An impressive line-up

DEDICATED B.R. Padmanabha Rao did well in his krithi renditions  

The eight-day Deepotsava music festival at the Ananya auditorium was impressive. The festival began with a vocal recital by veteran vocalist T.S. Vasanthamadhavi. On day two, though she seemed fatigued, Kashi Vishalakshi provided good performance on her veena. Suitably accompanied by Vasudevarao (mridanga ) and R. Ramesh (ghata), she had Todi varna and Dikshitar's "Swaminatha" (with chittaiswaras) as her standard preludes to the solo recital. "Nadatanumanisham", "Maayamma" (Ahiri, Shyama Sastry) and "Sri Shankaraguruvaram" (Nagaswaravali, Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer) captured the beauty of the veena. The daatuswaras in the swaraprastara were a delight.

"Maamava Meenakshi" (Varali), "Ksheerasagara shayana" (Devagandhari) and "Sri Raja Rajeswari" (Prabhupriya, Veene Venkatagiriyappa) could have been been more energetic. But the raga, tana and Pallavi ("Kailasapathe Pashpathe Umapathe Namostute") in Begade tagged with a ragamalika swaraprastara (comprising Shanmukhapriya, Revathi, Shahana and Saveri) seemed to provide the missing link.

Day three featured a seasoned violinist M.S. Govindaswamy's solo violin recital. With his seasoned and excellent concert craft and high standard of playing, he held the audience under his spell and there were some fine musical creations. The way he took along with him his able accompanists B. Dhruvaraj (mridanga) and Dayananda Mohite (ghata) was admirable. Without resorting to gimmicks, he sketched the natural beauty of ragas such as "Vatapi" (Hamsadhwani) and "Gaana Moorthe" (Ganamoorthe). There was a notable consistency in his approach throughout the concert. It was surprising to note that there was no neraval in the entire concert.

I was impressed by the sincere, dedicated and involved vocal recital by Dr. B.R. Padmanabha Rao on the fourth day. A eye specialist by profession and a vocalist by vocation, he is keen and well trained. If the recital was "not satisfactory" for himself (as he expressed his feelings after the concert), it was not because of any lack of competence but on account of the absence of tonal finesse here and there.

But the fare he offered was valuable and the singer should prove better when his voice acquires seasoned quality. He scored in his krithi renditions. They were all disciplined patas with clean sangathi sequences. There was commendable effectiveness in his phraseology. Begade varna, "Bhavaye Ganapathim" (Simhendramadhyama) was impressive. The Kalgada raga composition "Parvathi Ninnu Neranammithi" (Shyama Sastry) was interesting. T.S. Krishnamurthy (violin), Jayachandrarao (mridanga) and Srishyla (ghata) added lustre to the recital.