More force than finesse

SIRKAZHI SIVACHIDAMBARAM had drawn an interesting programme of Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit compositions for his concert at Hamsadhwani. And as usual he sang with fervour the Tamil vrittams of saints and seers which preceded every kriti. In Sanskrit his rendering of Dikshitar's "Sri Kantimati" (Hemavati) with a good alapana - veteran violinist Sikkil Bhaskaran drew the contours of the raga more vividly and clearly - and swaras which appeared to have more force than finesse had its own followers as evidenced by the cheers, especially for the round off effort with a raised decibel. The Kedaragowla alapana for a Divyaprabhandam verse and song was quite striking. The percussion ensemble — A. S. Ranganathan (mridangam), T. D. Balu (ghatam) and A. S. Krishnan (morsing) shone in a spirited tani avarthanam.

A well planned alapana in Sankarabharanam for Papanasam Sivan's "Mahalakshmi Jaganmata" earned kudos for Srividya Venkatachalam in her concert for Hamsadhwani. The neraval and swaras at "Parkadal... " revealed a good patanthara. It was most commendable that she rendered her phrases and idioms assuredly and did not muffle her voice. Guruji Visvanathan's Ahir Bhairavi composition and the Hamsanandi Tiruppugazh marked her improving stature.

R. Satish Kumar's bowing and fingering reveal a high measure of confidence. Ramnath played the mridangam.

In her Mahasivaratri-eve concert, Geetha Rajasekhar concentrated on songs of homage to Lord Nataraja by several Tamil composers. Her alapana in Sankarabharanam for Sudhananda Bharathi's "Tookkiya Tiruvadi," neraval and swaras at "Ettanayo Piravi... ." were noteworthy. All songs were rendered with a devotional touch in keeping with the holy day to follow. In all, she sang a dozen compositions including Thanjavur Sankara Iyer's tillana in Ananandabhairavi.

All songs were of popular variety and hence evoked wholesome praise. The inclusion of Ramaswamy Sivan's "Natanam Seyyum Paadanaar" (Kedaragowla) was commendable. M. A. Krishnaswamy (violin), Melakaveri Balaji (mridangam) and Sivaramakrishnan (ghatam) did their roles faithfully and helped to raise the stature of the concert.