Sunday, October 18, 2015
There was music in the AIR
The Chennai edition of Akashvani’s Sangeet Sammelan resonated with emotion.
The Chennai edition of the much-awaited Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan 2015 concerts held at All India Radio’s in-house auditorium was inaugurated by vidwan T.V. Gopalakrishnan, and began with a Hindustani classical vocal recital byKankana Banerjee. Initiated into vocal music in early childhood by her mother, Kankana was trained by the legendary Ustad Amir Khan, who discovered her innate talent when she was just seven. The artist imbibed the nuances of the Indore gharana from the maestro and after his demise, came under the guidance of Pt. Pratap Narayan of the Mewati gharana. Merging the essence of these styles, the singer’s music is as much noted for vistaar in alaap and clarity of taans as for the sweetness and suppleness of her voice and the ability to scale octaves with effortless ease.
She opened the concert with a vilambit in raag Shuddha Kalyan. Centred at the gandhar, the sweetness surfaced slowly, insidiously, seeping in through phrases weaving in the rishabh and dhaivath. By the time the pancham made its presence felt, the atmospherics of the raga had set in, subtly worked in with silky glides and sparkling glissades, the heavy double oscillation gamaks adding heft.The trajectory to the shadja made gentle progress, with medium tempo and looped phrases exploring the higher reaches. The dhrut (teen tal) tapped into the raag’s inherent joie-de-vivre, a spring in the step of every phrase that traversed the gamut.
Raag Jog is a melody beloved by connoisseurs and lay listeners alike. A raga that speaks the language of love, it evokes the many shades of yearning, with compositions dwelling on the eager anticipation to meet one’s beloved. The artist’s Jog that evening spoke of a gentle love, of reliving untroubled memories suffused with mellowness, in the vilambit ‘O Balma’. The juxtaposition of the two gandhars, with a prolonged stand at the shuddha gandhar dipping to the komal gandhar in a fluid glide, provided a lovely textural contrast to the deliberately unadorned leitmotif phrase ‘ga sa ma’. The artist chose a tarana in Jog to explore a wealth of varied facets.
Pt. Anant Khemkar’s nimble fingers extracted essence as they flew over the harmonium keys, while Ustad Akhtar Hasan (tabla) tailored his rhythmic patterns to highlight his co-artists to best advantage.Kankana’s recital was followed by those of Dr. Yella Venkateswara Rao’s laya vinyasam and Peri Sriramamurthy’s violin concert, both aural treats for the discerning audience.Dr. Yella Venkateswara Rao’s percussion presentation in khanda chapu talam was played to ‘Sri Venkatesaya Pahimam’ in Shanmukhapriya by Manda Anantha Krishna (flute), who embellished the pallavi with a few rounds of niraval to provide a stat for the mridangam maestro. Each beat carried a touch of poignancy and aesthetics.
The concert gathered momentum as he traversed through intricate and breathtaking patterns before reaching a crescendo. T.R. Sundaresan from Chennai kept the talam.Peri Sriramamurthy (Hyderabad) offered a compact but creditable violin recital in the company of young Peri Tyagaraju on the second violin, K. Kamalakar Rao on the mridangam and P.V. Ramanamurthy on the ghatam.
Compositions of Tyagaraja, Dikshitar and Ramaswami Sivan were part of the repertoire. ‘Kanjadalaya Dakshi’ in Kamala Manohari with brisk swarakalapana was a soft version. The Nagaswaravali raga essay carried energetic phrases followed by ‘Sri Sankaraguruvaram’ with peppy chittaiswaras and equally rapid strings of swaras shared by the duo.
Presenting a heavy, traditional raga like Bhairavi with precision is an art; Sriramamurthy and Thagaraju expertly touched several phrases of the raga, thus compensating for the brevity.‘Balagopala’ with well-orchestrated swara exchanges and a tani completed the captivating picture of Bhairavi. The concert concluded with ‘Inta Tamasa’ in the raga Chenjurutti.The concerts will be aired on November 21, from 9.30 p.m. on Chennai A (416.7mts 720Khz) and FM Gold (102.3 MHz) on the National Hook Up.
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