The penultimate evening of the ongoing Kalasagaram Music fest witnessed an evening of surprises, some even physical. A move distinct from the regular Kutcheri mode made popular by Ariyagudi took a minor beating. Placed horizontally behind and vertically away from the main artiste was the in form violinist L Ramakrishnan.
The concert, in fact, came as a contrast to the approach of an earlier evening when the artiste won laurels for leaving all needless embellishments and sticking to the orthodox pattern. Sri Vignesh Ishwar, the artiste of the evening, sure has a huge fan-following, so much that even as he would start a raaga, there would be notes of appreciation for the rendition. The percussionists for the evening were Delhi Sriram on the mrudangam and Anirudh Athreya on the kanjeera.
Vignesh kick-started the recital with a Reetigowla kriti of Thyagaraja, Cheraravadhe. The raaga is so steeped in melody that it immediately strikes a chord. The swara prasthana was good. He then proceeded to a detailed alapana in Kalyani followed by Birana Brova of Tarangambadi Pancharatna Iyer which was well-received.
Music lovers have heard TM Krishna present this masterpiece as have Semmungudi and MS. Was there a freshness to it! Then came the jerk for the settled audience. He did a minute of Arabhi and proceeded with a Tanam. Fair enough one would still say and hope that what time he did not give the raaga he would compensate with the Pallavi. He chose Thyagaraja’s Pancharatna Sadhinchene.
Not many would agree that it was Samayaniki thagi. This is arguably the artiste’s introduction of novelty. Overall, as the main piece if it were to be, this was not a RTP; it was a kriti preceded with a Tanam. Taken in isolation, it was well-presented. This far into the concert, he was surely making an effort. Vignesh then proceeded to deliver his best of the evening: Nirajakshi in Hindolam of Dikshitar. Rendered in a slow tempo, it reflected the talent of the singer and his range too.
The main item was Sankarabharanam. Yes, after doing Kalyani he put a Sankarabharnam into the concert which is again, a personal choice. He rendered Sarojadalanetri of Shyamasastri. In every facet of this rendition, he won the applause of the audience: Ragam, kriti, neraval and swaras were dealt in detail. Ramakrishnan on the violin was a delight. Thani avarthanam by Delhi Sairam and Anirudh too was appropriate. A Raagamalika virutham in Mayamalavagowla, Behag and Surutti of Ramalinga Adigal was the move in the direction of the lighter half of the concert. An Abhang in Maand and Ramachandraya in Navrog of Ramadas were the final pieces.
Some wonderful moments and some artistic choices characterised the evening. His fans sure had a great evening.
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