Music

Replete with swaras

Striking the right chord: A. Kanyakumari. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

Striking the right chord: A. Kanyakumari. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan  

Eminent musicians exhibited exquisite manodharma during the 62 vardhanthi concerts held at Saradambal Temple, Coimbatore.

Sankari Krishnan’s inaugural musical session during Bharathi Theertha Swamigal’s 62 Vardhanthi concerts at the Saradambal temple, Coimbatore, supported by Usha Rajagopalan on the violin and Prakash on the mridangam, was a rare experience for the rasikas. Her performance was a combination of the lively and leisurely facets of Carnatic music. Her impressive start with the Lalgudi varnam in Arabhi followed by ‘Saraseeruhasana’ in Nattai struck a chord with the audience. Her virtuosity in the alapana of Dhanyasi for the kriti, ‘Paradevatha’ and in Pantuvarali for ‘Siva Siva Enaradha’ showed her exquisite manodharma. She etched Sankarabharanam, weaving intricate patterns, to create the beauty of the nuggets of the raga for the kriti, ‘Sarojadalanetri’ rendered with swaras. Her presentation of the composition in praise of Saradambal was soulful. The accompanists fitted the bill suitably.

Breathtaking rendition

Kadri Gopalnath’s breathtaking trip with his saxophone in the company of Kanyakumari (violin), Harikumar (mridangam), Rajendra Nakod (tabla) and Rajasekhar (morsing) was exhilarating. His raga essay of Dwijavanti for the kriti, ‘Akhilandeswari’ was replete with swirls and twists dictated by his vidwat. The Gopalnath-Kanyakumari combo added zest to the excursions in his rendition of Tyagaraja’s ‘Maaravairi’ in Nasikabhushani. The tukkadas towards the end served as titbits. The vibrant thani of the percussionists with their robust beats was enjoyable.

Sedate rendition

Vijayalakshmy Subramaniam’s recital was a sparkling performance with a classic bouquet of ragas. Commencing with the Navaragamalika varnam in two speeds followed by ‘Sri Parvathi Paramasivam’ in Bowli, she presented an enjoyable Kalyani alapana for the kriti, ‘Himadrisuthe’ with a spate of swaras. Her raga delineations of Hindolam for the kriti, ‘Abhayavarade Sharade’ and Madhyamavati for the kriti, ‘Palinchu Kamakshi’ were brimming with the flavour of the ragas. The interpretations of the kritis were reflective of the contents of the compositions. Her sedate articulation of the verse from ‘Sharada Bhujangam’ made listening a pleasure.

V.V.S. Murari’s solo versions on the violin were striking and exhilarating. His musical sentiments came to the fore in every note that he played. Ravi (mridangam) was upbeat in his thani and the spirit of his rhythmic sound pattern was refreshing.

Well-aligned to sruti

S. Kasim and S. Babu, the grandsons of the nagaswara vidwan Sheik Chinnamoulana, gave a good account of themselves by rendering familiar kritis the following evening. It was well-aligned to sruti supported by Angusamy and Manikandan on the tavil.

Meticulous planning

Kanyakumari’s outstanding solo violin recital was structured with meticulous planning and it was noted for raga bhava, aesthetics and patanthara. That her violin speaks is a gross understatement. Right from her play of ‘Maha Ganapatim’ (Nattai) to the end the soothing strains of her violin capturing the moods of the ragas offered solace to the minds of the listeners. The artist’s rendition of ‘Bhavayami Raghuramam’ created a serene, divine and tranquil mood. ‘Kanchadalayadakshi’ (Kamalamanohari) and ‘Marivere Gathi (Anandhabhairavi) were played beautifully followed by English notes in Kadanakudhuhalam sending the rasikas into raptures. She showcased her artistry in the Kantimathi raga vinyasam for the kriti, ‘Sri Kanthimathi.’ She built the edifice of the raga step by step bringing out its rakti and lakshana in her own inimitable style. The swara gymnastics she indulged in for the composition was fabulous. Prasad (mridangam) and Subramanian (ganjira) neatly combined brilliant and varying rhythmic phrases culminating in a unique and wonderful muthaaippu on the percussion side.

Clear diction

With his pliant saareeram and clarity of diction, Abishek Raghuram maintained his gripping tempo at the festival. Maintaining a good raga-sahitya-swara proportion, his performance vigour was at a steady pace. Beginning his session with Sri Raga varnam, ‘Saami Ninne,' in two speeds, after a brisk ‘Vandanamu' kirtana in Sahana, he exploited the natural karvais of the scale in his alapana of Thodi for the kriti, ‘Thaye Yashoda.' The niraval at ‘Kaalinil Silambu' was treated with brigha-rich sangatis. His Kalyani raga delineation for the kriti, ‘Unnaiyallal Vere Gathi' with well-modulated nuances was exhilarating. The niraval brought his cerebral music of a high order with pleasing melody. His fantastic imagination and extreme fidelity to sruti and swarasthanam raised the concert level above the ordinary. Ananthakrishnan (violin) demonstrated tonal purity in the fingering and sweetness of notes in the bowing. Anantha R Krishnan (mridangam) added substance with an aphoristic thani that combined intricate gnanam and sharpness in brevity.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 5:42:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/replete-with-swaras/article3257921.ece

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