Array of youthful talent
Mambalam Sisters, Vijayalakshmi and Chitra.
ROBUSTNESS OF interpretation has taken over the contemplative role of Sangita. This tendency was evident in the manner of presentation by Amrita Murali of the songs "Vallaba-naayakasya" (Begada) "Seshachala-naayakam" (Varali) "Palukava-demira" (Devamanohari) and particularly in the piece "O! Rangasayee." The inherent grandeur of the Kambhoji piece carries its own appeal irrespective of how it was sung. Varali and Kambhoji were elaborated in great detail with the tara sthayi sancharas soured by the strain of the voice. Raga gnana was sound. The violinist Charulatha Ramanujam's competence surfaced in the solo raga alapanas. B. Sivaraman (mridangam) was quite subdued. M. A. Krishnamurthy was the ghatam artiste.
Mambalam Sisters Vijayalakshmi and Chitra provided a textbook cutcheri, routine and hackneyed. The song selection was not such as to lift up their effort "Grahabalamemi" (Revagupti) "Keechu-keechendru" (Bhairavi) "Matsya-kurma" (Malavi). The only saving grace was the Sankarabharanam song "Swara-raga-sudha" with a prosaic alapana. R. Hemamalini the violinist chimed with the musical thinking of the vocalists. Mannargudi Srinivasan (mridangam) was over-enthusiastic teamed with K. S. Rangachari (kanjira).
A floating voice and selection of songs like "Enta-muddo" (Bindumalini) "Karthigeya" (Valaji) and "Parimala-Ranganatham" at the beginning failed to place Charulata Mani's performance in the orbit of appeal. The Todi alapana and song "Ninne-namminaanu" somewhat compensated for the earlier dullness. The accompanists were Lakshmi Venkatramani (violin) and S. Nagarajan (mridangam).
Varalakshmi Anandakumar was able to keep the tempo, but in elaboration of the ragas Poorvikalyani and Todi she failed to focus the sancharas in such a way as to draw appeal. The Suruti raga alapana was over-stretched.
The songs were "Gnanamosagarada," "Sri Venkata Girisam," "Sri Krishnam Bhaja" and "Sri Rama Padama" (Amritavahini). Kalyan Shankar on the violin was very brisk and articulate in framing the sancharas. Karukurichi Mohanaram (mridangam) played soothingly.
B. Kannan was very enthusiastic to display his extraordinary competence by the jingle-jangle of meettus, more harsh than called for. This propensity peaked in the Amirtavarshini kirtana "Sudhamayi" with swara patterns and decibel intensity to feign mridangam sounds. Occasionally, by soft pedalling, he tried to show his acquaintance with the soothing face of Carnatic music from the veena. "Pranamamyaham" (Gowla) "Meenakshi-me-mudam" (Poorvikalyani) and "Bhagayanayya" (Chandrajyoti) were the list of other songs. Melakaveri Balaji (mridangam) could not ask for more from Kannan to throw open the floodgates of percussive profligacy.
Guru Prasad (ghatam) was also sucked in the percussion-oriented veena recital.
Mohan Santhanam is so meek musically that he could not make any impact with the kirtanas "Marugelara" (Jayanti Sri), "Gattigaanu" (Begada) and "Balagopala" (Bhairavi) with alapanas for the last two items. Shertalai Sivakumar (violin) and C. K. Ranganathan (mridangam) were the accompanists.
Well-trained in cutcheri technique, A. S. Murali made his music presentable with controlled expression in the alapanas and smart rendering of kirtanas. There was briskness and clarity in the items "Inta-paraka" (Mayamalavagowla) "Salakalla" (Arabhi), "Marakatha-lingam" (Vasantha) and "Manasu-vishaya-nata" (Nattakurinji with a crisp alapana). M. A. Krishnaswami (violin) and Bhoovarahan (mridangam) were the reliable accompanists.
Listless and prosaic with a floating voice, R. Surya Prakash sang "Orajoopuchu" (Kannada Gowla) "Rama-rama-kali-kalusha" in the raga Ramakali, a Muthuswami Dikshitar composition) and "Inta-sowkhyamani" (Kapi). He was supported by R. Satishkumar (violin) Mannarkoil Balaji (mridangam) and Madipakkam Murali (ghatam) were his supporters.
The Kambhoji raga alapana and the sangati-cluttered kirtana "Koniyadina" by Gayatri Venkataraghavan were directed to impress the listeners of her capacity to handle such a composition and also indirectly suggest the Spartan training given to her by her guru. The raga was picturised with vividness. "Sogasuga" (Sriranjani) "Sitamma" (Vasanta) were like testing her voice to launch on the Kambhoji piece. Padma Shankar on the violin was quite adequate. Trivandrum Balaji (mridangam) was at his best in the Kambhoji kirtana session.
G. Srikanth, accompanied by Suresh Babu (violin) and Payyoor Gopalakrishnan (mridangam), sang "Nanda-Nandana" (Vasantha) "Orajoopuchu" (Kannadagowla) and "Sankari-ninnu" (Pantuvarali with a good alapana).
With a free-flowing voice Vijayalakshmi Subramaniam began the recital with the brisk Sowrashtram kirtana "Ranganaathude." Shanmukhapriya (Marivera), "Muruga-Muruga" (Saveri) and Sankarabharanam (ragam, tanam, pallavi) were the other items. Nagai Sriram (violin) was very energetic. B. Sivaraman (mridangam) played competently.
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