Bhavya Hari’s repertoire had well-chosen kritis on Devi

The concert also included pieces composed by her gifted ancestors

Bhavya Hari’s vocal recital during the recent Navaratri festivities went pretty much along expected lines. Such a placid statement, however, did not detract from the immense joy one derived from listening to the kritis on Devi at the Arkay Convention Centre, Mylapore, Chennai.

After all, predictability and repetition, you might say, are but two sides of the same coin in the classical music context.

The concert was equally noteworthy for the tributes the artiste paid to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Bhavya, daughter and disciple of T.V. Sundaravalli, commenced her performance with ‘Kuvalayakshi Kusalam Kuru,’ a G.N. Balasubramanian varnam. This Kadhana Kuthuhalam piece had many lilting phrases, characteristic of similar works in the scale. Following next was Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Sarasadala nayane,’ in Saramathi; a short and lively presentation, with improvisation in the anupallavi.

Innovative swara passages

‘Kamakshi,’ Syama Sastri’s swarajati on the presiding deity of Kanchi, was the first major piece of the early evening recital. Bhavya decorated the song with a niraval around the final charanam, followed by some imaginative kalpanaswaras. She then made space for Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Annapoorne,’ in Sama.

Bhavya opened her session with ‘Mahalakshmi jaganmatha,’ Papanasam Sivan’s famous kriti, with an engaging alapana, as well as some embellishments towards the conclusion. ‘Santhi nilava vendum,’ was evidently chosen as a homage to the Father of the Nation. But for some in the audience, it was also a throwback to the times when the song had featured as the anthem of Chennai’s anti-nuclear weapons campaign and the Movement for People’s Unity. In a tune identical to the well-known composition ‘Jagadodharana,’ the artiste presented her great grandfather Sitarama Bhagavatar’s song ‘Jagadam Ishvari Tribhuvana Sundari.’ The Bhagavatar was inspired to set the lyrics to Kapi raga due to the popularity of the Purandara Dasa song. The Tiruppugazh that followed was set in Ragamalika featuring ragas Saraswati, Ranjani, Sama and Chitrambari. Interestingly, this was tuned by Bhavya’s maternal grandfather, T.S. Vasudevan, a disciple of Tiger Varadachari, and a contemporary of GNB.

The accompanists for the evening were V. Deepika on the violin and Kishore Ramesh on the mridangam.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 11:35:19 PM |

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