Vocalist presents impressive RTP
ALTHOUGH IT was the Tamil New Year Day concert in Nityashree Mahadevan's programme for Hamsadhwani, Tamil kritis did not dominate. In fact she started off with Ambi Dikshitar's tanavarnam ``Kapaleeswaram" in Mohanam and followed it up with Tyagaraja's ``Mariyadagadayya" (Bhairavi) and the lilting ``Smarane sukham" in Janaranjani with swaras at the charanam ``Ramanama sravanamu... " It was Tyagaraja again. Nityashree rendered a charming alapana in Harikhamboji for Dinamanivamsa. Dikshitar's ``Kayarohanesham" in Karnataka Devagandhari was sung with perfect diction. Then came a detailed alapana in Mandari and the song chosen was Patnam Subramanya Iyer's ``Endukittu chapalamu" in chapu tala. Neraval and swaras flowed freely before Papanasam Sivan's Todi kriti, ``Tanigai valar'' set the tone for a chaturraga RTP in Mohanam, Sama, Brindavana Saranga and Saranga. The RTP ran its melodic course, after extensive alapanas in the four ragas and well chiselled tanam. All the traditional exercises were gone through with precision winning rounds of applause, rasikas however not forgetting to give plaudits for violinist Usha Rajagopalan's matching response.
The post-RTP session included a number of Tamil songs. Nityashree evoked her grandmother D.K. Pattamal's `Velanvaruvarodi," a ragamalika rendered as far back as in 1930 in gramophone record, authorship not known as Nitya confessed.
Rajaji's ``Kuraionrumillai," Lalgudi's Maand tillana, Lakshmi Ramaswami's homage to saint Raghavendra (Revati), Ganapatiram's ``Sankarajatadhara" ``Shambo Mahadeva'' in Sindubhairavi and a Paras javali gave a fitting finale.
The tani avarthanam, figuring I. Sivakumar (mridangam), Madipakkam Murali (ghatam) and A. S. Krishna (morsing) did not fail to entertain the tala buffs.
It was a concert full of vigour and vibrancy. Abhishek Raghuram has a good patanthara and plans his recital well.
He knows how to combine speed with clarity. In sahitya rendering he may have to improve, especially when singing devotionals where bhava is vitally important.
The youngster will learn as he grows. The Todi alapana did not follow the nadaswara pattern, especially the Rajaratnam's bani sampled in his gramophone records. Abhishek covered the alapana most unhurriedly giving effective pauses, measured brigas and gamakas. Tyagaraja's ``Kaddanuvariki" was the inevitable choice. The neraval and swaras of various shades at the penultimate line of the charanam, ``Paddu-tappaka... " demonstrated the vocalist's all round proficiency.
Though lacking the exuberance of Abhishek, violinist M. R. Gopi answered effectively and the duel worked up the audience interest. Veteran Palghat R. Raghu (who is Abhishek's zealous grandfather) gave inspirational support and in the tani session he gave what may be called a classroom demonstration in teermanams and sollukattus. T.V. Vasan supplemented the effort on the ghatam. The whole exercise lasted for more than one hour.
With her husky voice and commendable laya control Baby Sriram sang a good alapana in Kalyani for Syama Sastry's ``Talli ninnunera nammi" (Misra chapu), with neraval at the charanam, ``Syma Krishna paripalini janani... '' and swaras. An evocative alapana in Ranjani was not followed by the expected Tyagaraja's ``Durmarga charadamulanu" in fact her programme did not include a single Tyagaraja kriti. Her rendering of Swati Tirunal's not frequently heard ``Kalaye Devadevani" with chittai swaras and swaras evoked all round praise. Her own ``Kaadal Keladi Sakhi" (Mukhari) and a ragamalika vrittam in Suddha Dhanyasi, Behag and Maand would have convinced the organisers that this disciple of T. M. Ttyagarajan should have been allotted the 6.30 p.m. slot and not 5.00 p.m. reserved for juniors. Teenager Charumathi Raghuraman's violin accompaniment was more than useful and on a few occasions she stole the show from the vocalist, especially in rendering alapanas. Bowing was soft and sweet and some of the rare sancharas, done most imperceptibly, rightly received appreciation. But sometimes the melodic phrases came off too softly for the less ... Enthusiastic she wants to display all the wares she has. She would do well to realise that being an accompanist is a different cup of tea.
In solo performances there could be some elasticity of time. But Charumathi is another rising youngster in the violin firmament. Nellai Balaji's mridangam was adequate.
It was not until he began a full-throated alapana in Bhairavi for Tyagaraja's ``Upacharamulanu" did V. Sankaranarayana's concert light up and interest sustained. The neraval and swaras at the charanam, ``Kapatanataka sutradharivai... '' were well rendered. And in keeping with the `tradition' he did not sing the third charanam where alone the Tyagaraja mudra occurs. Papanasam Sivan's ``Naan Oru vilayattu bommaiya" (Navarasa Kannada), Bharathi's ragamalika, ``Chinnanjiru Kiliye'' and ``Santinilavavendum" (Tilang) added pep to the concert.
The vocalist's Kalyani alapana for Tarangampadi Panchanatha Iyer's Birana, neraval and swaras at ``Nee pada pankajamu..'' were rendered at an even pace.
Sankaranarayanan could with advantage add a little pep to his concert, which will provide some variety. A disciple of Gnanaskandan his vidwat is unquestionable.
Padma Shanker (violin) and Neyveli Ramkumar (mridangam) performed their supplemental roles well enough.
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