CHENNAI: Senior vocalist S Sowmya’s performance for Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, which was held in the city recently, was presented with elegance. However, we felt that she found it a tad uncomfortable in reaching higher octaves. When she rendered the entire performance in lower octaves, we had to return with unfulfilled expectations.
The varali alapana and the carnatic number Mamava Meenakshi composed by poet-cum-composer Muthuswami Dikshitar was presented with ease, merging the raga and sahitya bhavas. Through this song, Sowmya succeeded in bringing out the spirit with which it was composed, in a style typical of herself.
She soon followed it up the song Bhogeenthra Saayinam, a composition by Swathi Thirunal, taking us on a captivating music journey.
As she progressed through Chittam Irangata composed by music composer-singer Papanasam Sivan, which was rendered in ragam Sahana, was delivered with an eye to aesthetic beauty.
And even though the song was skillfully handled by Sowmya in the lower octaves, it did meet our expectations with its compelling session of neravals and swaras.
She soon went on to deliver the number Naaradamuni, a composition by saint Thyagaraja in ragam panthuvarali, a popular kriti from Prahlada Bhakthi Vijayam of Thyagaraja, which was rendered competently. It was followed by Ragam Thanam Pallavi in raga Keeravani, a 21st mela karta raga, which is a popular scale in Western music as well.
Sometimes, I have wondered why most of the vidwans and vidushis choose keeravani as the main raga during the season. Is it because its associated janya ragas that’s cherished by all the rasikas or is it because its notes, when shifted using graha bedam yield major mela karta ragas?
Accompanying violinist Ramkumar impressed us as usual, with his aesthetic presentation. Ananthakrishnan (mridangam) and Chandrasekara Sama (ghatam) enthralled us with their adroit use of the instruments.