Tempo trouble

July 07, 2011 07:14 pm | Updated 07:14 pm IST

Maitreyi. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Maitreyi. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

The anniversary celebrations of Nadopasana Music Trust saw concerts by up and coming and established artists at the Dakshinamurthy Auditorium, P.S. Higher Secondary School.

S.R Maitreyi’s vocal recital showcased her clear and full throated vocal prowess. Beginning with ‘Vakrathunda Mahakaya,’ Maitreyi presented briskness in her rendition. Dikshitar’s ‘Siddhi Vinayagam’ in Chamaram with swara kalpanas gave good impetus to her programme. She gave an enjoyable break with the ‘Mayamma’ of Syama Sastri in Natakuranji.

The first raga essay that the singer chose was Saraswathi. With rolling passages, the raga alapana was vivacious. ‘Srikara Raghuveera’ of Patnam Subramanya Iyer with swara adjunct on ‘Lokatheetha’ was followed by another fast number, ‘Vararagalaya’ in Chenchukhambodi by Tyagaraja.

It was time for Maitreyi to venture into the main raga Keeravani and the famous ‘Kaligiunde Gada’. She knows how to use her voice to her advantage by traversing through all the registers. But it does not work for all the ragas. Her Keeravani was technically sound but emotionally flat. It is, indeed, very difficult to dissociate soul from Keeravani. A little more perception and

internalised approach might have helped project a more poignant image of the raga as well as the kriti.

Her extrapolation on ‘Bhagavadagre’ was more methodical than moving. Maitreyi could manage herself well with imaginative swara combines. Yet, it would be better if she paid careful attention to the tempo and landing points.

Priyamvada supported well on the violin with alacrity and so was Ramkumar on the mridangam.

Shertalai Ranganatha Sarma’s concert was a totally laid back tour, notwithstanding his enviable voice and knowledge. The tempo never picked up for some reason.

‘Sri Nadathi Guruguho’ in Mayamalavagowla by Dikshitar gave a leisurely start. ‘Ganapathiye Karunanidhiye’ in Kharaharapriya (Papanasam Sivan) just gave a slight thrust. The Ranjani expose was rather insipid and Sarma’s choice of Swati Tirunal’s ‘Kalaye Devadeva’ turned out to be just one another dawdling affair. He tried to fast forward to some extent with Tyagaraja’s ‘Eti Yojanalu’ in Kiranavali.

He, however, settled again for a dull exposition of Sahana with mostly staccato phrases. In addition, he opted for a rare kriti of Oothukadu Venkatakavi -- ‘Vasudevaya Namo Namasthe’ -- which was lengthy. Quite surprisingly, even the madyama kala passages never moved dynamically. The niraval on ‘Aasuramada Haranaya’ and the meandering kizh kala swaras went on protracted pace.

If the swara length gets extended beyond a point, it turns into just a recitation of hollow syllables. That was what happened in this case.

M.R. Gopinath was just reflective of the vocalist, without adding much to create impact. Adding to the woes, Trivandrum Vaidyanathan’s mridangam was almost inaudible.

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