Focus on swara sanchara

Raga maigc: Sankaranarayanan in Thripunithura.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The presentation of a kirthana and the way of expressing its right raga bhava are two of the features that reveal the expertise of a vocalist. These features were present in ample measure in Chennai V. Shankaranarayanan's concert at Sivapoorna Auditorium, Thripunithura.

Only his training under veterans such as Vaigal Jnanaskandan, Lalgudi Jayaraman and T.R. Subrahmaniam could have helped him render a sweet and elegant alaap of Ranjini raga. Violinist Trivandrum Sampath Kumar's subtle support enhanced the magic.

Excellent tani

Tygaraja's ‘Durmaargachara' impressed the listeners even when Shankaranarayanan concentrated more on swara sanchaara than the rhythm, especially while increasing the speed of his singing in the second kaala, leading to tripping of the rhythm. But proficient mridangam player Palghat K.S. Mahesh Kumar ensured that the concert was not derailed by this. His tani had the resonance of an experienced artiste. The different nataas Mahesh played were notable of a senior player. Uduppi Sreekanth accompanied well on the ganjira.

Swara sanchaara was revealed as the singer's masterpiece, which was at its best in slow tempo (chauka kaala) compositions such as Dikshitar's ‘Sree Raamam' in Narayanagowla, where the beauty of the movements of the swaras (swara sancharam) were remarkably etched. Tyagaraja's ‘O Rangasaayi' in Kamboji, the main of the day, was a trifle lengthy. He introduced a novel element by singing the niraval at ‘bhooloka vaikuntam,' which is the beginning of the charanam. The style of singing ‘nishada' swara, especially during the rendering of Narayanagowla, had the orthodox touch of the Semmangudi bani.

Shankaranarayanan's effortless singing was highlighted at the beginning of the concert with ‘Intha chaalamu,' a Begada varnam by Veena Kuppaiyer. This was followed by ‘Seethamma Maayamma,' a Tyagaraja composition in Vasantha and ‘Kanchadalaayathaakshi,' composed by Dikshitar in Kamalamanohari. Shankaranarayanan's selection of traditional ragas and keerthanas and his graceful presentation touched the heart of music lovers.

He also sang Chandrajyothi, a difficult raga that is usually sung by experts because of the difference in Nishada swara. Shankaranarayanan rendered ‘Bagayanayya,' a Tyagaraja kriti in this raga.

Shankaranarayanan found time for popular thukkadas also, such as Swati Tirunal's ‘Jayajayadevi' in Misr Behag and Purandaradasa's ‘Rama manthrava japiso e manuja' in Jonpuri.

The concert was held under the aegis of Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 8:13:33 AM |

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