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On a new high

RANEE KUMAR
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Music The beauty of Sudha Raghunathan’s concert lies in the treatment she metes out to different ragas. RANEE KUMAR

Her name is enough to pull all the music aficionados, across all ages to her concert. Sudha Raghunathan’s charm never fades. The tone and timbre of her voice is such that she can keep us glued to our seats and her grip on the subject is by now an established fact. The entire concert moves on an unremitting balance where the pace may vary, the octaves are scaled as is done, the manodharma inclusive of alapana may open up the vistas of musical creativity within the boundaries set. Yet there is no room for artistic emotion to shape the tone within again, the rigid framework of classicality.

The beauty of her concert lies in the treatment she metes out to different ragas especially in the alapana and kalpanaswara. For instance, her deep, sonorous pause at the rishabham (ri) in Hamsadhwani for Triupurasundari Ninne was an added dimension to the kriti. Nambi kettavar evarayya … in Hindolam and Ennallu Urake … in Subhapanthuvarali were embellished with enchanting sangathi and neraval not to talk of her immense virtuosity. Artistry is the pivot of her alapana or swarkalpana.

The violinist, Raghavendra Rao, despite encouragement by the vocalist did not come up to the mark. By the same token, Skanda Subramaniam on the mridangam was in full control. Annamayya keertana in Abheri Paluku tenela talli …’ was the most emotive. The light trademark tilt Sudha gives to the ending phrase as she scales the upper octave, is nevertheless lovely.

A very elaborate alapana marked the Sankarabharanam revealing the finer nuances of this intense melakartha. The vocalist adorned it with her stylistic interpretation like a skillful sculptor would. The reflective kriti, Swara ragasudha rasayutha … burst forth in its full glory with a host of sangathis which not only mirrored the raga but also the telling kriti from Thyagaraja’s treasure trove. The tristhayi swarakalpana at mardala … preceded by an evocative neraval was stupendous. This centre-piece lifted the concert to a new high giving us a feel of real Carnatic music.

The recital was part of Sri Chandrasekharendra Sangeetha Educational Society’s annual Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at Keyes High School.


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