Mylapore Fine Arts Club Music

Nirmala Rajasekar’s veena recital underscored her expertise

Nirmala Rajasekar   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Nirmala Rajasekar’s morning veena concert at this sabha was an absolute treat. The artiste knows her medium of musical communication with extraordinary discernment and supreme confidence so much so that each and every item offered turned out to be highly delectable.

Leading her recital with ‘Sarasooda’ well-known Saveri varnam, Nirmala touched the contours of Begada to present Dikshitar’s ‘Vallabha nayakasya’ with a bouquet of swaras. Then it was a highly canorous spread of Chala Nattai. Many mini and micro phrases were added to this slow treatise enhancing the lustre. Koteeswara Iyer’s ‘Edayya gati’ was the chosen piece.

Dynamic swara suite

Purvikalyani was given a deeper and lengthy elaboration. Starting from the opening pattern, the raga essay was studded with bright motifs thus capturing the essence of Purvikalyani. It was Neelakanta Sivan’s ‘Ananda nadamaduvar’ and ‘Pathi mathi jothi’ was connected to a highly dynamic swara suite.

‘Entavedu kondu’ in Saraswati Manohari (Tyagaraja) came as a filler before Nirmala took up Kiravani as the main. Kiravani raga is one with exceptional assonance. Nirmala skilfully developed it unravelling the myriad hues of the raga. The well-defined gamakas gave immense power. The composition here went in favour of Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Innamum santhega padalaamo.’ The customary line ‘Ponnambalamthannil’ was treated with a rain of swaraprastharas.

Nirmala made her recital more interesting by sharing details about the kriti that she played, composer, raga and tala.

In between her playing, she also sang along at many places making the listening more pleasing since her voice is also good. Incidentally, she was one of the leading singers at the Tiruvaiyaru Tyagaraja aradhana on Saturday.

This concert in addition to Nirmala Rajasekar’s expertise brought out the wonderful talent of the young violinist Apoorva Krishna. Veena concerts rarely entertain violin support. Nevertheless, Nirmala, who always encourages violin in her programmes offered a great opportunity to the young artiste to demonstrate her skill.

Apoorva showed amazing understanding and perception of the ragas and swaras in her responses especially in the Chalanattai alapana, Purvikalyani swaras and in Kiravani. Her instant and impeccable repartees were a treat to listen. Apoorva shows a lot of promise.

Chidambaram S. Balasankar is a percussionist in mridangam much preferred by vainikas as he knows how to strike a fine balance between instrumental music and rhythmic projections. In the company of N. Rajaraman on the ghatam he acted as a perfect foil to Nirmala and Apoorva and their tani avartanam was short and sweet.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 3:16:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/nirmala-rajasekars-veena-playing-underscored-her-expertise/article22420960.ece

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