Music

Virtuoso at work

Erudite: TV Shankaranarayan'c concert in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

T.V. Sankaranarayanan's concerts may have echoes of the style of his mentor and uncle Madurai Mani Iyer. Yet the virtuoso has gone a long way in achieving his own bani. His recital in Kochi on Swati Tirunal day began with a Sarasangi composition ‘Jaya Jaya Padmanabha,' which had mellifluous swara passages. The vocalist was supported ably by Nagai Sriram on the violin.

Weightier swaras were to follow for the Kanada raga and the composition ‘Mamavasada Janani' in the pleasant tempo of Roopaka.

In his delineation of Mohanakalyani, the vocalist charmed the audience with his well-rounded, brisk akaras and brief brigas that were executed with excellent clarity.

Welcome surprise

A welcome surprise was Sankaranarayanan's son Mahadevan, who supported the vocalist in swara singing and alapanas. Mahadevan is endowed with a rich timbre and good tonal alignment. The rendition of ‘Seve Srinkantham' from the father-son duo was so synchronised that the audience could not help but sway in delight.

One unique aspect of Mani Iyer's swara singing was his improvisation of long phrases that glide up the scale. This was admirably taken up by Sankaranarayanan in many of his swara essays. The jhanda passages were well executed by Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam on the mridangam. The vocalist traversed the high notes with effortless ease in fast phrases for a Todi alapana. Some excellent musings on the ‘gandhara' and ‘dhaivatam' brought out the essence of the raga. Rendition of Swati Tirunal's ‘Saraseejanabha murare' saw what seemed to be an opulence of sangatis. The phrase ‘Dharabhumi ramakanta…' in the anupallavi that is usually sung plain was rendered with briga phrases. Mahadevan delighted with some unexpected turns in the niraval ‘Muravarida sameera.'

The vocalist left the elaboration of the main raga, Vachaspati, to Mahadevan. Mahadevan rendered some excellent briga fireworks in the high octave.

Excellent percussion

A neat rendition of ‘Pahijagatjanani' was provided excellent percussion support with ‘sowkhyam' from Skanda Subramaniam and also Trichy Krishna on the ghatam. The initial phase of the swara exercises saw an excess of korvais.

The taniavarthanam was a worthy item for its verve and exactness. The lighter pieces towards the end included a sloka, which started in Hamsanandi and ended in Sindhubhairavi, among others. Sankaranarayanan also excelled in singing the virutam, which conveyed the emotive fervour of the piece. He went on to sing Swati Tirunal's ‘Ramachandraprabhu,' a Hindustani bhajan. He concluded with a mangalam ‘Mangalam Kosalendraya' in raga Suruti. The programme was organised by the Kerala Fine Arts Society.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:23:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Virtuoso-at-work/article16242758.ece

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