FRIDAY REVIEW

Sagacious rendition

Mark of a scholar: Nedumkunnam P.K. Vasudevan.

Mark of a scholar: Nedumkunnam P.K. Vasudevan.  

JAYARAMAN V.

Nedumkunnam P.K. Vasudevan enthralled listeners with music that was devoid of all gimmicks.



About two decades ago, a young vocalist captivated listeners at Ravipuram Sreekrishna Temple in Kochi with his chiselled voice, clear enunciation of sahithya and charming raga imagery.

Nedumkunnam P.K. Vasudevan, a product of R.L.V College of Music and Fine Arts, Thripunithura, and a disciple of Aryanadu Sadasivan, flanked by Nellai Viswanathan (violin), Mavelikkara Nateshan (mridangam) and Gopinatha Prabhu (ghatam) looked all set to be in the company of the more celebrated Neyyantinkara Vasudevan, in the years to come.

Nedumkunnam became a widely sought-out vocalist, till ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ in the form of invisible undercurrents turned him into a a pedagogue.

But he demonstrated his singing prowess during his recent vocal recital at Kalikotta Palace, Thripunithura, in connection with the Maruthi Sangeetha Sandhya held under the aegis of Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha. As a result of the tendency to underestimate local vocalists, there was a depleted crowd, and those who stayed away, really missed Carnatic music presented in its pristine form.

Right from the varnam in Sree ragam (‘Saami ninne’ by Karur Devudu Iyer), he kept the concert on an even keel by constantly focussing on the medium tempo. ‘Mahaganapathim’ in Natta had a lavish swara-rendering that was topped off with a delectable ‘mohra.’

Aura of tranquillity

An aura of tranquillity was built around ‘Nathajana Paalini’ in Nalinakanthi, composed by Thanjavur Sankarayyar. The way his voice traversed the higher octave in ‘Ksheera saagara’ showed the vocalist to be in fine form. Poorvikalyani gave the vocalist an opportunity to explore new musical avenues, and an array of kalpanaswaras made the Neelakanta Sivan kriti ‘Ananada natamaatuvaan’ a memorable experience for the listeners.

He did justice to the inherent regal feel of Kharaharapriya. Both the niraval and the swaras appended to Tyagaraja’s ‘Rama nee samaanamevaru’ (Roopaka tala) was reflective of the maturity of the vocalist.

The raga bhava of Simhendramadhyamam raga was ably conveyed by Nedumkunnam Vasudevan through Swati Tirunal’s ‘Rama rama gunaseema.’ Thiruvananthapuram. R. Mahadevan accompanied on the violin.

Mavelikara R.V.Rajesh brought in a few captivating ‘theermanams’ on the mridangam. Vaikom Goplakrishnan (jr) played the ghatam with discipline.



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