A four hour concert by Vidhushi Sumithra Vasudev's was arranged by Ranjani Fine Arts on 11th April 2015. Although this was the norm for concerts in the 50s and 60s, due to various reasons the duration of the concerts have been shortened. This was welcome move to revive the older tradition.
The concert itself was a beautiful experience. The two components of music namely 1. Kalpitha sangeetham(that which is taught) and 2. Manodharma Sangeetham(the intellectual aspect which one has to develop) were present in abundance in Sumithra's music. Having learnt from Srimathi Vedavalli has taken care of the 1st component. Endowed with a sweet voice which could traverse without strain from the Mandhara sthai dhaivatham to Thara sthai madhyamam a unhurried style of singing made the concert memorable one. Raga alapana and Niraval were full of melody sans any vocal acrobatics(which has become the norm in today's music) .This enabled the rasikas to understand and enjoy every nuance of the raga brought out.The kalpanaswaras she sang were packed with the formulae of Konnakol without being overtly rhythmic.whether it was the first 1/2avartanam swaram or the lengthy last one.
She had included a lot of lesser heard compositions. All of them were beautiful musically and lyrically to register in rasikas brain immediately.
She started with a slokam in raga Natta followed by brisk varnam in Hamsadhwani.
Brief alapana of Sriragam followed by Thyagarajaya composition of Dikshithar in Adi tala. A melodious alapana of Saveri led onto a lesser heard composition of Thyagaraja Tulasi jaga janani. This was followed by a elaborate alapana of Yadukulakambhodhi with all its nuances packed. The song chosen was the grand swarajithi "Kamakshi" a Shyamasastri composition. Bhakthi filled pleadings of the composer to the goddess were brought out well. A fast paced song-Devadi Deva Sadhashiva, a Thyagaraja's in the raga Sindhuramakriya-Rupakam talam followed the swarajithi.
Elaborately sung Abheri (sung in the old tradition using Suddha Daivatham- making the raga a janyam of Natabhairavi. Present day Aberi has chathur sruthi Daivatham making it janya of Karaharapriya.) (this difference has been beautifully demonstrated by her Guru Srimathi Vedavalli at Music Academy).Another beautiful composition of Shyamasastri-Ninnuvina Marigaladha with a nice niraval and swarams.
Another brisk lesser heard song Karuninchita in ragam Sindhumanohari was sung.
Alapana of nuances filled Poorvikalyani followed. She did not use the standard signature prayoga of Poorvikalyani- pa dha pa sa making the listener wonder for moment whether it is Poorvikalyani or its melakartha Gamanasramam. The song Paramapavana Rama , a composition of Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar made one understand as the composer doesn't use the above said prayoga much in the composition.She sang elaborate niraval without swarams for this song.
The grand part of the concert was the Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi in the raga Natakuranji. The alapana was exhaustive bringing in all possible nuances .Tanam was majestic(as it should be). Pallavi in Adi tala was well executed. The entire exercise was well woven in the rhythm without the gymnastics which has become today's trend (it is sad that such trend has caught on).
There was a ragamalika virutham giving good elaboration of each raga.
A Basaveshwara's composition in Hamsanandhi was sung bringing out the bhakthi in it. What followed was beautiful javali in raga Begada of Pattabhirama Iyer in tisra triputa thalam. It had some exquisite phrases of Begada which are not found in other compositions. A ragamalika rendering of the Nachiar thirumozhi of Andal brought the concert to an end.
One felt satisfied having listened to beautiful concert with lots to take home.
Charulatha Ramanujam gave wonderful violin support, also proved her manodharma especially in raga alapana. H.S.Sudhindra on mridangam and Omkar Rao gave very understanding support and gave good tani avartanam.
Date: 11th April 2015, 4pm
Venue: Sobha Lake view Club, Bengaluru
Vocal: Vidushi Sumithra Vasudev
Violin: Vidushi Charulatha Ramanujam
Mridanga: Vidwan H S Sudhindra
Ghata: Vidwan Omkar Rao