FRIDAY REVIEW

Candlelight sonata

N. Vijay Siva

N. Vijay Siva  

VENKATESAN SRIKANTH

Event Naadhabrahmam’s treat for Delhi.

One has often seen members of the audience walking out in the middle of a concert, in full view of the artistes on stage and unmindful of their feelings. But this was a different scene altogether. The artiste was presenting an outstanding alap of the raga Shankarabharanam. His sancharam around the note Gandhara in the upper octave was scintillating. Suddenly, there was a power breakdown and the hall’s backup system refused to work. As a result the hall plunged into darkness. But the artiste sang on.

He took up “Swararagasudha” and his presentation of this composition of Tyagaraja brimmed over with emotion, harnessing the power of the lyrics as well as the notes of the raga. A few candles were lit. The mike system was somehow restored. The artiste proceeded to present niraval of the phrase “Mooladharaka nadamerukuta” and swaraprastaras flowed richly. More than half-an-hour had elapsed since the power broke down and it was quite hot inside the hall at Sree Subha Siddhi Vinayaka Mandir, Mayur Vihar. It would have been a good excuse for listeners to disappear from the scene. But N. Vijay Shiva’s Carnatic vocal recital the other day, under the aegis of Naadhabrahmam, kept the rasikas spellbound and hardly anyone moved. Such was the quality of his recital.

Long remembrance

Earlier, Vijay Shiva presented Tyagaraja’s “Maragadamanivarna” in raga Varali. Apart from presenting a fine sketch of the raga, Vijay Shiva took up for niraval a phrase from the charanam of the composition. Similarly, Shyama Sastri’s “Sankari Samkuru” in the raga Saveri underwent fine treatment. Mullaivasal G. Chandramouli on the violin and A.S. Ranganathan on the mridangam provided good support. This candlelight concert of Vijay Shiva will linger long in the hearts of Delhi rasikas.

On the other hand, there were lots of expectations from Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan, who performed on the opening day of the eight-day festival titled the Tamil New Year & Sri Rama Navami Music Festival. Sadly, Santhanagopalan fell short of expectations. He spent more time than was required for swaraprastaras. For every song he presented till the tani avartanam session, including the Mohana raga varnam at the beginning, Santhanagopalan suffixed a detailed bout of swaraprastaras. One felt that adequate justice was not given to actual song presentation. The saving grace in this concert was Vittal Ramamurthy’s violin accompaniment. Mannargudi N. Subramanian, the editor of the Chennai-based music magazine Naadhabrahmam, provided mridangam support.

An impressive performance by Delhi’s K. Vageesh the following day kindled the spirits of listeners and changed the scenario. Vageesh took up some rare ragas like Rishabhapriya (62nd melakarta) and Suddha Desi and presented fine sketches of these ragas. “Ramachandra bhavayami” a slightly fast tempo composition in the raga Vasanta was lively. Tyagaraja’s “Upacharamulanu”, the main item of his recital, was characterised by a fine alap bringing out the raga bhava and enjoyable niraval and swaraprastaras towards the end.

It is heartening to see the Chennai-based organisation conducting this music festival in the Capital. Mayur Vihar South Indian Association and Sree Subbha Siddhi Vinayaka Mandir society were associated in this festival and provided the local support.

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