Display of virtuosity

R.K. Srikantan and R.S. Ramakanth. Photo: M. Periasamy  

A nonagenarian sang and the audience was left awestruck. That was the power of R.K. Srikantan’s voice and his strong hold on sruti. His ability to remember kritis and the confidence with which he poured out the swaras moved most rasikas at Bharat Sangeet Utsav, held in Coimbatore. Srikantan’s son and disciple R.S. Ramakanth was a pillar of support, continuing from where his father left, yet showcasing his virtuosity.

They began with the varnam ‘Intha Modi’ in Saranga and followed it up with ‘Sri Maha Ganapatim Bhajeham’ in Atana. One got to hear rare songs such as ‘Sharade Pahimam’ in Yadukulakhambodi by Mysore Vasudevachar. The stunning beauty of the composition was well brought out by the father-son duo. When Srikantan delineated Anandabhairavi for ‘Marivere,’ his experience shone through.

The splendid ‘Korina Varamosagumayya’ (Patnam Subramania Iyer), was introduced by Ramakanth with a lovely alapana of Ramapriya. The devout dasara pada ‘Kaayo Karunanidhe’ gave their concert a fitting conclusion. R.K. Sriram Kumar on the violin and Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam played brilliantly, and with respect for the veteran.

Malladi Brothers — Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar — presented another spirited concert, accompanied by Avaneeshwaram Vinu on the violin, Palladam Ravi on the mridangam and Alathur Rajaganesh on the ganjira. Following a brief alapana in Atana, they presented Tyagaraja’s ‘Sripa Priya Sangeetopaasana Cheyave O Manasaa.’ ‘Sri Dum Durge’ in Sriranjani by Dikshitar was equally beautiful. Ravikumar depicted Saveri for ‘Tulasi Jagajjanani’ and Shanmukhapriya for ‘Parvati Nayakane’ while Sreeram Prasad made an aural portrait of Sankarabharanam for ‘Sarojadala Netri.’ The brothers vied with each other and the rasikas lapped up their music eagerly. Vinu’s violin was melody personified. The percussionists’ contribution was significant.

On the final day, V. Shankaranarayanan gave a vocal concert in the morning. Girija Hariharan’s concert in the evening had a generous share of Thiruppugazh numbers.

Trichur Brothers – Srikrishna Mohan and Ravikumar Mohan – enthralled the rasikas later that evening. During the raga delineation, they took equal share and improved upon each other’s input. The songs were few but well chosen. ‘Theliyaleru Rama’ by Tyagaraja, ‘Gopalaka Pahimam’ by Swati Tirunal and ‘Arunachala Natham’ by Dikshitar were presented with due ornamentation. The detailed raga delineation, a pleasing tanam, a lovely pallavi - vinyasam and swarakalpanas in various ragas added substance to the RTP in Sucharithra with Chitravina Ravikiran’s pallavi, ‘Rama, Raghava Pahimam, Sucharithra Pattabhi.’ Complicated swara patterns poured out effortlessly from Mullaivasal Chandramouli’s violin and his raga essays were deep but pleasing. Trichur Mohan (father of the vocalists) on the mridangam and D.V. Venkatasubramaniam on the ghatam wove pleasing laya patterns.

Gayathri Venkataraghavan had all the advantages needed for a good vocalist — a charming voice, strong patantaram and excellent accompanists. She began with the sloka ‘Vigna Raja Kripa Sindho’ and presented Palakkad Parameswara Bhagavatar’s varnam in Nattai, ‘Sarasija Naabha Maampaahi.’ ‘Ennaganu Ramabhajana’ by Bhadrachala Ramadas, describing the greatness of Rama nama in Pantuvarali followed after a brief alapana and included a lovely niraval for the line ‘Rama Chilukanokati.’ Dhanyasi (‘Meenalochana Brova’) and Kharaharapriya (‘Chakkaniraja’) were elaborated beautifully. Gayathri was in full form and the karvais and swaras flowed easily. The raga bhava reigned supreme as she elaborated the line ‘Kantiki Sundara Taramagu Rupame.’ Young violinist Charumathi Raghuraman showed exceptional depth and maturity and impressed with her sowkhya bhava. K.V. Prasad and Alathur Rajaganesh supported Gayathri sensibly and gave an excellent thani.

The festival also included a scintillating namasankirtanam by Sengottai Hari Bhagavatar.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 6:00:43 AM |

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