Friday Review

The creamy layer

WELL STRUCTURED Ramakrishna Murthy  

During the week long celebrations of Sree Skanda Shashti Festival of Sree Swaminatha Swami Seva Samaj, popularly known as the ‘Malai Mandir’, Chennai-based young vocalist Ramakrishna Murthy was featured on the last day of the festival. Adhering to the inherent theme of the festival, Ramakrishna Murthy structured his concert based on compositions on Lord Kathikeya (also known as Lord Muruga). Ramakrishna Murthy put to good use his rich repertoire of compositions, despite his voice not being in a fine fettle during the concert, by singing these songs in quick succession, interweaving his creative talent to the delight of the music lovers. These songs were predominantly those of Muthuswami Dikshitar and Papanamam Sivan and the concert was held at the temple complex .

Ramakrishna Murthy started his concert with Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Swaminatha’ in the raga Nata affixing kalpanaswaras displaying his creative talent even at that very early stage of his concert. He took up the popular composition of Papanasam Sivan ‘Kavava’ in the raga Varali and sang this in an emotive manner.

Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Balasubrahmanya’ in the raga Bilahari and ‘Subrahmanyena’ in the raga Suddha Dhanyasi were handled well. Ramakrishna Murthy also affixed a brief raga alpana for the former composition and detailed kalpanaswaras for both the compositions. In particular, the fast-paced kalpanaswaras for the latter composition was both delightful and gave a fillip to his recital. While singing Koteeswara Iyer’s ‘Edayya gati’, Ramakrishna Murthy once again brought out the emotive contents of the lyrics to the fore.

Ramakrishna Murthy took up a few more popular songs ‘Muruga muruga’, a composition of Periyasami Tooran in raga Saveri and ‘Kartikeya Gangeya’ a composition of Papanasam Sivan in raga Todi for detailed rendition. In fine delineation, he brought out the nuances of these ragas to the fore.

He was equally outstanding while he presented the anu pallavi portion of the latter song in the form of neraval and the subsequent kalpanaswaras, which spoke highly about the depth of his creative talents.

In the concluding session too, Ramakrishna Murthy engaged the complete attention of the music lovers by singing verses from Aurnagirinathar’s Kandar Anubuti in the form of ragamalika vrithums in Bihag and Kapi, before singing Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Sodanai Sumai’ (in Kapi). He concluded his concert in a befitting manner by singing a Thiruppuzhal of Arunagirinathar.

On the whole, notwithstanding the fact that his voice was not in a fine fettle, Ramakrishna Murthy made brilliant efforts to make this a memorable concert.

Chennai based L. Ramakrishnan on the violin and Umayalpuram Mali on the mridangam provided excellent support to Ramakrishna Murthy. While Ramakrishnan’s takes, in particular, Saveri and Todi ragas were delightfully produced in his instrument, Mali’s riveting mridangam support in the concert and his tani avartanam in adi tala were captivating.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 3:38:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/The-creamy-layer/article16442872.ece

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