Vocal : Cherthala Dr.Ranganatha Sharma
Violin : Palakkad R Swaminathan
Mrudangam : K Jayakrishnan
Ghatam : Vellattanjur Sreejith
01. mEru samAnA – mAyAmALavagauLa – Thyagaraja ( O,S )
02. cherarAvadEmirA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )
03. kOrina varamosagu – rAmapriya – PAtnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘sari vArilOna nannu chauka jEya valadu nIdu’
04. shrI kamalAmbikAh param – bhairavi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T)
neraval & swara @ ‘shrIkaNTha viSNu virinciAdi janayitryA’
05. bArO krSNayya – rAgamAlika – Kanaka Dasa ( O-mAND )
This concert was part of the felicitation function of one of the leading singers of Kathakali, Kottakkal Madhu, at his home grounds( the place where he hails from). The two day events enriched by performances of some of the leading artists in Kathakali, Percussion as well as Classical Music fraternity was an awesome opportunity for any connoisseur or lover of art to participate. I could manage to be part of the day two, by shear luck and it was worth the effort on all count.
Back to the concert, which was the morning session of the day two, was a fitting tribute to a fellow musician and friend by Dr. Ranganatha Sharma, who had participated in a few fusion ( or juganbandi if you may) concerts with Kottakkal Madhu himself. Luckily, this concert wasn’t a jugalbandi. Ranganatha Sharma, as one would expect, presented a top class concert with some high caliber support from the supporting crew, especially the percussion duo. Swaminathan, was good most part but left me wanting for more at times.
A two hour concert, planned very well by the singer, without trying to fill in the list with many short pieces. Each compositions presented was given its due weight and respect. The brisk meru samana with few rounds of swaras, short and nice alapana for reetigaula, a much more detailed ramapriya alapana and a classy , formidable effort with bhairavi. Fabulous planning and execution. Bhairavi alapana was very special, mostly around the slow , longer phrases, not attempting the fast paced, bhriga-laden phrases ( barring a super impressive take towards the end of the alapana), the meticulous build up deploying on those moving slow patterns of melodious bhairavi were the highlights of the morning. Swaminathan’s return was more of the standard line, including those faster passages. Probably, the main artist sang with the idea of the kriti in mind and the violinist without the same. Dikshitar’s navavarana kriti as main was a glorious choice. The kriti, neraval as well as two speed kalpana swaras were top class. Percussion team demonstrated a commendable aniticipation and played exquisitely during the kalpana swaras. The duo, extended that to a well conceived tani avartanam.
The reetigaula and ramapriya , which preceded the main were equally good. Ramapriya alapana was again very good. There wasn’t much time left post the elaborate main. He indicated ‘one more’ to the organisers and concluded it with bArO krishnayya. To me, this concert shows the best of time utilisation in line with my personal preference, hence I was left with a great feeling. Brilliant artist, and a concert justifying his credentials.