Full of verve and aesthetics

Nityasree MahadevanPhoto: special arrangement   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

M.S. Subbulakshmi centenary concert at Kochi saw prominent Carnatic musician Nityasree Mahadevan singing a few of those popular compositions that are now identified with the legendary MS. Who better than Nityasree, who is known for the purity of her bani and patanthara, in singing compositions in the most immaculate manner with impeccable enunciation of lyrics, a quality identified with her grandmother, the inimitable D.K. Pattammal.

Initially she seemed to be grappling with the pace and tone, with the sound monitor causing hiccups. Nevertheless, she came into form while portraying a consummate picture of Jaganmohini raga and following it with ‘Sobillu Saptaswara’, which was a popular piece in MS' famed Carnegie Hall concert.

Nityasree had her regular line-up of accompanying artistes, M.A. Krishnaswamy on the violin and I. Shivakumar, her father, on the mridangam. She started the concert with ‘Karunimpa’, Sahana varnam, which was followed by ‘Sreeman narayana’ in Bowli raga. ‘Sasivadana’ in Chandrajyoti had some well-constructed swaras that elicited due response from the violinist. Krishnaswamy’s version of Jaganmohini was perfect in pitch and had a few charming variations. Nityasree sang a few cascading swaras that were structured and followed definite patterns.

A delicate and sweet raga, Dwijavanthi was rendered in the soft strains of ‘Akhilandeshwari rakshamam’, a Dikshitar composition.

There was nothing unpredictable in her Charukeshi alaapana, which was punctuated at the pronounced swaras. The entire alapana was segmented and the vocalist explored the possibilities with intricate detailing. The karvai notes were spot on. ‘Kripaya palaya’, one of the few compositions in the raga, a Swati Tirunal composition, was revived by M. S. Subbulakshmi. Nityasree’s selection was surprising for the main item of the evening, as there are compositions that are better identified with MS. Seasoned percussionists, Sivakumar and Udupi Balakrishnan on the ghatam brought their vast experience to the fore, keeping the taniavarthanam simple and chaste, and playing in perfect tandem.

MS’ signature song ‘Kurai onrum illai’ (Lord, I have no complaints), which she used to sing to the accompaniment of cymbals, was sung by Nityasree. She concluded her concerts with M.S.’ hit from the film Meera, ‘Katrinile varum geetham’ and the Annamacharya keerthana ‘Nanati brathuku’.

The programme was organised by Kerala Fine Arts Society.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 1:37:51 PM |

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