Friday Review

Navarasas, well defined

In his thematic concert based on the Navarasas, Saketharaman framed the content with diligence and executed it with élan.

Two sentiments, pathos (beebathsam) and bliss (aanandam) were dealt with in detail.

For the former, he chose the pensive Subhapantuvarali for elaboration followed by Tyagaraja’s ‘Ennaalurage’. Keeping the brigas knowingly at bay and pitching more on the bhava-laden kaarvais, Saketharaman did justice to his raga delineation. It was a full-throated projection with internalisation of the melody.

The kriti was presented with sufficient piety and pathos expressing how the raga, kriti and its meaning mesh into a soul-stirring experience. He eschewed niraval or swara for this kriti.

Can anyone think of a better raga than Mohanam to showcase the feeling of ecstasy? Saketharaman’s approach was deliberately flashy, which extended to be a bit hyperbolic during niraval and swaras.

The joy of Mohanam was well-expressed in his essay, filling it with short phrases punctuated here and there with long ones.

Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Narayana Divya Namam’ was his choice and the elaboration was set on ‘Marajanakan Karunaalayan’.

Nagai Sriram matched the feel and tenor of the vocalist and his Mohanam was positively pleasing. Mannargudi Eswaran is one who makes his mridangam also ‘sing’ with the vocalist. His percussion playing in the company of Sundarkumar (ganjira) was a treat. For the record, Saketharaman included ‘Chede Buddhi’ (Tyagaraja) in Atana, ‘Neevada Ne Gana’ in Saranga (Tyagaraja), ‘Eppadi Manam Thunindatho’ in Huseni (Arunachala Kavirayar) and finally ‘Yadavaraaya’ in Ragamalika (Kanaka Dasa).

The concert was at Indira Nagar Youth Hostel for the Margazhi Maha Utsavam.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 5:19:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/navarasas-well-defined/article8000313.ece

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