Song of Surrender

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Santhanagopalan, Sudha Rani in good form

By SV Venkateshwaran
The Music Academy
19 December 2012

Neyveli Santhanagopaln’s morning concert on 19th December was one of the best I have heard  so far this season.

His raga alapana , niraval and swara kalpana for Muthuswami Dikshoitar’s Ramanatham bhajeham in Kasiramakriya and Tyagarajas Everichirara in Madhyamavati had the listeners glued to their seats. The ground floor was almost full when he started Kasiramakriya and remained full till the end.

Santhanagopalan’s voice limitations disappeared before his aesthetic display of his vidwat, bhava and imagination. He emphatically established the point that in a Carnatic music concert, a singer’s voice need not go to to high altitudes to engage, sustain and lift the listener’s  interest  to great heights. His ex-tempore explorations in all facets of manodharma were such that he did not have time to render the scheduled ragam-tanam-pallavi in Dwijavanhi.

The concert is best described as sukham, soukhyam and sundaram. It however had a drishti. The rapid twists and turns up and down required for proper rendering of Nenendu veda kutura in Karnatakabehag proved too much for his vocal chords.

In Mandha Sudha Ranis concerts, we can expect melody, variety, novelty and blemishlessness and no awkwardness. We cannot expect great heights of ecstasy, or high altitude niraval and swara travels.  In her concert at the Academy, as our expectations were met, we can state that she gave a highly satisfactory performance.

Her opening items were brief alapanas of Aarabhi and Khamas followed by Narasimha mamava (Swati Thirunal) and Seetapate (Tyagaraja) respectively, both not heard very often these days. Then came the raga alapana of the 67th mela raga Sucharitam and the kriti Chintayami santatam highlighting the life and works of Muthuswami Dikshitar. The main raga of the evening was Sankarabharanam (Akshayalinga vibho. This was followed by a ragam-tanam-pallavi in Hamsanandi.

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