Sunday, January 29, 2012


In the past few months, Veenavaadhini hosted several Chamber Concerts.

Smt SIKKIL MALA CHANDRASEKHAR presented a grand 4-hour flute concert. It was billed to be a 2-1/2 hour kutcheri, but that day the music just flowed. Neither Smt Mala, nor the rasikas (including several young children) realized until 3-1/2 hours had gone that so much time had elapsed. Starting with the lilting Daru Varnam Mathe in Kamas, the eminent flautist went on to play Ganapathe Mahamathe in Kalyani with very impressive kalpanaswaram patterns. Then came a very classical Neelayatakshi in Paras. Madhayamavathi exposition for the kriti Nadupai brought out the raga swaroopa brilliantly with the choicest pidis. Theliyaleru Rama never fails to tug the heart strings. The Dikshitar magnum opus Sree Subramanyaya Namaste was presented in true Gayaki style, prefaced with an expansive Khamboji Raga alapana where the rasikas were completely immersed particularly in the mandra sthayi phrases. RTP in Shanmukhapriya came next. Both the ragam and thanam were very well etched; some classic veena phrases in the thanam were executed by both Mala and Akkarai Sornalatha, the violinist. Geetha Vadhya Natana Natakarpriye, Rasike was the pallavi line. The poorvangam was structured in such a way as to represent all the three speeds of Vilambakala, Madhayamakala and Drutakala. The trikalam and tisram segments were bang on target. The ragamalika kalpanawaram suffix featured ragams with a “priya” ending, like Kharaharapriya, Natakapriya, Ratipatipriya, Rasikapriya, Rishabhapriya and so forth. Of the lighter items presented in the concert, Saramaina was notable for a wonderfully spontaneous Behag alapana, and a beautiful reply by the violinist.

Special mention must be made of the accompanying artists of the evening. They responded with willingness and vibrancy to the flow of the concert. Sornalata’s musical sense and aesthetics were noteworthy. Kalladaikurichi Sivakumar followed sampradaya by playing two thanis, one for the main Kambhoji song and another for the pallavi. His mridangam play had classical depth. The accompanists contributed to the success of the concert in good measure.

In the end, all rasikas left with the satisfaction of having heard an excellent classical sampradya-based concert.

GUHAN VENKATARAMAN of the USA presented a very sweet veena concert. Tutored by his mother Smt Lakshmi Venkataraman, a disciple of the very revered vainika Smt Ranganayaki Rajagopalan, Guhan has imbibed many of the hallmarks of that style, particularly with reference to Thanam playing. He exhibited good technique and sound manodharma aspects, and a very professional approach. Keeravani ragam, thanam and Kaligiyunte was the highlight. Veenavaadhini wishes the youngster all the best.

Sri KV RAMANUJAM, an excellent flautist, enthralled the audience with his nimble finger movements across the bamboo. His bilahari alapana and the treatment of the kriti Paritanamicchite was one of the best expositions that yours truly has heard in recent times. Thodi is a difficult ragam to play on both the flute and the veena. Sri Ramanujam brought out a scholarly image of the raga prefix to the Kriti Sri Krishnam Bhaja Manasa. Smt Meera Sivaramakrishnan was the supporting artiste on the violin and her vidhwath came to the fore in her solo versions.

The inimitable Umayalpuram Mali was the accomparying mridangam artiste for both the above concerts and gave brilliant support.

1 comment:

Vaidy said...

absolutely stunning. You know Jairaj i went thru all my inbox to locate this blog of yours. It was not simplet. It is just amazing and the work you are doing.
i should say shastang namaskaram