Erudite Sanskritist's scholarly presentation

Dr S Manjunath performs on violin at the third anniversary of Basange Balaga. Her knowledge of Sanskrit gives an extra strength of confidence that beams in her presentation. Groomed by Vasanthamadhavi and R K Shrikanthan, she has developed her own style of presentation with the back up of a strong laya jnana. She was accompanied by Mathur Shrinidhi (Violin), G S Ramanujam (Mridanga) and S Manjunath (Ghata) for her concert at Veene Sheshanna Bhavana on November 19.

She began the concert with a varna (Shree Raga, Adi taala) in two speeds. The rarely heard composition of Veena Kuppayyar ‘Intha parakelanamma’ (Bhegade-Rupaka) came with a short alapa of Bhegade. Few crisp kalpana swaras made it more lively. After a kruthi of Swathi Tirunal  ‘Viharaamamaanasaraame’ in Kapi , she started with an alapana of Kamavardhini. It was a scholarly presentation of the raga. Mathur Shreenidhi’s raga was very well received.

Tyagaraja’s composition that tells about the importance of chanting the name of Shiva ‘Shiva Shiva Shiva yanarada?’ was further embellished by a neraval at ‘Nemamutho bilvarchana jesi’. The swarakalpana was a combination of variety of patterns. She presented a kruthi of Shama Shastri ‘Brovavamma tamasa’ in Manji. One more Kruthi of Muthuswami Dixitar completed the trinity’s compositions . ‘Kaamaakshi Shrivaralakshmi’ in Bilahari was taken up by Sathyavathi.

The detailed exposition of Raga was hindered by some dryness of the voice now and then. Little more bhava would have enhanced the musical beauty. However the neraval at ‘Dinakara koti pfrkashe’ and the following swarakalpana was a musical treat. A kannada Devaranama ‘Bandunindiha nodi’ of Purandaradasa and a Thillana in Malayamarutha by Nagavalli Nagaraj were the tail pieces of the concert. Ramanujam and Manjunath’s support for the vocalist was noteworthy.

Third anniversary

Bhasange Balaga celebrated its third anniversary on November 20 at the Vasudevacharya Bhavana. The much awaited Veena-Venu-Violin concert began after a prolonged stage formalities. D Balakrishna (veene), Dr S Manjunath (violin) and Chandankumar (flute)  were supported by H S Sudheendra (mridanga) and Giridhar Udupa(ghata). They started with ‘Pranamamyaham Sri’ (Gowla-Adi-Vasudevacharya). The krithi was played with good understanding despite the different temperaments. This can be said to all the compositions they played.

The ragalapa was taken in parts by each one of them to establish their imagination, improvisation and skill. All the three artistes are well known in their field of instruments. Bringing them on one platform and to establish harmony is altogether a different thing. Their different individualities came to forefront in alapa and swarakalpanas.

Balakrishna’s veena playing is known for its simplicity and sublimity. Dr Manjunath displays both aesthetics and virtuosity. The young Chandankumar with lot of potentiality is more inclined towards pleasing the rasikas.    ‘Sogasuga mridanga taalamu’ was beautifully carved by Balakrishna and Manjunath highlighting the structure of the composition by Tyagaraja in the raga Sriranjini. The best part in the swara  was the  perfect interpretation without anyone  trespassing  the other artiste . This helped in enhancing the musical experience.

Raga Mohana was later taken up for elaboration by each one of them. It was the pleasure of rasikas to savour the three different instruments at the same time. Listening to taana on the veena is an experience by itself. Balakrishna pleased his listeners with the different patterns of it. A pallavi in Adi taala was taken up. Chandan’s Behag came like a cool breeze while Balakrishna slowly glided to Kapi and Manjunath to Hamsanandi. Each one was at their best. The anticipatory strokes of Sudheendra added to it. The tani avarthana of the percussionists was a fantastic finale.

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