After a busy Navarathri season, it was time again to relax and enjoy an evening of soulful music. RFA was fortunate to host yet another wonderful concert, this time by Vidwan Bellary Raghavendra and team.
Vidwan Bellary Raghavendra started his concert with the popular Kambhoji Adi tala varnam. The audience, young and old alike, were glued to their seats right from the first note. In right traditional style, Vidwan Raghavendra rendered the Ganesha kriti Gam Ganganapathe by Mutthiah Bhagavatar. A brief sketch of the kalpanaswaras was enough to provide a glimpse of his profound manodharma. A brisk rendition of the popular Tyagaraja kriti Seethamma Mayamma followed. As Vidwan Raghavendra’s wonderful voice lent itself to the beautiful Vasantha, it was a real treat. More was to follow!
One of the relatively rare ragas, perhaps because we haven’t heard in RFA for quite a while, Malavi was taken up next. A rare devi kriti Sankari Sada was taken up. The rendition was beautiful, bringing out all the subtle shades of the raga. An exposition of raga Vachaspati was next, as Vidwan Raghavendra took the audience deep into the realm of manodharma. It was a very neat alapana, as Raghavendra delineated the characteristic phrases of Vachaspati with immaculate grace. The violin return by Mattur Srinidhi was equally brilliant; it was a fertile exchange of musical ideas and creative patterns. The composition Dhanyudu Verada (a composition by Sri Bellary Seshagiri Achar) was quite new to the audience. This profoundly meaningful kriti was matched by a wonderful rendition. The kalpanaswarams involved several brilliant swara sequences, and yet again the wonderful exchange between the vocalist and the violinist was enjoyable.
As a prelude to the main piece of the concert, two poignant kritis were sung – Hari Bhajaname in Sama and Kayalaru Krishna in Hamsanandi. It was a different flavor, as Sri Raghavendra immersed the audience in his bhava laden presentation. The main piece of the concert was in Todi. As Vidwan Raghavendra churned the vast ocean of Todi, he unearthed many doses of amrutham for the eager ears. His voice traversed three octaves with effortless ease, and several interesting phrases of the raga poured forth. The violin return completed the rendition very well. A composition on the popular diety Hanuman was chosen – Anjaneyam Upasmahe. The neraval at the phrase Taraka Mantra was another highlight of this piece. The swarakalpana saw an interesting blend of aesthetics and mathematics. It was also a well balanced mix of time tested and innovative swara patterns. Another highlight of the concert was the brilliant tataniavarttanam by Vidwan Tumkur Ravishankar. All through the concert, and especially in the taniavarttanam, Ravishankar really elevated the level of the concert by his brilliant laya patterns.
The main piece was followed by a RTP in Kambhoji. The pallavi was in Tisra Triputa with the sahityam as AnandaNatanam Aadinar. The listeners could feel the cosmic dance of the lord as Vidwan Raghavendra rendered the pallavi in trikalam and the kalpanaswarams. A tillana in Kuntalavarali by Bellary Seshagiri Achar was the penultimate piece before a mangalam in Madhyamavati.
The concert was a memorable one. It was very unique in the sense that several new kritis were introduced to the audience. It was a well-balanced concert, with all the artistes excelling in their domain. There was ample creativity and also it was well-rooted in tradition. Overall, an amazing experience to the audience, which was further enhanced by the tasty Bengal gram sundal prasadam at the end of the concert!
-- Santosh Narayanan
A Bountiful Blend of Raga, Laya and Bhava
Date: 11th Oct 2014, 5pm
Venue: Sobha Lake view Club, Bengaluru
Vocal : Vidwan Bellary Raghavendra
Violin : Vidwan Mattur Srinidhi
Mridanga : Vidwam Tumkur B Ravishankar