Vishnudev Namboothiri — straightforward approach

Straightforward approach and neat presentation are the most appealing features of Vishnudev Namboothiri’s singing. In the well-planned one-and-a-half-hour concert for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, he displayed his talent through the selection of songs in different gaits.

He made a bright start with ‘Sarasiruhasanapriye’ (Puliyur Duraiswamy Iyer) in Nattai that came with a shower of brisk swaras. The effortless reach to the upper octaves displayed his confidence.

The well-structured Lathangi that followed, highlighted the attractive phrases of the raga. An eloquent ‘Venkata ramana’ of Papanasam Sivan followed. The flash of brigas at ‘sankha chakradhari’ in the anupallavi was an intelligent improvisation. The niraval at ‘Alarmel mangai’ landed in fast-paced swarakalpana without compromising on the melody.

Vittal Ranga’s pleasing exposition of ragas and the readiness to adapt to the spirit of the vocalist was appreciable. His Lathangi alapana and interesting jantais in swara segment were impactful and his depiction of Thodi unmasked his skills.

After a quick ‘Makelara vicharamu’ of Tyagaraja in Ravichandrika, Vishnudev moved to the main raga of the evening, Thodi. He constructed the raga carefully from recognisable phrases and brought out well the nuances in the alapana that showed his grasp of the raga. Tyagaraja’s ‘Dasarathi nee’ was the kriti. The glide of the sangatis in the charanam lines ‘Bukthi mukthi kalugu’ were pleasant to the ears. Niraval at the conventional ‘bodhinchina thyagaraja kararchita’ and peaking it with a long fireworks of sangati did earn him the anticipated applause. The swara sequences that followed were set in established phrases of Thodi.

For a lively concert like this, the percussion support by Thanjavur Praveen Kumar on the mridangam and Sunil Kumar on the ganjira were reposeful as well as robust, wherever needed.

Vishnudev wound up the concert with Lalgudi Jayaraman’s tillana in Maand. Overall a vibrant performance, though it raced towards the finish .

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 1:41:00 AM |

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