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Built on patanthara

Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath. Photo: M. Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

Through her rendition of heavyweight compositions firmly rooted in patanthara, backed by a conservative yet exuberant approach to manodharma elements, vocalist Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath ensured an absorbing recital.

The Poorvikalyani alapana struck a chord with broad, light-filled planes etched with minutely detailed motifs. The madhyamakala gait of ‘Ninnuvina’ (Poorvikalyani, Syama Sastry ) supported niraval at ‘Nikhilaloka Janani’ which built kizh kala atmosphere at the tara sthayi shadja and gandhara suites, accelerating to a fluent melkala flow with punch and grip.

The standalone kriti ‘Santhana Ramaswaminam’ (Muthuswami Dikshitar) mined the beauty of Hindolavasantham which exuded a palpable appeal springing from the artist’s involvement.

The inherent mellowness of Shankarabharanam was drawn to the fore in a cohesive essay of the main raga. A melange of crisp veena-syle phrases and vistara-unfurling passages paved the way for a natural progression to the panchama and shadja. Meditative tara-sthayi shadja karvais alternated with caches of melody, while time-tested pidis added strength to an already solid edifice. At the tara sthayi gandhara, anuswara-rich janta prayogas kick-started a brief, effective round of brigas. It was a well-rounded alapana that testified to the vocalist’s classical moorings. Sung with azhuttam, ‘Shankaracharyam’ (Subbarama Dikshitar) was suffixed with niraval in two kalas at ‘Parama Gnana’, wherein felicitous flow of voice and ideation ensured smooth sailing all the way. Sarvalaghu kalpanaswaras, particularly those centred at the tara sthayi gandhara made a telling impact, as did the steady rain of variety-laced permutations in the kuraippu at the panchama.

A vibrant tani by Burra Sriram (mridangam) was characterised by clarity, firmness and nadam. Nagercoil K. Anand (violin) offered a melodious Purvikalyani.

The Tamil padam ‘Tiruvotriyur Tyagarajan’ (Atana, Ghanam Krishna Iyer) and ‘Bruhi Mukundeti’ (Kurinji, Sadasiva Brahmendra) set the seal on a concert that conveyed a commitment to classicism.

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