Vocal : Sukanya Prabhakar
Vocal Support : Madhavi Kaushik
Violin : B Raghuram
Mrudangam : C Cheluvaraju
Ghatam : Srishylan
Thematic concert on Swathi thirunal, commemorating his 200th birth anniversary
01. sarasijanAbha (varNam) – kAmbOji – Swathi Thirunal
02. parama puruSa jagadIshvara – vasanta – Swathi Thirunal ( S )
03. sEvE shrIkAntam – mOhana kalyANi – Swathi thirunal ( A,S )
04. Alapana ( sAvEri , nATakurinji, dhanyAsi, mOhanam, mukhAri , pUvikalyANi,madhyamAvati)
bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamalika ( as above) – Swathi thirunal
swaras in sAvEri , nATakurinji, dhanyAsi, mOhanam, mukhAri , pUvikalyANi,madhyamAvati – for respective charanam
05. bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLa varALi – Swathi Thirunal
06. shankara shrI girinAtha prabhO – hamsAnandi ( N )
neraval @ padmanAbh man kamal virAjE
07. RTP – kharaharapriya – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai starting at +2
pallavi line ‘pankajanAbha pAda sEvakam tirunAl mahArAjam ‘
no rAgamalika swaram
08. jaya jagadIsha nanda kishOra – yamunAkalyANi – Swathi Thirunal
09. bhujaga shAyinO – yadukula kAmbOji – Swathi Thirunal
Very impressive concert. I was expecting a traditional fair from her with a lot many Kannada devarnamas and a few rare kritis. As she sat down to start, she mentioned the 200th birth anniversary of Sri Swathi Thirunal. She did a brief lecture on the composer Maharaja pointing out his achievements and specialties of his compositions, including the use of hindustani ragas, invention of new ragas such as mohana kalyani ( highly debated though) and the varieties of his musical outputs both in the forms ( varnam, padam, keerthanams etc) and the languages ( South Indian and Hindi apart form Sanskrit).
Even at this point I wasn’t thinking of a possibility of a thematic concert from the vidushi. She started of with the kAmbOji varnam , again attributed to Swathi Thirunal. It started in a very slow tempo and a bit shaky to begin with, but soon got back to control. Vasanta kriti came in next with some brilliant rounds of kalpana swaras. After a short confusion regarding the inclusion of her disciple into the proceedings, with B Raghuram pre-occupied with the feedback speaker issue, the team got into the rhythm. A spellbinding finish to the kalpana swaras was a treat.
A shortish mohanakalyani alapana was good from the lead singer continued amicably by ‘shiSya’ and concluded. B Raghuram played a decent return. Pallavi line was sung so beautifully, very melodious. She sang a couple of very moving repeats of the pallavi line to some good effects. There was some rounds of good swaras, with Madhavi Kaushik actively participating and concluded with aplomb.
A series of raga alapana came in sequence from sAvEri to madhyamAvati, indicating the arrival of ‘bhavayami raghuramam’. Each raga was take up for 2-3 minutes one after other in sequence. Madhavi sang nAtakurinji and mOhanam while the senior did the rest. B Raghuram in his turn ( post the vocalists completed all seven alapana) played beautifully. His progression from one to other was splendid and smooth as a feather ( except probably at mukhAri to pUrvikalyaNi) and so was the descending sequence. Bhavayami raghuramam brings the memory of MDR, but the vidushi sang very well. She did a clever thing to accomodate kalpana swaras. Starting the chittaswarams of the respective raga in the charanam, she took off with her kalpana swaras and came back to the chittaswaram to conclude the particular charanam. It was very innovative and executed very well.
A quick filler of bhogindra shayinam in a slower tempo and hamsanandi kriti shankara sri girinatha prabho came in succession. She lingered around the ‘padmanabh man kamal viraje’ detailing it into a neraval , a feat repeated by Madhavi with equal eloquence followed with B Raghuram. It did not continue to a full fledged neraval, to my disappointment.
A detailed long alapana was grand. Started with some moving phrases, picking up steam as it progressed. She handed over the mantle to Madhavi in the middle before taking control and concluding it majestically. Raghuram;s return was equally commendable. Tanam was long and detailed. Pallavi line composed for the occasion was apt, even of the line per se was just ok. Pallavi with trikalam was brilliantly executed and was elaborate. Swaras was limited to the main raga and there was no ragamalika swaras. Cheluvaraju was in his own elements through out the day. He and Srishylan played out a classical tani avartanam in khanda triputa post the RTP.
Post main was limited to one kriti before the yadukula kamboji mangalam of Maharaja. The organisers praised her knowledge on devarnamas and requested her to sing a couple of ‘devarnamas’ and conclude the concert. However, as it was a tribute to Swathi Thirunal, she wanted to sing Swathi compositions only, which made him to re-track his words and hastily agree with the singer.
It would be inappropriate if I do not mention the young Madhavi Kaushik. She sang brilliantly through out the day. Making the most of every opportunities given to he during the concert, be it the alapana of mohana kalyani, the kalpana swaras ( especially the mohanakalyani) or the neraval line for hamsanandi , she did commendably well and was wholeheartedly appreciated by the audience. I was given to understand that she was the winner in the ‘pallavi’ segment in the competition held by Gayana Samaja. Very good talent to watch out for.