With the festive season of April, marked by Ramanavami and the New Year days in the southern states, it was time for RFA to get into the musical journey for its third year. Nature had perhaps a premonition of what was in store for the evening. The heavy downpour (a welcome change from the blistering heat) in the late afternoon was indicative of the flood of melodious music to follow.
The main concert was by Vidushi Bharathi Ramasubban, a talented singer trained under the illustrious teacher Padmabhushan P.S. Narayanaswamany. Bharathi started off the concert with a slokam followed by the Annamacharya kriti Namo Namo Raghukulanayaka, in the bright Nattai ragam. The neraval and swarakalplana at Sri Venkata Nilaya was crisp and beautiful. A beautiful rendition of Begada was next. The popular Tyagaraja kriti Lokavana Chatura, was chosen. The neraval at Saketadhipa Sarasaguna Apremeya was brilliant, with all the beautiful nuances and gamakas of Begada just pouring forth.
A sufficiently detailed alapana of Varali was next, which was followed by the Pundaradasa kriti Ille Vaikunta. The neraval at Para Vasudevane Ranganayaka and subsequent demonstrated her well trained voice and scholarship. Vidwan Karaikkal Venkatasubramanian on the violin was equally brilliant. In his violin return, he showed his virtuosity at the same time maintaining the balance and restraint of a seasoned accompanist. The next piece was in Reetigoulai. The alapana was quite detailed with all the colours of the raga manifesting itself. The slow paced and poignant Janani Ninnuvina was done, immersing the audience in the bhava laden sangatis of this beautiful kriti. The swarakalpana was also elegantly done, with a systematic build-up from simpler phrases to more complex phrases.
Two short pieces followed as a prelude to the main piece of the concert. A melodious Yamunakalyani (Jambupathe by Dikshitar) was sweet like nectar to the ears. A brisk, energetic piece in Paras (Triloka Matha by Syama Sastry), embellished with the characteristic nuances of this raga, was also executed with finesse.
The main piece was an RTP in Kamboji. A detailed alapana of this majestic raga had the audience in a melodic trance. The violin return complemented the singing very well. After the tanam, the pallavi in Khandajati triputa was again indicative of her vocal virtuosity and amazing sense of laya. The pallavi chosen was Shubadakaya Bhoja Padamashraye. The swarakalpana explored the various facets of the infinite realm of Kambhoji. Another highlight of the concert was the brilliant laya part by Vidwan NC Bharadwaj. The taniavarttanam was quite reminiscent of the doyens in Tanjavur bani, as Bharadwaj displayed his skills. A perfect ensemble, what more can we say!
The later section of the concert started off with a viruttam in a ragamalika comprising melodic ragas Kapi, Poorvikalyani and Dwijavanti. A Narayana Teerthar tarangam Gopalameva daivatam exuded bhava and bhakti. A Thirupuggazh in Sindhubharavi was the penultimate one in the concert. The fast paced rendering of the Thirupuggazh was a fitting finale to the concert.
The concert was indeed sublime in many ways – the sense of balance and perfect harmony among the artistes, the excellent tonal quality, range and breath control of Bharathi’s voice, the choice of kritis which ensured that there not a moment of dullness. All sections of the audience enjoyed every moment, without budging from their seats. We at RFA, are delighted to be able to host such artistes like Bharathi, who have accomplished so much that too at a young age!
-- Santosh Narayanan
Date: 11th Oct 2014, 5pm
Venue: Sobha Lake view Club, Bengaluru
Vocal: Vidushi Bharathi Ramasubban
Violin: Vidwan Karaikkal Venkatasubramanian
Mridanga: Vidwan N.C.Bharadwaj
Tambura: Sri Sripada Rao