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Songs with sparkle

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Soulful Carnatic vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan in performance.
Soulful Carnatic vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan in performance.

Concerts by Neyveli Santhanagopalan and Nithyashree were a delight. Venkatesan Srikanth

Neyveli Santhanagopalan, who was featured in the Second Chithirai Isai Vizha (Music Festival), organised by Dwarakalaya at the auditorium of Delhi Tamil Sangam the other day, delighted rasikas by presenting some soulful renderings of the great Tamil composer Papanasam Sivan. The festival was organised as a tribute to this great composer.

Santhanagopalan began his concert impressively with “Thatvamariya taramaa” in raga Rithigowlai, which contained some crisp swaraprastaras. His rendering of “Umaioor Bagane” in raga Nattai, a song not heard often in concerts, was also embellished with some crisp swaraprastaras. He then went on to present “Venkataramana”, in the raga Latangi, which contained a fine niraval elaboration of the phrase “ Alarmelmangai manala ambujanabha dhayala” along with lively swaraprastaras.

As he does in a programme for a private TV channel, Santhanagopalan kept talking in between his renderings, almost throughout his concert. One could gauge his emotional attachment to Papanasam Sivan and his compositions.

Before the start of the concert, he also talked about the composer, giving a good account of Sivan’s contribution to the field of Carnatic music.

Santhanagopalan’s rendering of “Balakrishnan Padamalar” in raga Dhanyasi was emotive, giving utmost importance to the sahitya bhava. “Saravanabava Guhane”, a fast tempo song in raga Kannada was lively and inspiring. Yet another composition, not heard often in concerts, “Matha Innum” in raga Sriranjani, was presented emotively, bringing the sahitya bhava as well as the raga bhava of the composition to the fore.

As a main item of his concert, Santhanagopalan presented “Mahalakshmi” in raga Sankarabharanam. Though the alapana of the raga was more of a “classroom session” type, the presentation of the composition as such was well handled. The subsequent niraval and the culminating swaraprastaras were also handled creatively.

M.R. Gopinath on the violin and Umayalapuram Mali on the mridangam provided excellent and understanding support throughout. While Gopinath’s delineation of the raga Sankarabharanam was delightful, Mali’s tani avartanam (rhythm solo) in the tala Mishra Chapu was enjoyable.

Brief but brilliant

In yet another concert organised by Karnataka Sangeetha Sabha in association with Shri Ariyakudi Music Foundation, at the Delhi Tamil Sangam the other day, Nithyashree Mahadevan enthralled the audience, albeit with her brief concert that lasted for only an-hour-and-a-half. A Bharatanatyam dance recital preceded Nithyashree’s concert . Nevertheless, she made good use of the time by making some brilliant presentations. The highlights of Nithyashree’s concerts were a scintillating alapana of the raga Abhogi before presenting Gopalakrishna Bharati’s “Sabhapatiku”. The subsequent niraval improvisation and the swaraprastharas rich in creativity added weight to her presentation. Shyama Sastri’s “Parakela nannu” in the raga Kedara Gowlai was handled in a matured manner.

As the main item of her concert, Nithyashree rendered Tyagaraja’s “Nidhisala sukhama” in raga Kalyani. She had to rush through with the entire proceedings (alapana, song as well as swaraprastaras). One felt that she could have spent a little more time on this main item. Shertalai Sivakumar on the violin, Delhi’s Kumbakonam Padmanabhan on the mridangam and K. Ramamurthy on the ghatam provided good support to Nithyashree.


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