61st Heritage Music Festival at 8th Cross V.V. Mohalla: Varijashree renders rare compositions
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61st Heritage Music Festival at 8th Cross V.V. Mohalla: Varijashree renders rare compositions

September 9, 2022

By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

Popular singer Varijashree Venugopal presented a vocal concert at 8th Cross, Vanivilas Mohalla on the  8th day of the music series last evening. She was accompanied by Mattur Srinidhi on violin, Radhesh on mridanga and Shamit Gowda on ghata. Rare compositions not much heard in the concerts these days marked the concert.

Hailing from a family where music is a family legacy, Varija is a born singer. More popular in the light music circle for her exquisite songs, the influence of light music is clear in her Karnatak concerts. Her voice texture too supports this fact.

Varijashree started the concert with Deekshitar’s ‘Vighneshwaram bhajare manasa’ in Malahari wherein she essayed fluent swaras for the madhmakala sahitya ‘Bhutaganadi sevitam.’ ‘Nanda Gopala Mukunda’ again from Deekshitar was a pleasant surprise. ‘Amba Paradevate’ of John Higgins fame came next, which was another rare treat. Varija proved her skill in the choice of the complicated place for swaras at ‘Devate’ effortlessly and Srinidhi followed suit.

‘Paahi Krishna Vasudeva Dehi Sadgatim’ is a composition of Vasudevachar which is said to have been composed when he lost his wife. Varija selected this composition after a brief alapana of Behag loaded with a few rare phrases, some of which seemed to be strongly influenced by instrumental music. Srinidhi’s Behag was more classical. Bilahari brought another surprise with ‘Narasimha nannu brovave’ set to Mishra chapu, a not-much-heard composition of Sri Tyagaraja, which was also suffixed with good swaras both by the vocalist and by the violinist.

The toast of the evening Hindola, presented as RTP for more than half-an hour, had everything in it. The Raga rendition reminded one of Varija playing the flute repeatedly. ‘Neela megha shyama Krishnam Bhaje Madhura Muraleeganalola’ formed the text of the pallavi. Varija excelled in kalpana swaras where she chose a different raga for each aavarta and then dividing it again into half and quarter, which ranged to more than a dozen ragas. It must be acknowledged that this is attained only with hard practice. Taniyavartanam by the two youngsters of Mysore — Radhesh on mridanga and Shamit Gowda on ghata — won good appreciation. Varija concluded the concert with two devaranamas ‘Venkatachala nilayam’ in Sindhubhairavi and ‘Jagadoddharana’ in Kapiby Purandaradasaru.

The concert was a good blend of control and spontaneity. Varija can sing open-throatedly in classical concerts.


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