The feat of the crowd pullers

Sudha Raghunathan

Sudha Raghunathan  

IT RAINED Carnatic music past this week in Delhi, somewhat akin to a situation in which one finds one's umbrella too small to cope with the heavy rains. It was a grand finale, though a little messy too, to the Thyagaraja Music & Dance Festival-2005 organised by the Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha, in association with IOC and Delhi Tamil Sangam. The scene had shifted from the auditorium of Andhra Pradesh Bhawan to the Delhi Tamil Sangam auditorium. `Big ticket' artistes like Sanjay Subramaniam, Bombay Jayshri Ramnath and Sudha Raghunathan enthralled the rasikas through their participation in the festival.

Sanjay's recital started with the Nayaki raga Adi tala varnam. His passionate singing of Thyagaraja's "Yema Nadhichichevo" in the raga Sahana and imaginative swaraprasthara added to this composition were appealing. "Sadalani Dinamulu" in the raga Naganandini (the 30th melakartha) and the earlier alapana of this raga, were presented with considerable ease. The delineation of the raga Saveri while presenting "Sankari Sankuru", a composition of Shyama Sastri, and niraval of the phrase, "Shyama Krishna Sodari," revealed his imaginative mind.

Sanjay's alapana of the raga Mohanam was also appealing. While presenting Thyagaraja's "Nanu Palimpa" set to tala Adi, his emphasis on the devotional contents could be seen. The swaraprasthara, falling in place at the second sama of the tala, once again revealed his imaginative mind. His ragam-tanam-pallavi presentation in the raga Todi, set to Sankeerna Jaati Triputa tala, was well executed with a good degree of creativity, clarity and laya control, indicating his musical scholarship. M.A. Sundaresan (violin) and Thiruvarur Vaidhyanathan (mridangam) provided good support and in particular Sundaresan's delineation of ragas Saveri, Mohanam and Todi had a good degree of fluency of expression.

In another concert, Bombay Jayshri Ramnath captivated the rasikas right from the beginning. With the advent of modern electronic gadgets, artistes rarely use tanpura sruti. However, Jayshri chose to use not one, but two tanpuras, as is done in Hindustani music concerts and this had a resounding effect in the auditorium.

Jayshri began her concert with Dikshitar's "Maya Tirtha Swarupini" in the raga Mayamalavagowla. The good flow of kalpana swaras was indicative of her manordhama talents, at the very outset. Papanasam Sivam's "Sittham Irangaadhen" in the raga Sahana was emotive. The alapana of this raga earlier and the swaraprasthara towards the end were rich in imagination, apart from extracting the raga bhava with considerable ease.

Thyagaraja's "O Rangasayee" in the raga Kamboji and the earlier alapana of the raga underwent similar treatment, indicating Jayshri's vidwat.

Sanjay Subramaniam

Sanjay Subramaniam  

Sudha Raghunathan's concert began with the familar Ata tala varnam "Viriboni", in the raga Bhairavi, bringing out the charming swara combinations of this varnam.

The swaraprasthara at the end of Mysore Jayachamaraja Udayar's composition, "Sri Jaalandhara" in the raga Ghambhira Nattai, was appealing with an easy flow of swara combinations. Tyagaraja's "Nagumo" in the raga Abheri also found a place in her concert.

Papanasam Sivam's "Parvathi Nayakane", in the raga Shanmukhapriya with niraval of the phrase, "Ne maravaathe... " and swaraprasthara revealed imagination and good laya control. In Dikshitar's "Sri Venkatgirisam" in the raga Suruti, one could feel the devotional and emotional content of the composition.

The alapana of the raga Mohanam, before presenting Thyagaraja's "Nanu Palimpa" and subsequent swaraprasthara, reflected Sudha's characteristic musical talents, which are a combination of musical scholarship and presentation technique. One could also recapture memories of her guru's delightful concerts.

Vittal Ramamurthy on the violin, Neyveli Skandasubramanian on the mridangam and Trivendrum Rajagopal on the kanjira provided excellent and enthusiastic support to Bombay Jayshri as well as to Sudha Raghunathan.

Sudha Raghunathan has been awarded Nadakalanidhi by Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha, this year.

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