Vocal : Vasudha Keshav
Violin : Nalina Mohan
Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra
01. karuNimpa (varNam) – sahAna – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya ( O )
02. iLalO praNatArthi – aThANa – Thyagaraja
03. sidhi vinAyakam – chAmaram (shANmukhapriya) – Dikshitar ( A,S )
04. nIdumUrti ni – nAttakurinji – Pallavi Gopal Iyer ?? ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @’ indirA ramaNa guNAbharaNa’
05. orAjupu chUcedi – kannaDa gauLa – Thyagaraja
06. talli ninnu nera – kalyANi – Syama Sasthri ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @ ‘ SyAmakriSNa paripAlini jananI’
07. SLOkam ( manOjapam mArutatulya vEgam) – kApi, behAg
hanumana mAthavE hariya mAthavu – behAg – Purandara Dasa
08. vaDavaraiyay mathhakki – rAgamAlika – Ilango Adikal
09. thillAna ( nAm dhiraNa tOm dhiraNa ) – kAnaDa – Veena Seshanna
10. rAmanukku mannanmuDi – hindOLam – Arunachala Kavi
11. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja
SLOkam ( budhirbalam yashO dhairyam) – madhyamAvathi
Vasudha Keshav was the last minute replacement for Sumitra Vasudev, who could not make it to the concert. It was informed sufficiently in advance, in case people want to make other choices. Arsenal – Manchester City match was the other attraction to stay back home, but I have decided to attend the concert and listen to Vasudha Keshav. I’ve only heard her a couple of times in the FM before and this was the first time listening to her live.
The concert ( for a larger part) was like ‘my son in the go-carting arena’. Fast, full of jerky movements, bumping at the protective tyres, full of enthusiasm and energy. If you can co-relate, this was such a journey. She was very active and involved. Speed and hurry was the general essence of the evening. Every thing ( barring the kalyani alapana) came in ultra speed somewhere loosing the grip on the aesthetic aspect of the music. In other words what the elders call it as ‘soukhyam’ was not felt in the concert.
She continued the ‘kalapramanam’ of the varnam with a typically fast atana kriti ( faster than the usual). A crisp and effective shanmukhapriya was followed by some swara fireworks, leaving me for gasping for breath. Probably, she could have avoided the atana kriti, or positioned it after the ganesha kriti. After the initial unclear phrases, the next alapana natakurinji was pretty decent. Especially the higher octaves and longish ‘akara’ singing were very good. ‘Needumurti’ was a good surprise, not that I would have complained if she sing any other kriti in natakurinji. The neraval and kalpana swaras were again super fast. Another fast rendition in kannada gaula came in before the main.
There was indeed a remarkable change for the main.The leisurely progressed alapana was impressive ( probably a calm after a storm) with typical kalyani phrases. Nalina Mohan’s return were more pleasing and fabulously constructed. Shyama Sastri’s master piece begun with a bang. Some beautifully executed interplay between vocalist and the percussion made an impressive beginning of the kriti. H S Sudheendra moved this part of the concert to a different level with some clever accompaniment. The speed came back towards neraval and swaras. H S Sudheendra, handled the percussion singularly played out a classy tani avartanam.
Post main, is notable for the shloka and devarnama on Hanuman. Yesterday being the ‘hanuman jayanthi’, the selection and the way it was presented were very apt and beautiful. She sang a ragamalika in Tamil, whose starting words were unclear. She turned towards someone and asked permission to stop, and there was a request for another song, which she obliged with the hindolam kriti of Arunachala Kavi, before concluding with mangalam and the hanumal shlokam.
She is a capable musician and her style and knowledge is testimony to her credentials. Some how, the jerkiness and bumpiness ( stresses at awkward places) , the overall hurry and speed somewhat diminished the beauty of her singing.