Vocal : T S Sathyavathi
Vocal Support : Anjana P Rao
Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam
Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao
Ghatam : Sukanya Ramgopal
00 shrI gaNanAtha – malahari – Purandara Dasa ( setting the amplifications)
01 praNavAkAram siddhivinAyakam – Arabhi – Oothukad Venkata Kavi ( O,S )
02 RTP – shubha pantuvarALi – chaturashra triputa x 2 kaLai +1 aksharam eduppu
parama karuNA sAgara, nannu brOva rAmA
rAgamalika swarams in malahari, bahudhAri, kApi, bEgaDa
03 thillAna ( nAdru dhIm nAdru dhIm, dhIm tana dhiraNA) – kAnaDa – tisra roopakam- Mysore Vasudevachar ( O )
04 shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati
The concert was announced as a special RTP concert. BTM cultural Academy conducts 2 such programs every year, one in Feb and the other in Aug. Each time, they bring artist of exceptional caliber to perform. Pallavi singing in the concerts have become a ‘tick in the box’ these days with artists unable to give it enough justice, after an elaborate main piece. The nuances and intricacies involved in singing a noteworthy pallavi is slowly loosing in the bargain. With the changing taste of the listeners, where virtuosity and speed/loudness receive maximum applause, it is not surprising that most of the pallavis are replication of another neraval singing. Only a few attempts the basic trikalam, and the creativity limits to singing ragamalika kalpana swaras.
Years ago, I had a chance to listen to a lecture demonstration of Vid Satyavathi at Indiranagar Sabha. While the whole lec-dem had to be concluded without enough time for the pallavi part, it made a lasting impression on me. That memory, drove me towards BTM Sabha, in expectation of a grand pallavi.
A few lines of geetham was sung during the mike arrangements and tuning. She announced an Arabhi kriti of Oothukadu shifting through a few raga phrases to start the concert. Pranavakaram siddhivinayakam came with a few rounds of kalpana swaras. The ‘mike-asura’ played a few times, but settled as it progressed.
It was all set for the pallavi now. A grand 40 mins alapana came straight away. Starting at leisure, she slowly developed through building one passages to other many times to jaw dropping brilliance, many mesmerising sangatis after another , taking a break and letting charulata to go through them once again to recreate some of them. She allowed her disciple to start the phase two of the alapana. Ajana P Rao ( later announced) did a commendable job, before the boss took over the control and finished with a few cherish-able fast phrases. Charulatha was up there with the main artist most of the time.
After a 40 min alapana, the tanam was shorter in comparison and my expectations – 15 mins or so, nonetheless. She demonstrated some of the trademark tanam singing ( I cant name all of them- ‘kukkuDa tAnam, mayUra tAnam etc ), each received enthusiastically by the audience.
Pallavi was set to Adi Tala in 2 kaLai. But the intricacies came in the way she explored the pallavi line neraval. She explained the neraval line will have a 3 stage ( or three part) elaboration. The ‘pUrvAnga’ was taken up in the first stage for trikAlam in the most common or traditional 4, 2,1 format moving up and down the speed. After the neraval and related kalpana swaras , she moved to the second stage. This time focusing on the ‘uttarAnga’, the same was done in tisra, khanda and misra ( 3, 5 and 7) variation and the related swaras. The stage 3 of them, she said ( and did) , was by switching back to 1 kaLai, and doing the ‘pratilOmam’ ( if I understood it correctly) by doing the akshara based speed variations, again with its corresponding swaras. What was heartening to see was the entire team, including the young disciple, was prepared and delivered the whole concept impeccably. What a demonstration it had been. Brilliant stuff.
As expected there was ragamalika swaras to conclude the pallavi. The whole affair until now too nearly two hours. Jayachandra Rao and Sukanya Ramgopal, played a fitting tani avartanam after this. Again the focus was to keep the spirit of the pallavi intact. Some of the intricate patterns played was delightful.
A kAnada thillana of Vasudevachar was the only other kriti that was sung, which again being set in tisra roopakam was another speciality.
I am no expert in this subject and some of aspect she explained and demonstrated were beyond my grasp. I hope some one who attended this could throw some light on this in a better way. The mistakes here are my own, and if identified, I stand corrected.
All I can say is this, what an amazing artist and what an exhibition of knowledge, skills, preparation and meticulous execution.