Music reviews

Successful conference

Concerts by both seasoned musicians and upcoming artistes, and academic sessions were held as part of the 44th music conference, organised by the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, last week.

Dr T S Satyavathi, who sang here on Wednesday, is reputed in the field as a senior vocalist, an able teacher and an acclaimed scholar.

With decades of experience, in this concert, Satyavathi brought to her rendering several familiar compositions and a few infrequently heard ragas with commendable control on laya and fidelity to convention that commanded respect, from all sections.

To suit a Sabha ‘Kacheri’ (that too in the ‘Sangeet Sammelan’), she naturally crowned the concert with a fine raga, thana and pallavi.

The very selection of the raga (Amruthavarshini) for pallavi aroused curiosity among the connoisseurs.

A ‘Krama Audava’ raga Amritavarshini is a pleasing raga, which is also known as a raga which can bring rains!

The alapana received appealing airing and the well-knit thana was yet another instance of her mastery over the medium. Also the swara laya vinyasa was rendered impressively with good raga bhava.

Earlier, Satyavathi presented a less known raga called ‘Kalgada’. It is ‘Ma, Varjya’ ‘Audava Shadava’ raga and both Tyagaraja (Samayamu e marake) and Syama Sastri have composed compositions in this raga.

She chose ‘Parvati Ninnu’, which was again welcomed by the listeners. So also ‘Vihara Maanasa Rame Sachidananda’ of Swathi Tirunal in the raga ‘Hindustani Kaapi’ was a welcome change and notable for ‘ragabhava’.

As Satyavathi sang with several aesthetic passages to lend a rich flavour to the dignified melody, the audience heard her concert with great respect. She presented two devotionals, ‘Palisenna Gopala Krishna’ of Jagannatha Dasaru and ‘Chintayave Sadgurum’ of Narahari Teertha – which was also pleasing.

Charulatha Ramanujan on violin, H S Sudhindra on mridanga and S N Narayana Murthy on ghata and Shilpa Shashidhar (vocal support) – gave excellent support.

Hindustani vocal

Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, the lone Hindustani vocalist of the 44th music conference organised by the Bangalore Gayana Samaja, is a recipient of the annual award from the Sangeeth Natak Akademi this year.

‘Purya’ gave him an impressive start. Bright phrases in both vilambith and druth added a lively lilt to his singing.

Touching the pivotal swaras with attractive phraseology lent a dignified presence to Hameer. Comparatively, Kaushik Kaanada was brief but lively.

Durga was embellished with brisk Tarana. Venkatesh concluded with two devotionals – ‘Toredu Jeevisabahude’ and ‘Kaayada Kathaleya’, the lyrical feel in the compositions heightening its emotional fervour.

Viswanath Nakod (Thabala), Vyasamurthy Katti (Harmonium) and Ramesh Kumar (co-singer) accompanied with good understanding.

Dazzling display

The Rabindranath Tagore Nagar Cultural Association conducted the 22nd annual music festival last week in collaboration with Taralabalu Kendra.

After the inauguration, ‘Ganga Kaveri’, the music ensemble directed by Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, was held. M K Pranesh (flute) and Praveen Godkhindi (bansuri) were accompanied by six percussion instruments (Karnatic, Hindustani and foreign).

‘Evariboda’, the familiar varna gave them a flying start.
The ‘Kadana Kuthuhala’ piece (Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma) was small but evocative, and then they moved to the piece de resistance of the day. Alapana of ‘Keeravani’ was developed in stages by both flautists.

Thana to the background of percussion instruments was vibrant and lively.
‘Thani’ of the percussion instruments was quiet attractive and each instrument had its own role to play. Mridanga (Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma), Khanjari (Guru Prasanna), Latin Percussion (Pramath Kiran), Drums (Arun Kumar), Thabala (Jagadeesh and Madhusudhan) – were first played individually and established their individual personality.

The percussionists followed up with a sizzling solo with exciting exchanges, providing thrills.

With a Kannada devaranama, the ensemble concluded the concert with exhilarating effect.

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