Vocal : R Suryaprakash
Violin : Nalina Mohan
Mrudangam : HS Sudheendra
Morsing : M Gururaj
( reached late, I might have missed 2 or 3 compositions)
03. nannu viDaci – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja
04. aparNA pArvati – naLinakAnti – Kalyani Varadarajan ( A,S )
05. mAyamma yani nE – Ahiri – Shyama Shasthri ( A )
06. marukELarA – jayanthashrI – Thyagaraja
07. shrI mAtrubhUtam – kannaDa – Dikshitar ( A,S )
08. mAnasa sancararE – shyAma – Sadashiva Brahmendra ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘paramahamsa mukha candracakOrE paripUrita muraLiravadharE’
09. dEva dEvam bhajE – hindOLam – Annamacharya
10. nIdu charaNa pankaja – kalyANi – Pallavi Gopala Iyer ( A,S,T )
11. ugabhOga+ devarnAma – sindhubhairavi – Purandara Dasa
12. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja
The ambience wasn’t the most suited for a classical concert, except for the divine presence. The hall was very close to the road which was buzzing with traffic till the very end of concert. The disturbance from outside – vehicle passing , honking etc – were high, so was the people moving in and out (to the right of the audience was the temple). The mini hall or the room was not acoustically supportive for a classical concert. The audience itself is largely constituted by the visiting devotees , the mutt residence and not the typical concert seeking ones like us. Hence, it wasn’t surprising that he chose to sing many songs in soft, pleasing ragas and not venturing into some heavy weight ones. The Swamiji of the Mutt attended the concert midway through and stayed until the end.
We were late. It took more than two ours to maneuver the rush hour traffic and I was wondering if we can reach at least for the main. However from what I could decipher, we might not have missed much. A smooth reetigaula welcomed us as we settled in the room. I am guessing, I would have missed the varnam and a ganesha song before this. Soon, he sang s short and very nice nalinakanti alapana. It was fairly evident, mavinalakinca is not likely to come. Aparna parvati, a Kalyani Varadarajan composition was a good choice. I was feeling happy that the journey the city made sense when he started a soulful ahiri alapana. Very rarely one get to hear alapana in such ragas, and the joy was even more visible with my accompanying partner. Nalina Mohan too played some beautiful phrases in her return. It had to be Shyama Shasthry’s master piece,as he started at nyAyama. Mellifluous singing.
A quick marukelara came in before he started next beautiful alapana in Kannada. Even this was fairly short, but very impressive. Dikshitar composition also appended with some good round of kalpana swaras. Quickly , another slow and moving alapana of shyAma begun, but was rather short ( and without violin return) moved to mAnasa sancarare. For the first time, I m listening to some one singing a neraval for this kriti and how beautifully he sang it at ‘paramahamsa mukha’. This part to me was one of the highlight of the evening. Nalina Mohan rose to the occasion with some classy returns. There was a few rounds of kalpana swara at the end. An Annamacharya kriti sandwiched between this and the main. A bit surprised to see hindolam, after Jayanthasree.
Kalyani alapana was exquisite. Highly focused on the melodic beauty of the raga, playing some fascinating low speed sangatis, some breath taking bhriga oriented fast passages, clever open throated akara experiments at both medium and higher octaves , very clearly planned and delineated alapana. Depsite my personal taste of kalyani, I liked it and clearly the best of the evening. Nalina Mohan also played a commendable alapana. I did predict, needu charanamule’ to come. The kriti was very good, but had to quicken through the proceedings because of the time pressure. I think, Sri Suryaprakash was prepared and planned for the concert to end at 9:30, but there was some instructions mid way to conclude by 9:00. That probably denied us a chance to witness an awesome kalyani. He almost started neraval at O jagad janani, but switched to swaras immediately. Even the kalpana swaras were done quickly. The percussion duo too had a very short tani avartanam, played in unison.
There was a short customary speech by the person who was playing tanpura until then. Sri Suryaprakash had to conclude the concert with mangalam , but he sang a devarnama in sindhubhairavi , which was very unclear because of the improper amplification levels. I could hardly hear what was being sung. After a short consultation on stage, he sang mangalam and concluded the concert.
I liked the concert on following grounds. Impressive array of raga chosen from different composers and varied tala structure. It looked like he had done some nice pre-work or he might have anticipated the demography of the audience and fine tuned his selection to suite the listeners. Nice coordination among the artists on stage. Personally the Kalyani Varadarajan kriti, Ahiri alapana, neraval for manasa sancharare and the fabulous kalyani alapana made the evening worthwhile.