharas.
The concert's pragmatic perception was manifest in the choice of the kirtanas, "Naadupai," "Evarimata" and "Devi Brova Samayamide" (Chintamani). She sang the kirtanas in such a way as to successfully convey their beauty and enhance their appeal.
As against her gripping exposition, the violin accompaniment by Vasantha Kannan in her solo session was fluffy, through Madhyamavati and Kambhoji were correct, grammar-wise. Nellai Balaji on the mridangam played with fervour to add pep to the songs.
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