A musical glow

V. Nagaraj
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REVIEW Venugopal’s concert paid a lot of attention to detail

pleasing, melodic and meaningfulShivamogga Venugopal
pleasing, melodic and meaningfulShivamogga Venugopal

Shri Guru Puttaraja Sangeetha Sabha had arranged Shivamogga Venugopal’s Hindustani music concert at Vasudevacharya Bhavana, Mysore. On this occasion, the first part of the event presented C.K. Sanjay Kumar’s tabla recital (solo) accompanied by Bheemashankar Bidanur on the harmonium (lehra). The percussionist demonstrated the nuances of teentaal — started with peshkars, continued into variants of dillikayda concluding with interesting mukhdas.

Senior singer, Venugopal commenced his concert with the badha khyal, ‘Karima Naama Tero’ (Miya Malhar). Resilient voice modulated admirably to materialise the mood nested in the raga under interpretation. His voice has a definite charm to express the sentiments to reach appealing climaxes.

With such a perfect and congenial backdrop developed Miya Malhar. The artiste focused exclusively on expanding the lyrical imports to animate the cheez — freely flowing behalavas adding lustre to the passages rendering them pleasing, melodic and meaningful.

Where as the sthayi section flourished on sargams and gamaks proportionate with the lyrical grandeur, the antara section ‘Dukh Daridr Door Keeje’ flourished on emotive fervours complemented by tans in the taara saptak — the chords gaining pronounced momentum and succulent timbre proportionate with such heightened expressions.

The artist was competent in passages like ‘Bijuri Chamake Barase’ (sthayi) and ‘Ghan Garaje Ghan Bijuri Chamake’ (antara) of the chotakhyaal (Sadarang). In all the above sections, in conformity with the singer’s gentle mood and subtle interpretations, both the accompanists displayed their artistry bringing about the overall success of the concert.

‘Biduvenenayya Hanuma’ (Purandaradasa – reaching endearing and climactic peaks in his pukars), ‘Bedutha Bande’ (addressing guru Puttaraja Gawai – lyrics by Desai), Abhang (in Hemant) and ‘Panchakshareshwara Nimma’ (Bhairavi) constituted other highlights.

Prabhu Rao Akki (harmonium – gentle articulations) and Bheemashankar Bidanur (savoury style with flowery mood-oriented configurations) accompanied Venugopal.


V. Balakrishnan sang at Vasudevacharya Bhavana for a B.S. Kishan Memorial Concert. Anand Vishwanathan (violin) and Sai Shiv Lakshmi Keshav (mridanga) accompanied the young singer.

The artiste’s melodic voice accommodating subtle inflections effected the emergence of melodic airs. Nevertheless, in the present instance, frequent deflections from the set shruthi diluted the impact.

He commenced with Muthayya Bhagavathar’s varna ‘Shri Raja Mathangi’ (Shudha Dhanyasi) followed by compositions like ‘Sarasiruhasanapriye’ (Naata – Puliyoor Doraisvami Iyer), ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’ (Shriraga – Thyagaraja) and ‘Naada Thanumanisham’ (Chittaranjani – Thyagaraja).

Balakrishnan interpreted Panthuvarali (‘Saarasaaksha Paripalaya’ - Swathi Thirunal) attractively; yet, he could have desirably made it more interesting by avoiding repetition of near-similar musical phrases, and by evolving it more methodically treading on different paces. Neraval at ‘Bhaamini Samudayaashaya’ was predominantly tune-oriented. ‘Paalinchu Kamakshi’ (Madhyamavati – Shyama Shastri) was the focus of the concert with a neraval (‘Kaanthamagu’) and Swarakalpana. Tani avarthana by Sai Shivu demonstrated his mastery over framing interesting and intricate beat-phrases.

V. Nagaraj



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