Friday Review

Panoramic aural artistry

Subbulakshmi and Swarnalatha, the Akkarai sisters, singing at the ‘Sangeethotsavam 2014’ organised by Edappally Sangeetha Sadas in Kochi.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

S. Saketharaman

A disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman, he wooed the audience with his high pitched emotive singing. On one hand, he revealed his technical mastery in the swaraprasthara of Arabhi raga composition ‘Salagallala’, while on the other, he displayed his aesthetics by sketching the various nuances of Hindolam raga in his fluid voice. He presented Swati Tirunal’s ‘Padmanabha Pahi’ with interesting mukthayis in the swara segment. The racy and tricky chittaswaras in ‘Saravanabhava’ in raga Pashupathipriya were rendered well. His unhurried alaapana of Kharaharapriya charmed one and all. Papanasam Sivan’s composition ‘Senthil Andavan’ in Roopaka tala was sung at a leisurely pace and he creatively wove complex swara phrases. The piece-de-resistance was his Ragam Thanam Pallavi (RTP) in Nalinakanti raga. This was set to Jhampa tala and Khanda nada and was testimony to his immense command over laya aesthetics. He supplemented it with rich swaras in Neelambari, Anandabhairavi and Hamsanandi.

Palakkad Mahesh Kumar demonstrated nadabhedam and other rhythmic intricacies during the tani. Saketharaman concluded his recital with ‘Kanden seethayai’ (Bageshri), ‘Vishweshwar’ (Sindhubhairavi) and Lalgudi thillana in Desh.

C.R. Vaidyanathan

The vocalist sang some fine and rare compositions in his concert on the second day, which began with a varnam in Khamas. However, the profusion in swara singing took away the sheen in many presentations. This was evident in ‘Sankari Ninne’ in Pantuvarali and ‘Edayya Gati’ in Chala Natta.

M. Rajeeve, on the violin, presented some interesting variations when Vaidyanathan sang ‘Vanajanayana’ in Kedaragowla from Tyagaraja’s opera ‘Seetharamavijayam’. Njanjil Arul on the mridangam and Vinod Mallya on the ghatam supported the vocalist well in the Thodi composition ‘Gajavadana Sammodita’, a composition of Kumara Etteendra's. ‘Muraleedhara gopala’ in Mand raga and ‘Vihara Manasa rame’ in Kapi were the closing pieces.

Mysore Chandankumar

It was melody all the way in Mysore Chandankumar’s flute recital on the third day in which he showed flashes of technical brilliance over the form. This was obvious in the kalpanaswaras for ‘Mahaganapathim’ in Natta and Dikshitar’s Dharmavati composition ‘Paramdhamavati Jayati’. Balakrishna Kamath on the mridangam excelled in supporting the swaras and the complex mukthais. The numerous fast sangatis of ‘Ninnuvina Namadendu’ in Navarasakannada were appealing to the audience and the violinist Attukal Balasubramanian and Chandankumar took turns in playing the variations. Composite sancharas, nyasa swaras and sangatis imparted richness to Chandankumar’s interpretation of Kapi raga.

Chandankumar invested time and care in the first speed elaboration of the swaras.

For an RTP in Madhyamavati, the flautist’s tanam poured forth in short phrases of lightning speed and clarity. ‘Venkatachalanilayam’ in Sindhubhairavi and ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’ in Sriraga once again provided for euphony.

Akkarai sisters

Subbulakshmi and Swarnalatha, the Akkarai sisters, were the performers on the final day of the festival. Amruthavarshani aalaapana focussed on the upper sancharas that progressed to some briga works and high decibel singing. Dikshitar’s ‘Anandamruthakarshini’ in Adi tala was sung with élan. Tyagaraja’s ‘Emanidichevo’ in Sahana raga was rendered with fidelity to kalapramana and the alaapana essayed the poignant beauty of the raga and its many flourishes.

Subbulakshmi’s alapana of Nasikabhooshani featured the beauty of its jeeva swara Shatshruthi rishabham. The sisters sang Tyagaraja’s ‘Maravairi Ramani’ in tandem and followed it with a fast rendition of ‘Bhogeendra sayinam’ However, Swarnalatha was often relegated to playing second fiddle to her elder sister and there were points when she hardly contributed much to the music.

Subbulakshmi’s open throated elaboration of Shanmukhapriya, replete with fast sancharas that were marked with clarity and precision, demonstrated her firm grip in unravelling the abstract portrait of the raga. Swarnalatha displayed some skills in the metrical complexities in parts of the Pallavi. The ragamalika swaras in Behag and Hamsanandi were mellifluous. The festival was organised by Edappally Sangeetha Sadas.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:12:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/sangeethotsavam-2014-review/article6636168.ece

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