How Vignesh Ishwar made the best use of his strong voice

Vignesh Ishwar presented an unusually structured concert at Sri Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha

Published - December 22, 2022 05:57 pm IST

Vignesh Ishwar performing at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha

Vignesh Ishwar performing at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha | Photo Credit: RAGU R

Vignesh Ishwar, the recipient of this year’s Dr. MLV award from Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, performed to a packed audience. Every piece that he presented was followed by thunderous applause.

Known for his robust and striking voice, Vignesh began his concert with the lively ‘Manavyala’ (Tyagaraja) in Nalinakanti with a few rounds of swaras. A brief sketch of Ritigowla led to ‘Paripalayamam’ (Swati Tirunal) with a precise swarakalpana on ‘Tamarasayata lochana’. ‘Vazhi maraiththirukkude’ (Gopalakrishna Bharati; Thodi) in a slow tempo tugged at the heartstrings. Should an alapana always prelude a kriti, and why not a tanam? Well, the current tendency to change the routine kutcheri format came to the fore. So Vignesh sang a tanam in Saranga and strangely rendered it for a short duration, leading to ‘Neevada ne gana’ (Tyagaraja). ‘Satyambu nityambu’ was selected for swarakalpana.

Elaborate detailing

Saveri raga was taken for a leisurely and an elaborate detailing. Vignesh used his vocal prowess to delve deep into the raga to present both its subtle and prominent facets. But it seemed more demonstrative than poignant. ‘Durusuga krupajoochi’ (Syama Sastri), with its eloquent chittaswaram and sahityam, was a laudable exercise. The kriti was rendered in the right tenor and Vignesh went for niraval at ‘Narayani syamakrishna vinutha’. Swarakalpana followed in ‘kizh’ and ‘mel’ kalams in detail with shadjam-centric combinations drawing wide appreciation.

Vignesh Ishwar was supported by H.N. Bhaskar on the violin, Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam and K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the kanjira. All these ace artistes kept the concert’s spirit high throughout. It is superfluous to add that the tani avartanam brimmed with energy. Bhaskar followed Vignesh’s creativity like a shadow.

The final pieces were ‘Nadantha kaalgal nondhavo,’ a Thirumazhisai Azhwar Pasuram in Sindhu Bhairavi and an abhang.

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