Last Sunday at Rajalakshmi Kalyana Mantapa, Jayanagar. There was a celebration of excellent music, art and spirituality. Sri Academy of Music and Arts founded by expert violinist Dr. V. Raghuram hosted a day long vocal music and painting festival. SAMA 2015 Puraskara was presented to veteran vocalist cum composer T.S.Vasanthamadhavi. Sri Lalitha Sahasranama was recited after dawn by a group. A rich variety of sweet and scholarly music by seasoned artistes delighted the rasikas.
Young vocalist Vinay Sharva has been receiving widespread acclaim for his performances. Once again he proved his mettle as he packed his recital with sweeping passages and subdued melodies. Vinay sings with a radiant warmth and rapid variations that recall legendary singers. The atatala Kalyani varna was bursting with life. A shloka in praise of goddess Saraswathi-Yaakundedndu tushara haara dhavala-followed by an evergreen Nata krithi Saraseeruhasanapriye was appended with kalpanaswaras. The mercurial and sparkling swaras demonstrated the singer’s communicative skills. Dikshitar’s Panchashatpeetha roopini in Karnataka Behag elevated the concert to a higher level of classicism. A brief alapana in Lalitha brought out the profundity of the vocalist. The most popular krithi Hiranmayeem Lakshmim was rendered in a pleasing manner. Another well-known krithi Kanjadalaayatakshi Kamakshi was set to Kamalamanohari raga.
Thyagaraja’s very rarely heard gem Lalithe Sri Pravriddhe in Bhairavi raga was the main theme. Every nuance of the raga was masterfully managed in the detailed alapana.
He maintained a long emotional narrative throughout, each moment influencing the next. The singer drew out his lines, punctuating the melody to capture the quirky characteristics of the song. The neraval was awash in rich lyricism.
Veteran accompanist M.S.Govindaswamy on violin was in form. B.K. Chandramowli (mridanga) and Anoor Sunad (khanjari) enriched the recital with their support.
Next it was young vocalist Madhu Kashyap who created ripples. Kashyap rendered weighty compositions with a refined power and sensitivity. Singing his phrases in a full-throated tenor, he lofted the soft passages with utmost delicacy.The krithis on the goddess ached with a haunting glow.
The text was sung with profound strength and yearning.
He began with the Shyama Sastry’s Kalyani composition, Neeve gathi eni, prefaced with a fine and brief alapana of the raga in a lively pace. Jayachamaraja Wodeyar’s Kamalambike mamava sada was of a high quality. A short raga prelude was enticing and stirred the curiosity of the audience. The krithi was sung with chittaiswaras. He drew the picture of Hindola raga on a large canvass. It was literally detailed in all respects. No phrase in any sthayi seemed to be missing. The space and time pauses while singing the sahitya of the krithi Saama gaana lole salalitha guna jaale (GNB) were beautiful. In addition to expansive swaras, there were swarakasharas, daatu and melkaala swaras which were thrilling.
The recital reached a high with the interpretation of a challenging Natakapriya raga in detail. Tanjavur Shankara Iyer’s compact krithi Geetha vadya nataka priye rasike was rendered meaningfully. The charana Marakoti sundarangi maye was taken for a scholarly and sweet neraval. The attributes of the Devi could easily be perceived. He demonstrated that he is the monarch of laya in the elucidated swaraprastara which had even the anagatha edduppus. R. Achyutha Rao was supportive as a violinist. Senior most mridangist A.V.Anand was powerful. Anoor Sunad did well with his khanjari.