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Music Academy Concert

Pantula Rama’s concert for the Music Academy was like an energiser; from start to finish, it kept the audience’s interest alive with Rama’s full throated, confident and well-planned presentation. The soft Mukhari kriti ‘Sangeetha Sastra Gnanamu’ and a serene Saranga ‘Emi Thova Palkuma’ (both Tyagaraja), turned out to be bright starters.

A rare composition of Dikshitar in the raga Maahuri, ‘Mamava Raghuveera,’ was an attention-grabbing inclusion. The raga had shades of Sankarabharanam and Sama. Rama’s Thodi was stately. Yet, it was a bit surprising that with her gifted voice, Rama did not dwell much on extended stopovers. Well, it did not create a great impact on the raga quality.

Thodi moved with gait but sans little grace. Nevertheless, her choice of Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Karthikeya Gangeya’ with all the three lyrically beautiful charanams and her elucidation on ‘Maal Maruga Shanmuga’ compensated for the earlier lacunae. Rama’s swara exercises were adventurously appealing. With perfect timing in the company of equally adventurous Narmadha on the violin, their exchanges here and in the later Ragam Tanam Pallavi were a treat.

Rama launched on a trendy RTP blending a slightly rigid Kannada and an extremely flexible Kanada. But for their similarity in name, the raga structures are diverse. Here, Rama constantly and cleverly blended and complemented her raga essay, tanam, pallavi and swaras alternatively and validated her selection. The pallavi set to Adi Talam Misra gathi was ‘Rama Srirama Kannada’ in Kannada and Kanada in that order. H.S. Sudhindra and Thrikkakara Y.N. Shantharam on the mridangam and the ganjira respectively, did their job well, always in tune with one another. Their approach for fast, slow, and crisp structures was appropriately placed.

Courtesy – G.Swaminathan,The Hindu,Dec 2011

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