Music

Enchanting notes

Arjun Sambasivan and Narayanan giving a keyboard concert in Palakkad

Arjun Sambasivan and Narayanan giving a keyboard concert in Palakkad   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Siblings Arjun Sambasivan and Narayanan showcased their prowess on the keyboard at a concert in Palakkad.



Presenting classical Carnatic music with raga alapana and swaras on the keyboard is a challenging feat. That the young brothers Arjun Sambasivan and Narayanan did it perfectly in their concert at the Rama Dhyana Madom, Kalpathy, was a testament to their grounding in Carnatic music.

Groomed by Korattur Sahasranamam and mandolin wizard U. Srinivas, they exhibited their skill in handling the keyboard. Presently under the tutelage of Chitraveena Ravikiran, the duo showcased their good patanthara in all their renditions.

Beginning impressively with the Navaraga varnam ‘Valachi Vachi’ of Kothavaasal Venkatarama Iyer, they proceeded to a spirited ‘Sree Mahaganapathi Ravathuma’, the well-known composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Gowla. An alluring delineation of Reethigowla by Narayanan followed; the raga bhava emanated lucidly in his exposition. Swati Tirunal’s popular krithi ‘Paripaalayamam’ was laced with an array of appealing swara combinations. The vivacious presentation of ‘Thaye yesoda’ (Oothukkadu Venkatakavi) was preceded by a brief but sweet sketch of Thodi by Narayanan.

The Tyagaraja Pancharatna kriti ‘Jagadanandaka’ in Natta was an authentic rendition. The racy ‘Paalinthuvo Paalimpavo’, a kriti of Tyagaraja in the rare raga Kanthamani (61st mela), was a welcome flash before the main item Bilahari, which was explored in depth by Arjun. The alapana captured the myriad shades of the raga in full measure.

Taking up the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Dorakuna Ituvanti’, rarely heard on the concert platform nowadays, the duo revelled in the ingenious swaraprastharas. They revealed their superb command on the instrument in the ragamalika swaras that were played alternately by both. As a novelty, they asked violinist Subbaraman to present a different raga. While the duo played Rasikapriya, Hamsanandi, Kapi and Revathi, Subbaraman presented Gaanamoorthi and Sahana.

The brothers’ swift movements and improvisations on the instrument were impressive. Annamacharya’s soulful ‘Nanaatibratuku’ in Revathi was an apt piece to conclude the concert.

Subbaraman displayed his rich manodharma in his raga versions and swara sallies. The United States-based Anand Iyer, a disciple of mridangam maestro Palghat Rajamani, won the hearts of the listeners with his sprightly show on the mridangam. The thani in Adi tala gave him ample opportunities to unleash his percussion skills. He was supported by K. Ranganathan (ghatam), who made a good contribution in the thani. The event was organised by Guruvayur Dorai Music Centre.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 2:43:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Enchanting-notes/article14500895.ece

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