Aligning her recital perfectly on the sruti and endeavouring to engage the audience with rigorous ingredients of Carnatic music, vocalist Sudha Raghunathan certainly proved her skill as an accomplished ranking artiste, in her performance for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, which is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year, with variety of concerts of high order, drawing rasikas of all hues. No doubt, tremendous efforts are being put in relentlessly by the Chairman Sabaretnam and Director – Ramasamy to make the event a grand success.
If Sudha Raghunathan’s carnatic grace was revealed in her elaboration (Shri Ganapathi) of Thyagaraja – Prahalada Bhakthi Vijayam, in the Raga Sourashtram and her rendition of swaras with the combination at pa pa ma pa, Panasanari Kelathi was a treat to hear, inviting the people to pay obeisance to Lord Ganapathy, her captivation of finer modes of musical expression in Raga Sama of Dikshitar (Annapoorne Visalakshi), that followed was enjoyable, when she strove to mirror the charm of the kriti with a noticeable concern for depicting the essential details of the grace of the raga.
Unpredictable that she is, making the swaras an intrinsic part of the ragas with staccato beats in her Begada raga (Thyagaraja Namasthe) of Muthuswami Dikshitar, which was launched and expanded at a tranquil pace with her redoubtable expertise.
The artiste’s enthusiasm was evident in her presentation of Raga Kiravani (21st Melakartha Raga) (Kaligi Yum Te Gada) of Thyagaraja, wherein the efficacy of Kaliyuga was broughtout with Bhava, based on the convergence of scale of swaras ma-ga-ri-sa very well emphasising the Madhyama Swaras as in Raga Gowri Manohari, which was a treat.
Enveloping the listeners in a musical atmosphere is always the strength of the vocalist and this was evident as Sudha made her concert more expressive (full throated), particularly while negotiating higher octaves, in Purandaradasa Kriti (Balia Manakae) in Raga Hamsanandi.
Special mention is to be given to Raghavendra Rao, violinist. The zest with which he accompanied the vocalist taking the swara renditions, to the august age of music, was a feast to the ears. Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam on Mridangam and Ramu on Morsing, truly revealed the robustness of the stamp of their classicism.