MUSIC The Sangeetha Parishat in Mysore has been for the last 19 years, steadily keeping the music environment alive. They recently had a four-day music festival

Sangeethotsava 2012 under the joint patronage of Sangeetha Parishat, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Department of Kannada and Culture and Mangalore University, presented a four-day music festival at the University College Auditorium, Mangalore.

The Parishat of 19 years standing, has been continually satiating the needs of the connoisseurs of Mangalore — serious, knowledgeable, dedicated and studious. It is a joy to find youngsters attending in large numbers and jotting down notes.

On the inaugural day, Nireeksha U.K. (Mangalore) endowed with a bold and melodious voice sang with verve, and confidence that made her concert lively and inspiring commensurate with her age and experience. Sanal Kumar (violin) and Balakrishna Hosamane (mridanga) accompanied her. She is clear in expressions, and her vocal inflections convincingly convey the imports of the lyrics.

Compositions like “Siddhivinayakam Anisham” (Shanmukhapriya – Dikshithar), “Devi Neeye Tunai” (Keeravani – Periyasami Tooran / Papanasham Sivan) and Durmargachara (Ranjani – Thyagaraja) stood as justifiable testimonies to the above observations.

“Koluvamaregada Kodandapaani” (Thodi – Thyagaraja) provided the necessary base to display the young singer’s commitment.

Whereas, alapana displayed impressive and fluent ideas, swarakalpana (also some passages of alapana) marginally lagged behind just for want of accuracy in aligning with the specific swarasthanas.

“Neenyaako Ninna Hangyako” (Purandaradasa), “Neenupeksheya Maade” (Kanakadasa) and tillana were other highlights of the concert.

***

Neela Ramgopal’s concert was an embodiment of classicism and grandeur. In her concert, one will invariably find all the elements of proportion, balance, restraint and simplicity.

Visualize the outcome of such a concert when such components were finely blended with another prerequisite - tradition - carefully imbibed and imaginatively inculcated.

Collective contribution from the accompanists - Mattur R. Shrinidhi (violin), B. C. Manjunath (mridanga), Sukanya Ramgopal (ghata) and Priyanka Prakash (supporting vocalist) reinforced the absorbing mood the lead artiste created at all level of progressions.

The concert started with Tiruvottiyur Thyagayya’s Varna, “Sami Dayajuda” (Kedaragoula). Crisp and energetic graces adumbrated the finesse that came to the fore later in compositions like “Maha Ganapathim” (Amrithavahini – Jayachamaraja Wadiyar), “Nandagopala Mukunda” (Yaman Kalyani – Dikshithar), “Parvathi Ninu Ne” (Kalgada – Shyamashastri) and “Neepaadame Gati” (Nalinakanti – GNB).

The accomplished singer’s exemplary approach to cream off the essence nested in the lyrics treading on a majestic tempo placed before the audience compositions of high lyrical grandeur and spiritual significance.

Observe, for example, her sense of diction that rendered a Sanskrit passage like Vighnanashakam Viraaginam Videhamuktheshvaram (in Jayachamaraja Wadiyar’s composition) transcending.

Further, intuitive visualisation in framing the kalpanaswaras enhanced the specific moods she created while presenting the compositions achieving harmony with their core musical substance. “Rama Ni Yeda” (Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja) was the focus of the concert comprising analytically drawn alapana, meaningfully expanded charana (at “Thana Soukhyamu Thaanerugaka”), majestically framed kalpanaswaras and attractive tani avarthana.

Raga-tana-pallavi (“Somasundareshwara Priya”) in Bageshri irrefragably vouched for the veteran singer’s scholarship and competence.

Melody and meaning governed all the passages — technical intricacies remaining subservient to the intended mood. Swarakalpana passed through Mohana, Anandabhairavi and Amrithavarshini.

V. Nagaraj

The second and concluding part of this review will appear next week