Prashanth's rendition was marked by high acumen
Prashanth N.R. (at Ganabharathi)firmly adheringto thetraditional aspectswould not admit of anykind of compromise, whichwould undermine the establishednorms: manodharmaexpands freelywithin the chaukattu laiddown by teachers of highacumen.Smitha (violin) and H.L.Shivashankara Swamy(mridanga) accompaniedthe singer: their scholarlycontribution perfectlymatching with the singer'smode and method.Stable voice, gracefullytraversing the octaves, isendowed with such a magisterialtone that drawsimmediate attention andcommands respect. Thegeneral tempo, falling betweenpleasing vilamba andinvigorating madhya layas,made it congenial for enjoyingthe finer aspects ofmusic.Not casually treating thevarna "Viriboni" (Bhairavi -atta taala) as a warming-upexercise, the knowledgeableartiste rightly presentedit as an exceptional pieceof scholarly magnitude.Rendering both thepoorvanga and the uttarangain two speeds, (subjectingeven the ethugadeswaras to such orderly pattern),he laid bare all theten gamakas (Kohala), ingeniouslyincorporated intothe varna byPachimirium Adiappayya.In some areas, the akaarastook the form of naabhithanas, remaining undistortedeven in the taarasancharas."Karikalabha Mukham"(Saveri-Dikshitar), "O Rajivaksha"(Arabhi-Thyagaraja)and "Brovu Brovu"(Keeravani - composer notclear: with some discrepancyin the beginning and theend of the alapana) outshonethe varna in mattersof fervour, grandeur and experience.
In R.K. Padmanabha (Veena - Shri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha and Ganakala Parishath), one may mark a fine blend of virtuosity and creativity, and of the two, ideally the latter shines brighter, and that glow illuminates the compositions, mesmerising the audience.
Kumarswamy (mridanga)and S. Manjunath (ghata) readily fulfilled all the needs of the Vainika's manodharma leading to a grand success.
The instrument, which Padmanabh played, was a Kanaka-Rajatha-Akhanda-Saraswathi Veena, inherited from his father, the luminary R.S.Keshavamurthy, to whom this was given to by Bakshi Veena Subbanna. It is decked with consecrated (Agamoktha) images of Goddesses Saraswati, Chamundeswari, Nagaraja and Krishna, thus transforming it into a sacred shrine of divine music.
Concert started with "Ninnu Kori" (Varna - Mohana - Ramanathapuram Shrinivasa Iyengar). By simultaneously resonating different strings and notes, he drew forth veera and adbhuta rasas, the nature of the construction demanded.
Ranjani (Ranjani Niranjani - GNB) had exemplary academic flavour: variety of graces, including long, swift glides and soft curly movements, nurtured the emotional contents in this lyrics-oriented work. Further, in Dikshitar's "Anandeshwarena", feathery touches to distinct, fine articulations characteristic of Anandabhairavi, fostering sublime lyrics, elevated the audience to contemplative heights.
Raga-thaana-pallavi (Charukeshi) was the finest.
Technically, it was an exquisite interpretation flashing wafts of melodic airs (only tripping occasionally). Creativity reigning, elaboration of lyrics ("Neerajakshi Janani") was packed with emotion.
Ghanapanchaka Ragas formed fine matrix for developing the swarakalpana featuring smooth transitions.
"Visweshwara Darushan" (Sindhubhairavi - Swathi Tirunal) and "Odibarayya" were other interesting inclusions.