Music

Classical fare

Geetha Raja performing at The Mylapore Fine Arts Club. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

Matchless training at the hands of great maestros such as Bombay Ramachandran, T. Brinda, K.S. Narayanaswami and Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan, combined with sharp intellectual acumen and inherent aptitude are the attributes that stand by Geetha Raja. In these times when traditions attract scant respect, Geetha offered a truly classical fare with the Brinda stamp strikingly conspicuous. She has a rich resonant voice that traverses melodiously through the three stayis with ease.

The strains of Hemavathi raga for the RTP were a welcome overture. It was a work of art of creative rendering, bringing out the best of our music. On the violin was M. Narmada, with her totally appealing aesthetic sense. The Parur style was prominently manifest. In thanam, Geetha Raja’s musical craftsmanship came to the fore. She rendered the pallavi, ‘Dasarathe, Karunapayonidhe,’ set in khanda jati triputai, 12 matras after Samam with impeccable sense of laya and charismatic manodharma. The trikaala avartham and the ragamalika (Sahana, Ranjani and Madhyamavati) swarams were a connoisseur’s delight. The concluding swaras backward in the ragamalika were splendid.

The thani, provided by J. Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and Papanasam S. Sethuraman (ganjira) was a soft display with superior technical virtuosity. J. Vaidyanathan demonstrated depth and intricacy of rhythm right through the concert.

In her detailed thodi alapana, Geetha Raja was liberal in offering the inherent phrases of the raga. On the violin, Narmada drew out its quintessence. Tyagaraja’s regal kriti, ‘Gaddanuvariki’ had elaborate niraval and swarams at the Charanam, ‘Niddura Nirakarinchi.’ In the concluding korvai, Geetha Raja’s technical brilliance took the lead.

Geetha commenced her concert with the Sri raga Varnam, followed by Tyagaraja’s rarely heard composition in Pratapavarali, ‘Vina Nashakoni.’ Garbhapurivasa’s Gowrimanohari composition ‘Brova Samayamide’ had swarams at the pallavi.

There were two gorgeous Javalis – one in a folkish Husseini and the other in Bhairavi. Emotive element was noticeable in Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Maname Kanamum’ (Bhimplas). Geetha Raja concluded her recital with a Mira bhajan, the Mandari thillana of Thanjavur Ponnaiah Pillai and Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Karpagame.’

ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 1:30:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Classical-fare/article11479341.ece

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