The Mighty Reign of Ragas and Rhythms

Biological inheritance is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to characteristics of its parent cell or organism.

Published: 23rd December 2013 07:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2013 08:34 AM   |  A+A-

Dr-A-R-Srinivasan

Biological inheritance is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through inheritance, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause a species to evolve. Thus the offspring might inherit the strength and limitations of the parents. In the same manner, in the art field, particularly in the classical music arena, the disciple gets transmitted into his artistic being with almost all the traits of his guru. And the result of that transmission can be seen explicitly in the shishya’s performances. Two solo music recitals by T S Pattabhirama Pandit and Sudhamani Venkataragahava held last week, vouch for the above observations. The rasikas had an aural fiesta that showcased different musical styles as rendered by two talented singers. At the end, ragas and rhythms reigned supreme. One could visualise the great K V Narayanaswamy (KVN)  in Pattabhirama’s performance and Sudhamani reminded us of the versatile vocalist - Guru Dr Sukanya Prabhakar.  Both of them successfully showcased different musical styles of their leading mentors which glowed with deep aesthetic content.

Seasoned vocalist Pattabhirama Pandit has been a well recognised vocalist whose ingenuity and allegiance to his famed guru KVN’s bani have won him all round accolades. Even the mannerisms, tonal production and delivery, the patterning and the style of rendering the compositions et al proclaim his shishyatva under the legendary KVN, elevating him to the top rung of Carnatic classical music as a stalwart singer.

Pattabhirama’s concert covered a vibrant Carnatic aural spectrum. It was a delight to see him performing along with his accompanists dressed traditionally in dhoti and angavastra. Singing at Hosakerehalli’s Sri Datta Peetha during the celebrations of Sri Datta Jayanthi, his renditions became melodious essays of virtuosity. The artiste maintained a lively tempo from the opening krithi till the last item - a tillana in Pharaz raga.

His compatible rapport with the accompanists, shruti aligned voice, sweet melodic and rhythmic outputs and sincere presentations were endearing. He began with Purandaradasa’s familiar pada  (Nata). Mysore Sadashivarao’s Saketha nagaranatha set to Harikambhoji raga was pleasing. Following the highly disciplined classical pattern, Todi raga was treated exhaustively in the form of a fine alapana. Enu dhanyalo was further beautified with a cascade of artistic swaravinyasa. Some of the sangathees woven by him had a singular charm. The kanakku (mathematical calculations) part of his swara delineations was remarkable and unmatchable.

The manner in which he negotiated it made the percussionists not only enjoy it but also contribute their own adding to the rhythmic beauty and variety on their respective instruments. The phrasings both by the vocalist and also all the accompanists were lucid and precise. Rendition of a krithi on Sri Dattatreya was not only evocative but also topically relevant. The krithi Dattatreya Trimurthy by Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji, head of Sri Datta Peetha of Mysore in Ranjani raga literally turned out to be a musical salutation to the Guru.

Keeravani seems to be his favourite raga. His analytical elaboration of the raga covered all the nuances in all the sthayis in KVN’s typical style and Pandit’s creativity radiated through Thyagaraja’s krithi Kaligiyunte. There were traces of shruthi bedha too. The detailed kalpanaswaras accounted for his fertile and unfathomable manodhrama. Bhadrachala Ramadas’ Raamabhadra raaraa (Shankarabharana), MDR’s Saagara shayana (Bagesri) and Pharaz tillana demonstrated his seasoned and matured expertise. Srinidhi (violin), H S Sudheendra (mridanga) and Dayananda Mohithe (ghata) enlivened the concert with their spirited display.

just pure music

A popular vocalist Balasubramanya Sharma deserves to be commended for his patronage to classical music. He has been providing a platform to the deserving artistes under the banner of his organisation, Naada Roopini Foundation for Art and Culture, at regular intervals. The latest sangeetotsava was held on December 15 at the Our School auditorium. Veteran flautist B Shankararao was felicitated on the occasion.

Young Sudhamani Venkataraghava trained by Dr Sukanya Prabhakar showcased her talent and artistry and also did credit to her Guru with her unadulterated singing. Without indulging in any pyrotechnics, she refreshed the style of her guru’s singing.

She was accompanied aptly by Mysore Dayakar (violin), Anur Dattatreya Sharma (mridanga) and Srishyla (ghata). Commencing elegantly with a varna Intha chowka seya in two kaalaas, she spun short and sweet swaras for the charana after the ettukadai swaras. Varavallabha ramana in Hamsadhwani was ornamented with a madhyamakala swaraprastara.

She made her in-depth elaboration of Reetigowla, a fine musical creation with well-chiselled sangathis. In the planned and perfect development, all of its salient features were delectably etched. Dikshitar’s krithi Sri Neelotpala nayike in vilamba kaala was notable for astute bhaava.  Thyagaraja’s Attukadarani in Manoranjini raga was crisp. With her mellifluous voice and wonderful stage presence, she was able to easily strike a chord with the listeners. The build-up of Dharmavathi raga for Ambabrovave beginning from mandra sthayi and later on covering the whole gamut of tristhayis was magnificent. The chittaiswaras and neraval at Mahabhairavi followed by kalpana swaras (at two spots - Mahabhairavi and Bhairavi) was serene and scholarly. The korappus spoke volumes of her hold over laya. Rendition of the most popular Basaveshwara vachana Kalabeda kolabeda was a surprising item in her recital.

Deep classicism

This was followed by a zestful singer, professor S Venkateshwaran, from  Malaysia. Supported splendidly by Mysore Dayakar (violin), Dattatreya Sharma (mridanga), Srishyla (ghata) and Vellore Dr A R Srinivasan of Pondicherry on morsing and khanjari. Though his concert was characterised by deep classicism and rich musical expressions, it evoked mixed response. He was able to capture the attention of the listeners with his innocuous scholarship and artistry. Further, he excelled in offering vintage music. He had a varied repertoire. But the presentations as such could have been more profound and potential.

The Bhairavi ata tala varna opened his recital. Dikshitar’s quaint krithi Lakshmi Ganapathi in Chakravaka raga was impressive and was full of aesthetic details.

A short overture of raga Saveri made the krithi Shankari shankuru in trishra gathi adi tala an enjoyable experience.

Ranjani niranjani (Ranjani) and the alapana in Charukeshi for Aadamodi galada yielded mixed results. Athana (Veeramum), Hindola (Manasuloni), Neelambari (Shantha mayamananda) and other presentations brought out the best in the vocalist.

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