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Rasika – Padmanabhan Subramanium

Review on Rama seva mandeli concert 2019 by rasika Padmanabhan Subramanium

Sakethraman (sr) Delievers Once Again

SR is in my must list . The reasons are not far to seek.His roots are classicism, being from the bastion of the immortal Lalgudi. His voice has a robustness , melody and the easy, unlabored navigating prowess to scales with out compromise on Shruthi.. His mind does not imprison him to a customised prosaic delivery but takes to wings of imagination to explore on ragas, structure and design of the concert and exhume rare krithis of not so familiar composers.He is neither boringly banal in the name of tradition or raffish to show case as a rebel. His raga and composer diversification is exemplary. And most relieving aspect is the minimum fuss and time he takes to be set with the audio systems. And once he begins he is already cruising in autopilot at that Madhyma Kala speed like a Mercedes Benz, with bouts of energy springing up from that small frame when he traverses higher octaves .

For his concert in Fort on 3/05 , he had highly competent team of accompaniments- L.Ramakrishnan on violin , Trichy Harikumar on Miridangam and Guruprasannain Kanjira
He began with his customary felicity in Simhavahini .After brief prefacing of the raga , he eased into Nenarunchara .Neat rendition with brilliantly conceived Swaras .The Thirmanam or the climax at the end of it in fast well differentiated swara combinations with out a break in great gusto . Natakurunji seems to be the raga of the season. Heard it third time in as many concerts. No complaints , considering what melody and devotion that raga can outpour. Elli Nodalu Rama Of purandaradasa. was the Krithi. Another inspirational presentation. ,

Next was that raag, not frequently indulged but which is most suitable for elaborations despite being not considered a Gana Raga- Dharmavathi . It is also a favourite for Nadaswaram vidhwans.An alaap which brought out its meditative element fully with long phrases helped by breath control and embellished by subtle gamakas And the inventive mind found a scope to do a graeha beam into Malayamarudham .Crossing the LOC for brief foray and reverting in a deft manner. Not for a surgical strike but to to cuddle at a equally mellifluous raga. Delectable. And to be inventive he picked a different Dikshitar Krithi , Ramachandra Dasoyam . Samadhanabeda in charanam was garlanded with the most alluring swaras again with that reverberating Thirmanam. The audience was grasping for breath but not our SK.

Being different carried on in slow contrasting delienation was the Saranam Saranam Raghurama in asaveri by Arunachala Kavirayar. A slow vilambith kala underscoring the subservience of the once arrogant and now repentant Samudra Raj as he pleads for mercy for ignoring HIS entreatments earlier. A good contrast to the general speed genre of his delineation of madhyma kaal with positive speed bias. What is noteworthy is the selection brilliance in choosing a perfect Krithi for the occasion and a different composer.

Is Shankarabharanam , his favourite. Not a surprise.. No other raga can match in it being multidimensional in feel , fit for all time and even different types of compositions like varnam, Krithi, bhajan and even English note.Heard him second time in succession by me.He set out on a varietal treatment . He painted the raga , as an artist would draw on the canvas from looking at an ambrosial image from foot to head . Only the image was virtual embedded in mind. All the other tools were the magnificence of his m anodharma. In the liminal stage he was not in a hurry to move his eyes and try savour the beauty. The phrases were slow paced as if riveted on each note . Slowly as his eyes traversed higher the hand strokes accelerated .As his eyes moved up it imparted pace in delienation . As he reached the climax it was at his trade breathholding style. And in that mind boggling pace he showed his vidwath as he peeped into Revathi raag as a grehabedam . Imagine having two Greta bedlam in a concert. Double whammy. Manasuswadhinamai the Krithi Of the Sadguru was appropriatdly chosen , treated with differentiated sangathis .The neraval was brimming with energy and swara prasthara with that trade mark tiruppam.The audience were in a bliss.

The RTP , constrained as it was for time , coming as it did after an elaborate thanks giving ceremony , was in Sindhu Bhairavi. Long time since I heard this raag in an expansive treatment. Even with in the time available SR dished out a compleat RTP . The artistes partitioned among themselves for raga and thanam and then corralled for the pallavi. The raga Malika components were from Sahana, Maru Behag and Kapi . A stand out presentation

Ramakrishnan played his part expertly. In all the raga essays and swara exchanges he accentuated what the main artiste had done. But he, surprisingly, opted out Graha bhedas on both the occasions.
Harikumar and Guruprasanna gave excellent support.

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