Sri Rajalakshmi Kalyana Mantapa, Jayanagar resonated with the enthralling vocal music of young Anil Murthy during The SAMA 2015 Festival of Arts led by scholar and violinist Dr.R. Raghuram. The artistes featured during the dawn to night festival were exceptional.
Anil’s versatility was exhibited by the thoughtfully-ordered recital as he shaped the melody with delicacy and light-hearted grace. The quieter dynamics which occasionally appeared did not jeopardise his otherwise exemplary intonation. His characterisation was expectedly vivid. His scintillating emotional palette had subtle tonal colours. His melodic lines revealed surprising nuances of the still-underappreciated composer’s elegant idioms.
Anil began his recital with a Saraswhati shloka (Saame vasathu jihvaayaam) and sang the most popular Nata krithi Saraseeruhasanaapriye. The swaras at Sadaa Veenagaana laid a formidable artistic foundation for what was to follow. Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s Bhowli masterpiece Tappulannu talikomma was adorned with swaras at Chamudeshwari in three kaalaas. The Kaanada kriti Kamalamba na chinta deerchavamma, with its melodic alapana and its varied neraval evoked pathos as he articulated a plea to the Goddess, seeking solace.
This was followed by a shloka from Lalitha trishathi and served as a fine prelude to Shyama Sastry’s majestic krithi Nannu brova Lalitha set to Lalitha raga. The tri-kaala swaras served as a testimony to his rhythmic profundity. Once again Goddess Saraswathi was eulogised in the detailed Kalyani krithi. The neraval at Savi gaane Sharadamba brimmed with emotions. Swaras were marked by interesting rhythmic phrases and teermanas. Veteran accompanists B.Raghuram (violin), C. Cheluvaraju (mridanga) and B.S. Purushottham (khanjari) excelled in embellishing the creations of Anil Murthy.
A promising voice
Thanks to mridangist-patron G.V. Krishna Prasad, the lovers of music in Bengaluru are being treated to high class music almost throughout the year. The recent vocal recital by young Vasudha Ravi held under Krishna Prasad’s Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira delighted the audience in many ways. Vasudha sang with nobility and full involvement. She did not exaggerate or grandstand. She was elegantly restrained; a natural storyteller who draws you in slowly and carefully, yet confidently, but effective, nevertheless, at making you listen. She deserves full praise for a programme that was free from crowd-pleasing favorites and gimmickry. The regal dignity of her phrasing introduced a deeply-felt but aptly restrained account of the krithis that she sang.
She began with Patnam’s Todi varna Era napai. Swaras for Gam Ganapathe in Hamsadhwani were inspiring. An old time favourite krithi of Thyagaraja Rama neeve, in Narayani was pleasing. She took up Varali for an elaborate interpretation. The raga was sketched with all its nuances intact. Shyama Sastry’s Karuna judavamma was further beautified by neravla dn kalpanaswara. Nenarunchinanu, raga Malavi (Thyagaraja).
The emotive power of the singer was exceptional. It was a tremendous joy to hear Brindavana Saranga in all its glory. Vasudha’s profoundly moving singing caressed the melody with aural velvet and ornamented Dikshitar’s Soundarajam ashraye with swaravinyasa. Palayamam, (Khamach) a rare Swathi Tirunal beauty, was a welcome selction.
The apex of the evening was raga, tana and pallavi in Keeravani raga. Her sheer tonal allure sculpted a genuinely scholarly performance. The raga had a systematic and well-defined progression. The Dwi-jaathi tala had different beat counts for the angas of adi tala. The llaghu had four aksharas (chaturashra jaathi) for a beat and the druta had five aksharas for a beat (kanda jaathi). The pallavi was crowned with a detailed and delectable ragamalika swara vinyasa featuring Behag, Bhowli and Hamsanada. The three fast swaras and the manner in which they ended with a full circle, back to keeravani were all applauded by the listeners. This clearly demonstrated the singer’s musical and rhythmic prowess.
From the start, Smitha (violin) and Akshay Anand (mridanga) proved to be confident collaborators, their stylistic adaptability ably matching each of their colleagues. Their discreet ornamentations of the repartees enhanced the singer’s vocal lines.
— Dr M SURYA PRASAD