Music & dance reviews

Successful music festival

The eagerly awaited “Devnandan Ubhaykar Yuva Sangeet Utsav” began on Saturday, at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. This year, the festival consists of three vocal and three instrumental concerts by talented young artistes.

The festival opened with a fine vocal concert of Ruchira Kale. After the initial training from her father (Dilip Kale), she was taught by Dr Alka Deo Marulkar and Pandit Ulhas
Kashalkar.

In semi-classicals she has been guided by Girija Devi. She has won several prizes including the Akashavani National Prize and is also a post graduate in English Literature. Also she has performed at many platforms both in and outside India.

Rag Miya Malhar gave Ruchira a fine start, which suited the season and occasion. She caught the attention of the listeners right from the beginning with her rich voice and lively presentation. Building the raga phrase by phrase to reach a crescendo, blending her voice with Sruti and rendition, it stood out for its aesthetic charm. The Chayanut was embellished with impressive sangathies, and crisp Tharana and a traditional Bandeesh.

The Thumri was (O Mera Saiya Bulave) lively and concluded with a Marathi stage song in Charukeshi. She  was well supported on harmonium by Ashwin S Walawalkar and on Tabla by Sreenath Joshi.

Sweet Sarangi

Sarangi has a distinguished place in Hindustani classical music history. But it has been relegated to a back seat by the dominance of other accompanying instruments.

In this connection, connoisseurs appreciated the efforts of “Smriti Nandan” for arranging a solo concert of Sarangi in the festival. The artiste Sarwar Hussain belongs to a long lineage of Sarangi players. He has been trained by his grand father Padmashree Ustad Abdul Latif Khan in the rare and impressive techniques of playing Sarangi, including the difficult Tappa style. He is a ‘A-grade’ artist of AIR and recipient of ‘surmani’ title and is a staff of ITC Sangeet Research Academy. Sarwar Hussain opened his concert with rag Sri.

He handled it most convincingly as the raga grew into proportioned presentation. Studded with a flurry of neat meandering the delineation struck a fine balance between the melodic finesse and Laya forays.

This impression continued in the next raga Shrutivardhini, which is not familiar to music lovers. It is a pleasure to see Sarwar Hussain, shaping well to give a creative continuity to an illustrious line. He was accompanied on Tabla by Nisar Ahmed.

Aradhana concerts

Raghavendra Swamy Aradhana was celebrated in many parts of the city with cultural programmes and religious rituals.

Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mission celebrated the Aradhana at its premises at Indiranagar for three days last week. Neyveli R Santhanagopalan, who gave a vocal recital here never lets down the diehard and choosy music lovers who swear in the name of tradition and classicism. He presented many familiar and popular compositions, some of them with short raga overtures. The “Valachi” varna in two speeds, held out hopes of a delectable programme. Then he selected few gems from the treasure chest of Saint Tyagaraja. ‘Rara Rama’ with lilting melody was followed by ‘Makelara’ in quick succession. ‘Ramanatham Bhaje’ was another good choice and the ever popular devaranama ‘Narayana Ninna Namada’. Then he plunged into the climax of the evening’s programme in Shankarabharana. It was a welcome experience to the seasoned listener to listen to that delightful composition ‘Enduku Peddala’. It received detailed airing, adding to the serenity of the concert. Though he was not comfortable in the higher octave, he sang with good involvement and rendered the compositions with feeling. Charulatha Ramanujam on violin caught the attention by her fine rendering, especially of Shankarabharana. Tyagarajan and N Amrith were in charge of Mridanga and Khanjari, respectively.

Yuva Chetana

The Suswaralaya College of Music in collaboration with the Iskcon conducted a youth music festival called ‘Yuvachetana’. Young musicians gave demonstrations on raga, thala and krithies and senior artistes gave ‘expert opinion’ on their demonstrations. In the four demonstrations I heard, Bangalore Brothers (M B Hariharan and S Ashok) spoke on the importance of ‘Nerval’ and demonstrated few salient features while S Shankar gave the expert opinion. G Ravi Kiran chose the magnum opus “Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini” and R K Padmanabha gave the expert’s opinion. Young flautist Vamshidhar tried to present allied ragas Bhairavi, Manji, Mukhari and Huseni, while veteran R K Srikantan explained them in detail. Three young girls – Srimatha, Apeksha and Shikha demonstrated Suladi and Mundige of Haridasas effectively, which was followed by the opinion of M Surya Prasad.

Evocative veena

A seven-day cultural festival was held under the aegis of Sri Raghavendraswamy Brinda
vana Sannidhi. Vocal music – both Karnatic, Hindustani and Dasavani, Instrumental music and a puppet show too were held at their Mutt, at Prakashnagar. Suma Sudhindra gave a veena concert here on Thursday.  M T Rajakesari on Mridanga and Narayana Murthy on ghata accompanied her with good understanding.

In the initial stage of the concert the ‘Pancharathna Krithy’ of Tyagaraja, helped to bring a musical atmosphere. The connoisseurs enjoyed few familiar compositions of Tyagaraja, Dikshithar and Haridasas. Swara for the ‘Bantureethi’ was brief but evocative.

‘Akhilandeswari’ is always a favourite of listeners. In contrast to that ‘Ninuvina’ was slightly in ‘Drutha Kaala’. The delineation of Hindola was highly tuneful and enjoyable for the krithi ‘Samajavaragamana’. The swara clusters were dexterously put across. Her young disciple Divya Avinash played the supporting Veena and acquit
ted herself creditably. Few Devaranamas like –Baro Krishnaiah, Tunga Theeravihari and Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma – were also pleasing.

Dwiraga Pallavi

The Kalapremi Foundation chose to present a ‘Dwiraga Pallavi’ for their monthly programme. Vocalist Venkatesha Sharma took his initial training from T R Srinivasan and Muttu Meenakshi and is being trained now by Neela Ramagopal.

Sharma elaborated Simhendra Madhyama and Madhyamavati in a systematic way. He rendered the alapana, thana and swara without overdoing anything, though it was not free from slips. But the Pallavi set to Khanda Triputa Tala testified for good training.

Earlier he also sang – Tyagaraja Vaibhavam, Jagadamba and Makelara – neatly. Mysore Dayakar on violin and M T Rajakesari on mridanga – supported him.

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