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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

R K Srikantan at Smt Mani Krishnaswami Memorial Concert

Smt Mani Krishnaswamy was remembered last evening at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on her 3rd Memorial Day. Justice S Mohan, Smt Sundari, Smt Leela Samson, Smt C Saroja, Sri Kootapiran, Sri Ramachandran (Hamsadwani) were amongst those dignitaries present at the function and spoke on their fond memories about Smt Krishnaswami. The rather long function was followed by an amazing concert by Sangeetha Kalanidhi R K Srikantan.

R K Srikantan - S Ramakanth (vocal support) - R K Shriram Kumar - J Vaidhyanathan

12th July 2005 - Smt Mani Krishnaswami Memorial Funtion

paga vA - hamsadvani varNam - Adi - PSI (R)
karikalAba mukham - sAvEri - Adi - MD
nE jEsina nEramulu - pUrNacandrikA - Adi - PSI (RS)
O jagadambA - Ananda bhairavi - Adi - SS (RS)
nA morAlakimpa - dEvagAndhAri - T
kAmAkshI srI varalakshmi - bilahari - Adi - MD (RS)
nara nAda - nAdanAmakriyA - PD
smaraNa ondE - mOhanam - PD
mariyAda teliyakanE - suruTTi - PSI
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram

The concert started with a beautiful rendition of the varNam with a nice AlApanai to start with. The sAvEri kriti which followed was rendered with a lot of bhavam.

The pUrNacandrikA AlApanai was beautifully structured and showed a lot of scope of exploring this rAgam which is usually used for a filler kriti. The svarams were also good.

The starting phrase of the Ananda bhairavi AlApanai was indicative of a shyamA sAstri kriti to follow. The AlApanai was indeed vintage to hear with some really beautiful sancarams. O jagadambA was just pouring with bhavam and bakthi. The song was rendered amazingly while beautiful svarams followed at the caraNam line 'kanna talli'.

The rare dEvagAndhari kriti of tyAgarAja was good to hear. The main bilahari AlApanai was rather short, probably for want of time. It was beautifully built and would remain in memories for years to come. The kriti was rendered very well and svarams were also very good.

The small sketch of nAdanAmakriyA was so good that one kept wondering why Sri Srikantan did not do an elaborate AlApanai, the dEvaranAma that followed and the mOhanam dEvaranAma was also elegantly rendered.

The final suruTTi piece was well rendered showing essential raga lakshnAms and the mangaLam kriti for once did not have the regular 'pavamAna suthudu paTTu...' line. It was just 'prahlAda nAradAdi...' and then 'rAjIva nayana...'

The range of the Sri Srikantan's voice, who is an octagenarian, is just amazing. The ease with which he could travel from thAra pancaman to mandara pancamam was just beyond words. It was just another proof to the fact that age does not hinder the flow of music.

Sri Ramakanth who supported the main artist was good all thro' the concert. He had partly elaborated all the AlApanais and in the svara prastArams.

Sri Shriram Kumar on the violin provided very good support to the concert. His elaborations of Ananda bhairavi and bilahari need a special mention. One particular phrase in Ananda bhairavi, a simple jaNTai on the ArOhaNam, was just superb and filled with the rAga bhavam that it would linger in the minds for very many years to come. There were many more such phrases worth a mention.

Sri Vaidhyanathan provided very good support to the concert also. His playing was good. The mrudangam playing and the tani had a lot of cycles involving the thoppi. The tani had a good usage of thoppi. It was rather amazing to see the tani ending with a tIrmAnam using the thoppi.

Vidwan Chingleput Ranganathan who offered felicitations after the concert recalled the amazing reportiore and vidwat of Sri Srikantan. He said that Sri Shriram Kumar's playing was recalling that of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Papa K S Venkatramaiah.

An amazing concert with a good satisfaction to musically thirsty mind. It was worth the wait for the concert.

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