Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram
Violin : Mysore Srikanth
Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao
Ganjira : Guruprasanna
Morsing : Arunkumar
Theme : Thyagaraja Aradhana
01 gAna sudhA rasa – nAta – Balamuralikrishna ( S )
02 eLA nI dayarADu – aThANa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )
03 balamu kulamu – sAvEri – Thyagaraja
04 gurulEkha eTuvaNTi – gauri manOhari- Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T – Ganjira )
neraval & swara @ ‘ tatva bOdhana jEsi kApADu tyAgarAjAptuDanu’
tani Avartanam – Ganjira by Guruprasanna
05 sujana jIvana – khamAs – Thyagaraja ( O,N,S,T – Mrudangam )
neraval & swara @ ‘cAru nEtra shrI kaLAtra shrI ramya gAtra tAraka nAma sucaritra dasharatha putra
tani avartanam – Mrudangam by Jayachandra Rao
06 baNturIti kOlu – hamsanadam – Thyagaraja ( S, T – Morsing)
tani avartanam – Morsing by Arunkumar
07 challarE rAmachandruni – Ahiri – thyagaraja ( O )
08 swara rAga sudhA – SankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,S,T )
tani avartanam by all percussion
09 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja
His concert at Gayana Samaja was brilliant , but short lived. What he did in that one hour was the inspiration to leave office early and attend this concert. Especially because,the aradhana was dedicated on thyagaraja kritis. Concert was exhilarating to sum it up. It was high octane, highly spirited and a cracker to experience. At the end it was like getting out of a giant wheel after multiple spin. The excitement remain, but one felt a sense of relief that it is over.
Speed was the essence. It was like traveling in a high speed train, gasping for breath at times. Everything was at faster tempo. The kalpana swaras, which was excellent by the way, added to the speedy effect, by lifting the tempo as well as the decibel levels. The audience in the hall seems to have liked the whole journey, with enthusiastic responses after every kriti. In the melee, what was missing is the ‘serenity’, the “soukhyam’ as the music enthusiasts puts it. The peace, the calm or the soothing effectone experience in a classical concert was missing. May be it was intentional, to shake up and rejuvenate the spirit, but I thought a better mix of varying tempo, of selection of kritis with a little more variation would have made my evening. On a thematic concert, especially on Thyagaraja, had ample scope of bringing out a vast common and somewhat obscure kriits, few ragams which are regularly used few mix of deities ( I am making this up I know, but the list seems too predictable and ordinary).
The innovation was in allowing each percussion to have his own solo space. Instead of having all at one go tani avartanam, he choose to allow each instrument to play it alone at the end of each kriti. He delectably chose thee different tala patterns ; khanda chapu for Guruprasanna for Ganjira, roopakam for Jayachandra Rao for Mrudangam and a ultra fast Adi Talam for Morsing. The thought of giving individual time was creditable, but it ate away from the time, he had for the main. Each percussion artist, did a phenomenal job during their turn, making the most of the opportunity.
Concert started with a Nata kriti of Balamuralikrishna in praise of Thyagaraja. It was Thyagaraja kritis from then on. A shortish alapana of aThANa, with no violin turn stared the day. Gauri manohari alapana was detailed, and gurulekha etuvanti came as expected. The neraval was his attempt to play with the words with various combinations, done at a higher speed. Kalpana swara continued in the same tempo, increasing as it pinnacled. Khamas was of a similar affair, again a short neraval after he toyed with the line charu nEtra..and tAraka rAma’ with one round of violin turn. Another similar fast swara avalanche receded on us, before the mrudangam tani avartanam.
If these were like travelling in Shatabdi, a bullet train came next. Traversing at break neck speed, bantureeti in hamsanadam, shattered all the previous speed records. The filler Ahiri too, sounded a bit fast to me. By this time, it was 7:40 and I was thinking now that he will conclude with few short kritis. An intersting Sankarabharanam alapana came in. Though short, lasting nearly 5 min, it had a very different and innovative take. This was fairly decent. Swara raga sudha, gave hope for a proper main kriti being presented. Although, it too was a bit faster, the kriti was sung fairly well. He started the swaras at the famous ‘ga ma pa….ma ga…ri ga.. sa..ri ga’. Scheming around the same phrase, the duo ( vocal and violin) did give an impressive rounds of kalpana swara. There was another 5 mins of tani avartanam , this time as a collective effort. He did not wait for the thanks giving and garlanding, moving on to sing the mangalam. The organisers had to request the audience to stay for another couple of minute to honour the artists and the sponsors.
In the end, I am a bit perplexed. Was the concert good , yes it was. Ws it great ? No , it wasn’t. Why wsan’t it great ? Well, I don’t know.