Flawless rendition – Hindu Music Review

Pantula Rama’s concert in Kochi was a wonderful amalgamation of aesthetics, flawless grammar and technique. Rama began the concert with the Vasanta raga varnam ‘Ninnu kori’ with numerous repetitions of the lines and the swaras.

The concert’s tempo was kept up with ‘Gam Ganapathaye namo namo’ in Hamsadhwani, a composition of Harikeshanalloor Muthaiah Bhagavathar. This was adorned with supple swaras. Rama has worked steadily in becoming a leading vocalist at a young age.

The Tyagaraja pancharatna kriti ‘Entharo Mahanubhavulu’ in Sri Raga was ably supported by V. V. Ramanamurthy on the mridangam as he played varied strokes to the myriad rhythm patterns occurring in the kriti. The dominance of Telugu kritis was an ostensible feature of the concert.

Swaras for ‘Anupamagunambudhi’ in Atana raga, Khanda chappu tala, appealed with their incandescence.

The articulation of Sriranjini raga brimmed with emotion and harmony. Rama displayed the possibilities of a melodic voice with good range, especially in the lower octaves. Over the years, her music has attained a strong adroitness in bhava. The raga phrases and brigas were marked with clarity and finish. ‘Sogasugamridanga talamu,’ a popular song which enumerates the essential characteristics of composing and rendering music, didn’t fail to impress.

Complementing each other

M.S.N. Murthy, who is also the vocalist’s husband, accompanied her on the violin. Interestingly, even though both belong to the same school of music, their approaches to improvisation are remarkably different. After a speedy rendition of Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Palukavademira’ in raga Devamanohari, the vocalist took off on an alaapana of Kumudakriya, which achieved newer vistas of expression. The swift sweeps to the upper octave and back had stylishly touches of Hindustani music but it never went overboard. Muthuswamy Dikshithar’s ‘Ardhanareesaram’ was rendered impeccably.

Rama’s essay of Mohana raga was engaging and progressive. Her reverence to the sangatis and structure of the magnificent kriti ‘Mohana rama’ and her involvement in the niraval were noteworthy. The kuraippu swaras embellished the last phase of swara singing.

Ilanjimel Susheel Kumar on the ghatam supported Ramanamurthy during the taniavarthanam.

‘Govandhana giridhara’ in Durbari Kanada and ‘Navaneethachora,’ an Annamayya kriti in Chenchurutti, were the closing pieces. The event was organised by Rasikapriya.

Courtesy – The Hindu
Reviewer – Harish Bal

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