Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Prasanna in superb touch

By Gayathri Sundaresan
Prasanna Venkataraman’s morning concert for Kartik Fine Arts was refreshing with complete fidelity to classical norms. The stage was set with the Begada varnam. Dikshitar’s Sadaachaleswaram in Bhupalam was rendered with sahitya bhavam intact, the kalpana swaram brisk without losing melody.
Sahana was another beautiful exposition, bringing out the essence of the raga with the right azhuttam-s and karvai-s. H.N. Bhaskar on the violin followed the singer’s mood and his music too flowed along with Prasanna’s. Gopalakrishna Bharati’s Tillai ambalattaanai Govindarajanai was the song, not heard often.
Kalyani was truly fantastic by any standards, by both singer and violinist. Ninnu vina gatigaana with niraval and swaram was dealt with elaborately.
A short, perfect Huseni preceded Tyagaraja’s Emani Vegintuney. Madhyamavati alapana and Paalinchu Kamakshi, the main item, began rather late. Very well sung as it was, it had to be cut short as the previous pieces had eaten into the time given. In spite of having overshot the time, Prasanna was allowed one more song and he rounded off the concert with Saravanbhava ennum in Shanmukhapriya.
The alapanas deserve special mention as they brought out the raga swaroopam, without being a compilation of phrases and pidi-s. HN Bhaskar’s support was invaluable. His karvai-s in tara shadjam and tara rishabham in Madhyamavati (and in tara gandharam in Kalyani) as Prasanna explored those areas added a telling effect.
Delhi Sairam on the mridangam and S. Krishna on the ghatam provided spirited accompaniment to kritis. They delivered a powerful tani avartanam. Young Krishna especially displayed considerable prowess and dexterity that was well appreciated by the artists and the audience. It would have been more pleasing if the volume had been kept a bit lower. Prasanna’s strong voice was well equipped to handle it, without being cowed down by the loud percussion.

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