S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Gurucharan and team on song

The Concert Scene
By R Narayanan

Dvaitamu sukhama? Advaitamu sukhama?"

Midway through his Madhuradhwani concert, Sikkil Gurucharan suddenly popped this question (without so much as a whispered GMPMGRS!).

The audience refused to be hoodwinked and gave a unanimous verdict, which I conveyed to Gurucharan at the end of the concert: "On this given day, neither dvaitam nor advaitam is sukham, only Gurucharan's music is sukham!"

The Sriraga varnam, Samininnae signalled that this was a special day as Gurucharan did a deft vinyasam on the charanam lines. I felt enchanted by the brief sketch of Kannada, followed by Pattanam's Intakante kavalena kashtamu chalada rama. Memories of Ramnad Krishnan who loved Kannada so much he would sing one of the seven songs in the raga in practically all his concerts. Gurucharan's pathantaram is different but no less enjoyable.

After two numbers in 22,Gurucharan made a neat landing on Melakarta 44. Yes, and what a Bhavapriya it was! This was the second main piece and he gave it the treatment a sampoorna raga deserves.Appropriately,Gurucharan sang a song of Calcutta Krishnamurthy in praise of Lord Siva who is said to be fond of the raga. Next came Dvaitamu sukhama advaitamu sukhama in Reetigowla . His rendering was sukham all the way, the sangatis optimising the soothing effect.

The main suite in Kambhoji was saukhyam all the way. The raga was developed glowingly for twenty minutes, from madhyamakalam to melkalam and descending the same way to a brief keezhkalam.The kriti was Kailasanathena samrakshitoham, one of the two major offerings of Dikshitar to Kanchi Kailasanathar. The intonation was deep and sombre. The niraval at Charu sharashchandra kaladharanena sadguruguha  was simply mind-blowing.After kuraippu and tani, Gurucharan rounded it off with Muthiah Bhagavatar's Andavan darisaname and a tillana.

A sukhanubhavam of the nature would not have been possible without matching accompanists. Let me say that violinist L Ramakrishnan, was spot on all the way. All his raga essays were delicious, Kannada, Bhavapriya and all. The way he developed Kambhoji organically from the lower to the middle to the top octaves, especially his lingering keezhkaalam, was superb.

Praveen Sparsh on the mridangam and Anirudh Aathreya on the khanjira played throughout with aplomb and anticipation. Their play for niraval and kuraippu as well as their thunderous tani helped to maintain the concert tempo on a high.

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