Music

Ashwath Narayanan’s lucid enunciation of ragas

Ashwath Narayanan performing at Vani Mahal in Chennai

Ashwath Narayanan performing at Vani Mahal in Chennai   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan

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Ashwath Narayanan rendered time-tested kritis with a touch of creativity

Of course, talent is inborn. However, Ashwath Narayanan has discovered it at a young age and nurtured it too. And his well-attended morning concert proved his creative genius. The purity of music, its scope and range and his ability to hold the attention of his audience were impressive.

Ashwath could invest Arunachala Kavirayar’s ‘Yarendru Raghavanai’ (Yadukula Khambodi) with grace and colour. The context of the song in Rama Nataka is significant. When Rama goes after the golden deer, Sita and Lakshmana hear Rama’s cry for help. Sita asks Lakshmana to rush to Rama’s rescue. At this moment, Lakshmana asks Sita, ‘Oh, Mother, who do you think Rama is?’ And he goes on to describe the omnipotent power of Rama. With his resonant voice, Ashwath emotionally brought out its very soul, creating an atmosphere of absolute devotion.

The centrepiece of the concert was ‘Nidhi Chala Sukhama’ of Saint Tyagaraja. The Kalyani alapana was handled with imagination, style, lucid phrases and rendered in the true spirit of the kriti.

On the violin, R. Raghul, disciple of M. Chandrasekharan, while staying within the contours of Ashwath’s delineation, displayed his individuality and ingenuity. Extensive niraval and all-embracing swaras were at ‘Mamata Bandhana Yuta.’

The thani by Arun Prakash (mridangam), disciple of M.N. Kandaswamy, and N. Guruprasad (ghatam), who learnt the art from his father Nagaraja Rao and later from T.H. Vinayakram, was as eloquent as it was educative. Arun Prakash commenced the proceedings in the slow pace Tisra nadai in Misra Chapu. He reminds one of the subtleties of the inimitable Pazhani style, in nourishing the keerthanas.

Ashwath’s Atana was characteristic of the KVN bani. No wonder, as he had his tutelage under him and then from Padma Narayanaswamy. In Tyagaraja’s ‘Bala kanakamaya,’ he presented wide-ranging niraval and swaras at ‘Rara Devadi Deva.’ Raghul’s response had exciting inputs in the form of notes in pure classical genre.

Ashwath’s two-hour concert began with the Mohanam varnam, with swaraprasthara at ‘Sannuthanga,’ followed by ‘Rara Mayinti’ (Tyagaraja-Asaveri), with kalpanaswaras at the Pallavi. Similarly, for ‘Samajavaragamana’ (Hindolam) too, Ashwath chose to render swaraprastaras at the Pallavi.

He wound up the concert with a Behag Virutham followed by the Tiruppavai, ‘Oruththi Maganai Pirandhu’ and the popular Paras Tillana of Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:58:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/ashwath-narayanans-lucid-enunciation-of-ragas/article30459909.ece

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