By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
On the concluding day of the Heritage Music Festival at 8th Cross, V.V. Mohalla, Sandeep Narayan gave a vocal concert with H.N. Bhaskar on violin, mridanga virtuoso Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman on mridanga and Guruprasanna on kanjira.
Sandeep has taken up music as a full time career, though born in the US and raised there. He has a very powerful voice and mature vocal verve with good range.
Sandeep’s rendition brought occasional shades of his Guru’s style. He opened his concert with the Adi Tala Varna ‘Eranapai’ in Thodi in two speeds displaying all his traits that promised a fine concert in the offing. A brisk ‘Vallabha Nayakasya’ by Deekshitar in Begade followed with swaras suffixed for the Pallavi part. ‘Gyana Sabhayil Tillai’ by Papanashanam Shivan set to Mishra Chapu tala was a rare composition not much heard in concerts. While taking up Niroshta, the artiste explained that this raga was created by Sri Muthiah Bhagavatar and the speciality of the raga is that lips do not meet. Niroshta literally means ‘without the lips’ and therefore the raga does not have ‘m’ and ‘p’ in it.
Sandeep sang the arohana and avarohana of the raga in the pentatonic scale and a short ragalapane was skilfully rendered, which led to the expected ‘Raja Raja Radhite’ by Sri Muthiah Bhagavatar, a beautiful composition on Goddess Sharade, which does not contain ‘m’ and ‘p’ in its lyrics either.
After a speedily-rendered ‘Marugelara Oh Raghava’ by Sri Tygaraja, in Jayantashree, Sandeep chose to sing Shuddha Saveri for detailed rendition. The raga was appealing at every stage of its presentation and Bhaskar’s delineation of the raga was equally enchanting. ‘Dari nee telusukonte’ by Sri Tyagaraja was the composition. The rendition of this number was indeed mellifluous and in presenting this vilamba kala composition he impressed everyone with the numerous sangatis sung both for the pallavi and the first line of Charana, which also brought a neraval at ‘Rajita Manigana bhushita madagaja’. The swaras were however chosen for the pallavi at two places interestingly — at Dari nee’ and ‘Tripura sundari’. Bhaskar enhanced it with his violin. The sahitya could have been clearer however. The young vocalist exchanged looks with Sivaraman again and again for approval, who amused the show with his witty words.
Taniyavartanam by Sivaraman and Guruprasanna was heavenly. The singing rhythm of the mridanga was extremely pleasing to the ears.
After the taniyavartanam, the expected RTP did not happen, much to the disappointment of the listeners. Sandeep rendered ‘Jagadoddharana’ by Purandaradasaru in Kapi and Lalgudi Jayaraman’s beautiful tillana in Mohanakalyani and concluded the concert.
With Sivaraman’s accompaniment, the success of a concert is pre-determined and this was no exception.
The music series at 8th Cross ended with this concert for the year. The concerts were crowd-pullers and the audience enjoyed every concert.