FRIDAY REVIEW

Ragas well laid out

IF GOOD music is not just artistic but has to evoke a sense of heightening the appreciative level of the rasikas, T. M. Krishna was able to achieve this objective in his concert under the auspices of Asthika Samaj, Alwarpet, in the Sri Rama Navami series. The uninterrupted fluency of his voice epitomised his ideal in raga alapanas and drew inspiration from it to embroider the sancharas, often unnecessarily lengthened. Clipped phrases in the raga vinyasas of Kamas and Saveri would have added telling classical content to his felicitous fluidity.

That Kamas shines at its best in frugal simplicity was well stressed by the violinist, V. V. Ravi, who patted the sancharas piecemeal to reveal its beauty. With a few deft traditional phrasings, the rare charm of the raga was laid bare to the listeners. It must be said to the credit of Krishna that he admirably captured the emotional fragrance of the kirtanas ``Sujana-jeevana'' (Kamas) and ``Rama-bhaana'' (Saveri).

In the delineation of Saveri, Krishna indulged more in reeling out frill-fringed frisky sancharas at the expense of gliding gracefulness, the characteristic feature of the raga. It was Krishna's mellowed voice that contributed to the sukham aspect which, after all, is what true music has to provide. Patterns of melodic intricacies proclaimed his music to be coaxingly gentle.

When the two songs in Kamas and Saveri were sung, it was not so much the way the Tyagaraja kirtanas were interpreted as the spirit of the compositions on which Krishna set his mind. The tints of the musical images were very well reflected in the solo rendering of the two ragas by the violinist V. V. Ravi. It was not rapturous but restrained. In extending laya support to the concert. Bombay Balaji (mridangam) and Purushothaman (kanjira) did not err on the side of over-indulgence. In their play, there was a blend of movement and rhythmic exactitude.

``Janani-mamava'' (Bhairavi) ``Pahi-tarakshu-puraalaya'' (Ananda Bhairavi) ``Anjaneya'' (Saveri) lent sumptuousness to the performance of Gayatri Venkataraghavan at the Krishna Gana Sabha. Exclusively devoted to the compositions of Swati Tirunal, she gave a brisk start with the raga alapana, kriti ``Saarasaaksha'' and swaras. The delineations of Ananda Bhairavi and Bhairavi were a happy mix of talent and training. There was a touch of freshness in the rendering of the kirtanas ``Rama-Rama'' (Devagandhari) ``Gopanandana'' (Bhooshavali). One could discern sanitised purity in her approach to musical expression. Neela Jayakumar (violin), V. R. Jayakumar (mridangam) and Adambakkam Sankar (ghatam) competently supported Gayatri Venkataraghavan.

SVK

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