Music

Rain of swaras

With considerable reverence: R. Parthasarathy.  

Accessing the venue at the interior of East Abhiramapuram was a task in the lashing rains despite the directions given by the organisers, Brrhdhwani and Rasayana. The aesthetically furnished flat was the chamber where R. Parthasarathy was to give a concert. The gathering was, in fact, just handful and a few arrived little late and wet including the accompanists. The arrangement of acoustics (conceivably elaborate for a chamber concert) took some more time.

R. Parthasarathy, after his tutelage under his father Raghavan, who belonged to the school of Cheranmadevi Subramanya Sastri, developed a style of his own fully influenced by the ‘exceptional gayaki’ technique of S. Balachander. Parthasarathy carries a remarkable film industry credentials by playing almost in all orchestras of the popular music directors of the South. His complete control over the instrument is incredible.

Parthasarathy conciliated the rain goddess by opening his recital with Dikshitar’s ‘Anandamritakarshini’ in raga Amritavarshini. A rain of swaras was an add-on to the steady offering of the kriti. Anandabhairavi followed with a tanam, a speciality of veena and the composition here was ‘Sama Gana Priye’ of Periaswami Thooran. The alapana, tanam and kriti were rendered at a leisurely pace emphasising the exotic nuances of the raga. Being a chamber concert, Parthasarathy preferred to try something unusual. The fourth copper string representing the ‘anu mantra sthayi’ in the veena was also set to madyama sruti and some abysmally base sancharas were attempted for the next raga Hindolam. Dikshitar’s zestful ‘Govardhana Gireesam’ was his pick here.

One could easily relate Parthasarathy’s playing to the late maestro S. Balachander as he brought forth the over stressed gayaki style characteristic of the veteran almost in the similar amazing fashion. This did sound endurable in the lower regions but the extra pull to elicit many notes in the upper registers proved to be overkill. Veena sounds soothing and serene with delicate touches than in persuasive pluck or pull.

Brisk presentation

A brisk and bright ‘Nenarunchi Nanu’ in Malavi was the filler between Anandabhairavi and Hindolam. Kalyani, the raga of the evening, came as a blend of smooth and staccato phrasings. The quirky jumps thrown in between the free and fluid raga flow added a queer zing to the alapana. The tanam here was an extended, enjoyable and exhilarating one. The experimenting of struti bedam was also touched upon in the raga alapana to add more spice.

Tyagaraja’s ‘Nidhichala Sukhama’ was played with considerable reverence. The niraval and swaras at the point ‘Mamatha Bandana’ completed the exercise. B. Ganapathyraman and S. Karthick on mridangam and ghatam respectively, sounded in a subdued tenor with an aim to highlight the sound of the veena.

Small room space with furniture and loudspeakers, video recording man blocking the view and distractions by late entrants played havoc to the otherwise enjoyable recital.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 2:21:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Rain-of-swaras/article16181166.ece

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