On the seventh day of Ramotsava at Alamma’s Choultry, well-known violinist H.K. Venkatram gave a violin concert with his son Vishnu. They were accompanied on the mridanga by Anoor Ananta Krishna Sharma and on the khanjira by Purushottam.
Venkatram is known for his subtle and smooth bowing and his understanding of the nuances of Karnatak music. His keen music sense was evident in his concert. Son Vishnu followed his father like a shadow.
The violinists began their concert with Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s navaragamalika varna ‘Valachi vacchi yunna naapai chalamu’ which gave a lively start to the concert. A sketch of Hamsadhwani led to ‘Vinayaka ninnu vina Brochutaku’ by E.V.Ramakrishna Bhagavatar, which was decorated with crisp swaras for the pallavi. A short begada was played by young Vishnu for the composition ‘Abhimanamennadu’ by T.V. Namasivayam which blended in harmony by father and son.
Tanjavur Shankara Iyer’s ‘Ranjani mrdu pankaja lochani’ is a lovely composition in ragamalika, in which the composer describes the Goddess as the mother who is delightful and who has the eyes like the petals of lotus, as the one who speaks beautifully, as the one who takes away the ego from the mind and as the one who delights in the musical chanting of ‘Sama Veda’. Each charana is followed by a pretty chitteswara in the raga, continuing with the previous ragas and ending with the starting raga.
Following the ragas in the composition, Venkatram presented the ragalapana in the ragas Ranjani, Sriranjani, Megharanjani and Janaranjani. His delineation of ragas was rich with weighty prayogas. The artistes started the composition with the last chitteswara where all the ragas in the composition occur. The joint presentation was excellent with not a note out of place.
Tyagaraja’s ‘Samanamevaru’ (roopaka) was presented with an expected neraval at ‘Paluku paluku’. ‘Raghuvamsha Sudhambudhi chandra’ in Kadanakutoohala is a composition made for instruments. The artistes played this with samvadi swaras in chitteswaras, giving the composition a western flavour. Grand swaras and taniyavartanam followed wherein senior mridangist Anoor Ananta Krishna Sharma and Purushottam (khanjira) entertained the audience with their enriching prayogas in percussion.
A delicate and classy version of maand led to Kanakadasa’s ‘Baro Krishnayya’. The western note by Deekshitar was enjoyable. The concert concluded with the bhajan ‘Raghupati Raghava Rajaram.’
By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan