BANGALORE: There are undeniable pleasures in encountering the work of artistes who are sincere to their medium and honest in displaying their outstanding talents. And as one of the great journeys of discovery in vocal music is observing the ways in which singers’ voices and careers develop, it might be argued that finding a singer at the germination of his or her career is somewhat more rewarding path. Nevertheless, there is something visceral about hearing an already-excellent voice at its introduction to the public.
The vocal recital presented by young Manda Sudharani at the pandal of Ramaseva mandali subscribed to the above thoughts. She sang with authentic conviction. With her seemingly effortless command over texts and music , she evoked the artistry of all time greats. Her singing captured the insouciance of both music and text and the grace with which she sang all the songs spotlighted the originality of the singer and guarded the sentiments of Carnatic classical music.
It was a total enchantment from the vocalist. Every moment and movement of her recital was attractive and immaculately sung. There was plenty of tone and creamy phrasing along with her unique and intense sound and a nice sense of how to shape a line. A genuine connection with the material and a strong artistic point of view was discernible throughout the concert. A brilliant concert by Manda Sudharani marked by a luminous natural vocal colour was applauded now and then. She packed her recital with infrequently heard Thyagaraja krithis in interesting ragas. Seasoned BU Ganesh prasad’s violin accompaniment deserved special mention. Along with him J Vaidyanathan (mridanga) and veteran B N Chandramowli (khanjira) proved to be accompanists of stimulating artistic cooperation. There was her usual sharpness and grace in her music.
She began with the popular Saveri varna (Sarasuda ninne kori). She unleashed a series of Thyagaraja krithis starting with Girirajasuta tanaya set to Banglaa raga. The kalpanaswaras set a lively tempo. An alapana in Bilahari was followed by Toli janmamuna (Thyagaraja) and rounded off with swaras. After a long time, one was exposed to the beauty of yet another Thyagaraja krithi Entha bhagyamu maapaala in Saranga raga with two madhyamas. A pleasing raga vistara in Vardhani raga surprised the rasikas.
Sudharani delighed the rasikas by singing Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s excellent krithi, Raja Raja Radhite in Niroshta raga. The beauty of the trishra eka tala got multiplied in the brilliant swaraprastara. Padavini sadbhaktiyu galgute in Salagabhairavi raga had only neraval.
She enthralled the listeners by singing all its four charanas which are not heard in a concert since a long time.
The vocalist accorded the prime place to the delineation of Charukeshi raga for Swathi Tirunal’s Kripaya palaya showre set to mishra chapu tala.
The delineation covered scholarly and sensitive alapana, neraval, swaravinyasa and tani avartana by the rhythm-men.
Dikshitar’s Annapoone Vishalakshi (Sama) was unhurried and evocative.
The raga tana and pallavi rendered in Shanmukhapriya in two kalai chaturashra triputa tala seemed to be her formidable forte. The pallavi line Gana lola karunala vala palaya bhaktajana paripalaya varaleela brought out the expertise of the singer. She was restrained and dealt with the pallavi in the traditional manner. A shloka on Lord Rama, Lokabhiramam ranaranga dheeram Rajeevanetram Raghuvamsha natham in Behag was delightful. Annamacharya’s Akati velala in Shubhapantuvaral rag was just moving. The recital concluded with a Swathi Tirunal-tillana in Dhanasri raga.Her superb performance of the most intricate and dazzling repertoire was the purest expression of joy.
Young Archana Nagesh, trained by GS Nagesh and Sriranjitha Nagesh gave a creditable account of Bharatanatya talent at ADA Rangamandira.
Accompanied by Guru Nagesh (nattuvanga), Srivatsa (vocal), Maheshswamy (flute), Narayanaswamy (mridanga) and Karthik Datar (rhythm pad) she was at ease in negotiating the jaathis contained in the Arabhi jathiswara.
The nritta was neat. With a nitta prelude and graceful utplavanas she enacted the various traits and forms of Lord Shiva on the basis of a Revathi krithi Mahadeva Shiva Shambho. The depiction of the episodes of Bhakta Markandeya, Shiva becoming Gangadhara and others was in the right spirit. Its conclusion with a shloka on Shiva was a welcome idea.
The Athana varna Ninne nammi naanu raa Krishna woven around Sri Krishna theme was a shining testimony to her nritta,and abhinaya capabilities.
Child Krishna’s pranks, Kamsa and Kuchela episodes established an intimate rapport with the viewers. The Goddess of Learning was eulogised with the support of the lyrical contents of the krithi Saramathi Saraswathi with a shloka preamble (Yaa kundendu). The chittaiswaras accounted for a short and sweet nritta. An abhisaarika nayaki was visualised through a Kshetrajna pada Choodare (Shahana raga).
The lovers of dance profusely appreciated the sketching of an unabashed and bold heroine who sets out to join Lord Krishna.
She is unaffected by the comments and ridicule of her neighbours and companions. The better-known Kanakadasa pada Baagilanu teradu and tillana formed the last part of her dance recital. The greatness of the Lord Krishna was emphasised by showing the tales of Prahlada, Gajendra moksha and Drowpadi maana samrakshana.