Sunday, March 19, 2006

Vocal by Srividya Venkatachalam

Whither Carnatic music? This is an oft-repeated question by the elderly fans of Carnatic music. They feel a qualitative dip when it comes to their preferences, in spite of the quantitative progress in terms of young vocalists and accompanists. These over-exposed youngsters cannot help feeling they have ‘arrived.’ But the elders stress on the fact that people like Ariyakudi, who had mastered several compositions in a single raga of Thodi or GNB who could breathe a new lease of life into any krithi, never looked complacent at any point of their career. But the recent vocal by Srividya Venkatachalam from Chennai, organised at Rasikapriya (30- 3 -2001) proved that the future of Carnatic music is not so bleak. She has a pleasing voice coupled with the knack to experience the transcendental emotion by herself first before sending it across the listeners in measured quantities. Beginning the concert with a varnam (Karunimpa idi) in Sahana by Tiruvottiyur Thyagaier, Srividya passed through Sidhivanayakam in Chamaram by Deekshithar and Narasimhamaamava by Swathi in Arabhi. The sturdiness of Ramanthapuram ‘bhaani’ imparted to her by Neyveli Santhangopalan ( a disciple of T.N. Seshagopalan whose guru was Ramanthapuram Sankarasivam) merged well the description of the ‘Ghana raga’, Varali. Mamava Meenakshi which Deekshithar had created on the deity of Madurai was rendered with grace. After Karunakara in Begada by Swathi, it was the turn of Hindolam. Srividya displayed her vocal quality by dwelling on the lower octaves without losing sight of of the ‘Jeeva’ of the raga when moving upward with the raga exposition. Niraval done on the charanam ‘Muraleevaadana Vinoda’ and the subsequent swara rendering showed that she is no more a fledgling vocalst. Yochana by Tyagaraja in Darbar could do without a sequence of Chittaswara and the vocalist would do well to realise that the composition has a natural development in the pallavi itself. The depiction of Mohanam was leisurely and methodical. Nanu Palimpa by Tyagaraja in Adi was an apt selection by the vocalist because of its correct balance between straight notes and the graced ones. Parvathy Vaidyanathan who played the violin has a great bowing technique. Kangazha Vasudevan (mridangam) and Kottayam Unnikrishnan (ghatom) supplied the right mode of percussion.
By Courtesy The Hindu 30.3.2001


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