R.N. Shrilatha’s concert was an academic one. Her commitment to tradition was evident throughout
R.N. Shrilatha gave a scholarly vocal recital under the auspices of the Shruthimanjari Pratishtana, as part of seven-day music festival celebrating its tenth year. She is straightforward in her approach, and her academically chiselled propensities would not allow any dilution of the grit by flashy lighter touches. The concert shone in its true worth - heartily applauded by the laity and wholeheartedly approved by the earned.
“Sarasijanabha Maampaahi” (Varna – Naata – Palakkadu Parameshwara Bhagavathar) cast its spell, simply because of the narrative compactness and gravity, inspiringly and harmoniously supported by the accompanists. Her authoritative competence flashed indications of the nascent creativity on its way to ripen itself into tangible forms in the presentations that followed. Observe “Brovavamma” (Nilambari-Shyama Shastri): while elaborating the raga, the artiste succinctly placed its substance before the audience. By employing the appropriate gamakas in their indicated areas, she successfully created the expected characteristic swing and the lull in the lyrical section. Whereas, jaaru gamakas favoured karuna rasa, the vali gamakas nourished vaatsalya, and the overall treatment culminated in breathing Bhakti into the composition.
Raga-thaana–pallavi also provided plenty of material for research. Simultaneous with the articulations ascending the scale, conforming to the prescribed general guidelines, Kamboji reached melodic peaks in progressive increments. “Manjari Shruthi Manjari”, verdant pallavi to suit the occasion conveyed the right meaning and materialised in true spirit, with clarity and diction. The swaraprastara went on in Ragamalika: Kedara, Gowla, Rithigowla, Mayamalavagowla, Kannadagowla and Narayanagowla sequence.
The accompanists, Veena Suresh (violin), H.S. Sudhindra (mridanga) and B. Shashishankar (ghata), shared their expertise, imagination and artistry to bring about the success.
Bhagyalakshmi Chandrashekhar’s veena recital in the same venue, oscillated between two extremities. In the absence of such fluctuations, her experience and expertise would have imparted distinct hues of artistry to the concert.
Defective mike system also played its mischievous role causing discomfort to both the sensitive artiste and the listeners. Perhaps, this factor might have either caused or contributed to the above uninspiring situations.
Coming to the positive aspects, observe Kaapi (“Neevalla Gunadoshamemi” -Thyagaraja). She treated the raga stressing on the sentimental aspects rather than on technical sleights. Further, fine work in the taara sthayi built up the necessary mood preparing the audience for a genuine appreciation of the text.
She presented the lyrics in the vocal style, and the swaraprastara richly complemented the overall essence. Raga-thana-pallavi had its own unique features. She built up the alapana in Ragamalika. The transition areas between the ragas were remarkably smooth, pleasing and spontaneous.
Shri Thyagarajaaya Namasthe was the pallavi and the swaraprastara that followed once again contained a series of ragas that were different from those that made up the alapana.
However, selection of popular compositions would have facilitated an average listener to understand what was happening on the stage. G.S. Ramanujan (mridanga) and V. S. Ramesh (ghata) accompanied the artiste.V. NAGARAJ