Music

Sowmya proves her musical wisdom

Sowmya performing at the Music Academy in Chennai

Sowmya performing at the Music Academy in Chennai   | Photo Credit: S_R_Raghunathan

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Sowmya presented the intricate aspects of every raga and composition

S. Sowmya’s constant quest to explore and bring out the traditional facets of classical music was once again evident in her concert. She made confident statements through her selection of ragas and kritis .

She began with Thodi varnam ‘Era napai’ with a few rounds of swaras and followed it up with ‘Mariyadagadayya’ of Tyagaraja in raga Bhairavam which one hears rarely on concert platforms. The commendable part was the swara trail on ‘Tanavaru lanyunave’.

An exhaustive and erudite Khambodi alapana came up next. The raga was presented in all its majesty. Sowmya negotiated the beautiful segments of the raga in lower, middle and upper octaves. There couldn’t have been a better choice than ‘Evarimata’ of Tyagaraja to match the magnificent alapana. In place of the customary ‘Bhakta paradhina,’ Sowmya chose ‘Shakti gala mahadevudu’ for niraval and swaras. But she went in for a brief swarakalpana. The focus was more on the raga, kriti presentation and niraval.

Her next was Husseni raga exposition. The raga carries a slight forlorn tenor and it came through perfectly in Sowmya’s approach. Matching the mood, it was Arunachala Kavi’s ‘Eppadi manam’ which brought forth the anguish of Sita in the Rama Nataka kritis. Moving into a brisk phase, Sowmya rendered‘Brova barama’ in Bahudari . The pallavi came with rapid-fire swaras, bringing to the fore the brightest shades of Bahudari.

It was time for RTP, Sowmya, as expected, used her musical insight to showcase rare ragas. So she familiarised the audience with a raga named Padi. She said it is an ancient raga dating to the time of Annamacharya. Muthuswami Dikshitar had composed a Trithiya Vibhakti kriti ‘Sriguruna palitosmi’ in it. A derivative of Melakarta raga Mayamalavagowla, she mentioned that her guru, the legendary Dr. S. Ramanathan, had sung RTP in this raga. Sowmya presented a ragam and pallavi in Padi. Not every raga offers scope for the musician to expand it in detail; it is the knowledge, comprehension and ingenuity of the artiste and the manner in which it is presented play a major role in making the listeners enjoy.

Sowmya proved that she is a musician who can identify and presented the best of the intricate aspects of every raga and composition. The exquisite RTP went as ‘Paadi mukti pera vendum, iraiyai, guruvai, isayai’. There was neither an overstatement nor an underplay. It showcased the extent to which the raga can be developed and sung. R.K.Shriramkumar at every step matched Sowmya’s vision perfectly. His answers in Khambodi, Bahudari and Padi were excellent.

Neyveli R. Narayanan and Chandrasekara Sharma on the mridangam and ghatam need to be credited for their support. The thani avartanam was a compact treat of rhythmic sallies. Keeping with the tradition, Sowmya concluded her concert with a padam and javali.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:57:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/sowmya-proves-her-musical-wisdom/article30459872.ece

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