Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram
Violin : Mysore Srikanth
Mrudangam : Anantha R Krishnan
01 chalamElA jEse (varNam ) – nAtakurinji – Ranraswamy Nattuvanar
02 janani ninnuvina – rItigauLa – Subbaraya Shasthri ( S )
03 lOkAvana chaturA – bEgaDa – Thyagaraja ( A,N )
neraval @ ‘sAkEtAdhipa sarasa guNApramEya ‘
04 shrIkriSNam bhaja mAnasa – thODi – Dikshitar ( A,S,T )
05 harihara ninnanu mecchisa bahudu – sindhubhairavi – Purandara Dasa ( A in pahADi and sindhubhairavi )
06 mangaLam – saurAshtram
He sang for slightly over two hours and only a few kritis. That was the disappointment, especially after that out of the world thodi swaras. The second concert of the evening was scheduled to start at 7:15 and that probably prompted him to stop by 6:45pm. Highlight of the day to me was that mesmerizing kalpana swaras of thodi and a sneaked in alapana of pahADi ( blame me if some one tells you it wasnt pahadi but something else).
On a day when India was living up to the history by beating Pakistan in the Worldcup, it was a tough task to get the audience to come in large numbers even for an artist like Abhishek. However the auditorium gradually filled up and the concert started 15 mins from the scheduled time. Another 5-10 mins were taken to set the amplifications up. The tanpura man hadnt arrived until after the second kriti.
Abhishek started the concert with natakurinji varnam. A pleasing janani ninnuvina came in in leisure. However, the kalpana swaras were sung at ‘ tAmasamu sEyakane brOvumu ‘ in a faster speed. Begada alapana that followed was also a sublime affair. Starting very slow and measured phrases, not those familiar ones to begin with. That created some interest in me for a special kriti in the offing. Srikanth started his turn a bit jarring and unappealing, but soon came back to the proven path. Lokavana chatura was the selected kriti, which reminded me of Voleti. Abhishek sang it decently and had a longish neraval at ‘sAkEtAdhipa’ in his typical style, with some intrinsic wordplay at ‘sarasa’ ‘guna’ and ‘aprameya’. Few ‘zAkEtAdhipa zarasa’ was good to hear. Probably he was adjusting the time, as there was no swaras sung for begada.
Thodi alapana was what by now everyone expected from his concert. Alapana was long, multiple times he traversed the octaves at both lower and higher one, some impressive long close mouthed alapanas, loooong ‘akara phrases which usually moves the audience and all the other possibilities in thodi. Can we call this thodi++ , as in the IT parlance ??. Last weeks kalyani at gayana samaja, was indeed kalyani++. Srikanth did a much better job here in his turn, playing more orthodox thodi a far better effort than the begada he played earlier. Srikrishnam bhaja manasam was a refreshing change. I was hoping to hear this in a concert for a very very long time. He skipped neraval, and I thought he was planning to sing a pallavi, hence skipped. Well, there was no pallavi. However, the kalpana swaras that followed compensated for every thing that was missing. This to me is THE highlight of the evening. Outstanding stuff. Anantha seems to be reading the vocalists mind. He was playing along every nuances that Abhishek sang today with tremendous anticipation. The tani avartanam, sans a support was solely managed and commendably delivered by Anantha Krishnan.
Abhishek, immediately launched himself into the next alapana, raising hopes for the pallavi. Until someone knowledgeable corrects me, I stand by pahADi. Not heard an alapana in pahadi before, and hence my judgment could be wrong. Improving the odds for the pallavi, he requested Srikanth to continue. The second turn was interesting, as he progressed from pahadi to sindhubhairavi and concluded the alapana. There was no pallavi as he begun a devarnama in sindhubhairavi. Concert concluded immediately after that with a mangalam. He chose to sing a mangalam this time – if you remember he skipped mangalam at the gayana samaja concert last week – leaving the audience for want of more. The concert today wasn’t of aggression but of more sober and sedate, I felt.