Anyone who heard vocalist Abishek Raghuram’s concert for Chennai Cultural Academy, would agree with the existence of ‘genetic’ factors (being the grandson of mridangam maestro Palghat Raghu) in excelling in the chosen field. Gifted with an in-depth intuition of musical phrases, reflective of excellence of carnatic music the vocalist gave a reposeful performance.
If his brisk and bright opening of saveri varnam (Sarasuda) of Venkatarama Iyer was rendered absorbingly, showcasing the musical phrases of the raga swaroopa, his rendition in raga kedaram (Thyagaraja Guru Aasreyae), an excellent composition of M D Ramanathan, with a clear grasp of its musical settings, reflected his earnestness to project its artistic excellence.
His next rendition in raga darbar, ( Mundu Venuga) of Thyagaraja, after a short alapana, which was rendered with verve and fullness. It had considerable musical merit, where Thyagaraja beseeches the protection of Rama, who is accompanied by Lakshmana.
When he began exploring raga varali, identifying the soothing cadences of the melody, focusing on the succinct bhava of the raga and rendered Karuna Elakanta of Thyagaraja, with verve and fullness ,the reverberating niraval at Paramathamudu Jeevatmudu, identifying the oneness of jeevathma and god, with considerable merit.
If only he avoids superfluous brigas and excessive swaras, which sometimes mars the aesthetic excellence of the kritis, his whole concert would reveal his musical prowess in probing the inner depth of the music, integrating into the texture of the composition..
Mysore Srikanth (violin) was good. A special mention should be made of the noted mirdangam artiste Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam and Vaikam Gopalakrishnan (ghatam), who extended elegant rhythmic support, with an appreciable grip and Kala pramanam’.