Pulsating music that lingers
TO HAVE the privilege of hearing three grand masters of repute _ M. S. Gopalakrishnan (violin), N. Ramani (flute) and Umayalpuram Sivaraman (mridangam) _ along with E. M. Subramaniam (ghatam) in a Carnatic music concert on New Year eve was a rare, unique and exhilarating experience. But to call it a jugalbandi is a misnomer, since it normally involves two styles of music _ Carnatic and Hidustani _ at one platform. However, it left an everlasting impression on the full-house audience.
Both Ramani and MSG melodiously played the sangatis in kritis in their own inimitable style and not in the usual pattern of the duo presenting a co-ordinated well cemented flow, to provide full impact.
The Bhairavi ata tala varnam, "Viriboni,'' played in first and second kalam by MSG and tisra nadai by Ramani alternatively, had good synchronisation, followed by "Mahaganapathim" (Nattai) with kalpanaswaras.
The duo's delineation of Madhyamavati brought out the subtle nuances of the raga, and the neraval "Sarvadharma Paripalaka" (Parthasarathy) stood testimony to their genius and vidwat. The delicately woven full-length Shanmukhapriya ("Marivere") rendered by MSG with added glamour in manthrasthayi by Ramani, and the different permutative kalpanaswaras in "Sannuthanga" were a real treat. Departing from the usual `tani' pattern of alternative play between the mridangam and upavadhyam, the pulsating tani avarthanam for "Veda Sastra" ("Enduku Peddala" _ Sankarabharanam) by K. Sivaraman and E. M. Subramanian (ghatam) was unique in that the artistes had the freedom to exhibit their varying talents in their own ways, ending ultimately with a co-ordinated fitting finale of a high order.
The ragam and tanam in Kapi played by both MSG and Ramani were soothing, with ragamalika swaras in Begada, Kanada, Ranjani and Behag for the pallavi, "Eswari Maheswari". A bhajan, dasarpadam and a tillana rounded off the memorable concert.
With clear diction, the medium-paced "Jaya Jaya" (Nattai) and slow-paced Navavaranam "Kamalamba" (Ananda Bhairavi) set the stage for V. Sowmya's vocal concert. "Sri Parthasarathy" had neatly rendered kalpanaswaras for the pallavi. Charukesi raga ("Krupaya Palaya") was vivid with delicate sancharas and the swaras rendered for "Narada" had good manodharma in the first kalam. With well-tuned sruti, the delineation of Kalyani ("Evara Madugudura") had intricate nuances but lacked depth due to a few slips and absence of long karvais in each note. However, the neraval, "Rajavadana" with imaginative kalpanaswaras revealed her potential. SriLakshmi Venkataramani (violin) and Erode Nagarajan (mridangam) lent able support.
Endowed with a rich loud voice, C. B. Ramanarayanan's vocal concert had a good repertoire. The bhava-oriented "Saravana" (Shanmukhapriya) was appealing.
The elaboration of Begada raga ("Sankari Neeve") with rakti and gamaka was enjoyable. Neraval and madhyamakala kalpanaswaras for "Triloka Mangalakaramurthy" ("Appan Avatharitha' _ Kharaharapriya) provided the tempo without clarity. The Todi raga occupied its due place portraying intricate sancharas. "Kaddanu Vaariki" with neraval and swarakalpanas in "Paddu Thappaka" demonstrated his ability. The violin artiste's soft but strong bowing exhibited his talent as a good accompanist. Umayalpuram Mali (mridangam) and N. Sundar (morsing) combined well to provide overall percussion support.
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