Grand display of classicism by Vijay Siva

Vijay Siva accompanied by Tiruchi Sankaran (mridangam); R.k. Shriramkumar (violin) and Anirudha Athreya (ganjira) at his concert for Parthasarathy Swami Sabha.

Vijay Siva accompanied by Tiruchi Sankaran (mridangam); R.k. Shriramkumar (violin) and Anirudha Athreya (ganjira) at his concert for Parthasarathy Swami Sabha.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu


Features that underline the success of Vijay Siva’s concert are lessons for young aspirants

In the Western world, each genre of music is preserved almost in its entirety. Thus symphonies do not have elements of jazz or pop. Likewise, literary works of Shakespeare or Ilango Adigal (author of Silappadikaram) are not meddled with. So it sounds odd to say that someone presented a Carnatic concert in a classical style! And that lot is endangered. Vijay Siva is one who takes extreme care to shun ill-fitting corruption of our music. His concert for Parthasarathy Swami Sabha was a grand exhibition of classicism — I squirm having to use the term.

Vijay Siva’s programme was sound but that does not reveal the execution specifics which underline the success of the concert. For those interested in the list, here is a partial one – ‘Chalamela’ (Darbar varnam), ‘Saketa nagara’ (Harikhambodi, Sadasiva Rao), ‘Sri Sundararajam’ (Pantuvarali, Dikshitar), ‘Enduku dayaradura’ (Thodi, Tyagaraja), ‘Sari Evvare’ (Sahana, Tirupati Narayanaswami), ‘Devi brova’ (Chintamani, Syama Sastri), ‘Kamakshi’ (Bilahari, Dikshitar) and an RTP in Anandabhairavi.

Short and sweet varnam

The way every song was rendered served a distinct purpose. The warm-up varnam, short and sweet, the early ‘Saketa nagara’ offering brisk pace and travel through higher notes, embellished with a niraval at ‘Rajitha Amarapala’ and the quintessential concert electrifier, Pantuvarali/Kasiramakriya, all turned on the gloss. There were several teaching moments for youngsters as well — Kalapramanam of ‘Sri Sundararajam,’ for example. It was a mid-way speed ensuring a tight concert beat.

Vijay’s Thodi alapana lasted about five minutes and was another lesson on capsuling a vast scope with choicest pickings. His repertoire took him to explore other composers such as Syama Sastri (Devi brova) and Tirupati Narayanaswami (Sari evvare in Sahana) and Andal’s Tiruppavai (Koodaarai vellum).

Another lesson in time management was on offer by Vijay’s approach of not appending niraval and swaram for all key songs. Swaram for Pantuvarali and niraval in Thodi at ‘Tyagarajavinutha’ were worthy ways to do justice to manodharmam without an overload.

Traversing 2 ½ octaves, Vijay Siva’s Bilahari had a characteristic flavour. R.K. Shriramkumar’s raga essay packed in a lot of bhavam. A Dikshitar kriti interpretation is a lesson by itself and Vijay’s effort was one, preferring only well-honed non-briga sangathis. ‘Kamakale vimale’ is a rare spot for the niraval but such is Dikshitar’s dense raga embroidery that you can virtually choose any spot in a song. The Pallavi in Anandabhairavi “Kamalavadane, Kamala dala nayane” in Misra tripudai was just more than a teaser but brought the team into a dynamic mode. Shriramkumar has a fine internalisation of kritis and his support was a key to the concert results.

Veteran Tiruchi Sankaran enjoyed the perky madhyama kalam, demonstrating finger works that would be envy of people half his age. The on-stage relationship among co-percussionists is often a matter of muted but tense scrutiny. Sankaran probably is an exception to the rule. He guided, appreciated and combined well with Anirudh Athreya for an engaging tani avarthanam. Take a bow, all those upholding classicism!

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 2:55:23 AM |

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