Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival concludes: Immense skill and craft
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Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival concludes: Immense skill and craft

May 14, 2024

On the concluding day of ‘Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival’ at BSS Vidyodaya in Krishnamurthypuram, Mysuru, on May 11, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Neyveli Santhanagopalan’s daughter and noted musician Vidu. Sriranjani Santhanagopalan gave a vocal music concert accompanied by Vidu. Gayatri on violin, Vid. Praveen Sparsh on mridanga and Vid. Shamith Gowda  on ghata.

Sriranjani’s concerts are marked by her captivating musical prowess, her youthful exuberance, her very mellifluous, honeyed voice and her pleasing stage presence. ‘I should practice like there is no tomorrow at home but sing like I have all the time on stage’ is what she says.

The present concert, however, expected to last for at least two and a half hours, lasted hardly for one and a half hours, a bit disappointing for audience who expected more.

The concert had a grand start with Muthiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Mate Malayadhwaja pandya SanjAte’, a daru varna. Tygaraja’s ‘SAmaja varagamana’ was presented brilliantly with intellectual sarvalaghu swaras at ‘Veda shiromaNi mAtruja’. The Poorvikalyani sketch, though short, proved the level of maturity in Sriranjani’s music.

Tyagaraja’s ‘GyAnamu SagarAda’, though presented brilliantly, was a bit disappointing as it went with no swarakalpana.

Surprisingly, Sriranjani took up Kalyani immediately after Poorvikalyani with Purandaradasaru’s ‘AnjikinyAtakayya’ set to Mishra Chapu, soon after which another composition of Purandaradasaru ‘RAma RAma RAma ennirO’ in Vasanta was presented in racy style.

Bilahari was bewitching. Sriranjani’s innovative style evident not only in her detailed delineation of the raga expanded step by step, but also in her letting the violinist to present her essay of the raga in between the ragalapana, as done during  the tanam delineation by main artistes, was impressive.

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Her voice and exploration of the raga in the higher octave was absolutely bewitching. Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Sri Chamundeshawari pAlaya mAm’ was the composition chosen.

Sriranjani excelled in singing the chitteswara in various speeds and nadais. She took up the line beginning  ‘RAkA nishAkara sannibha vadane’ for neraval — the only neraval in the concert —  going through it expertly like rafting in the rapids, a commendable exercise for the way it was built methodically focusing at beautiful phrases.

Following detailed swarakalpana, Taniyavartanam was presented with vigour by Praveen on mridanga and Shamith Gowda on ghata.

The post-tani part included Purandaradasaru’s popular ‘JagadOddhArana’ in kapi and ‘Hari chitta Satya’ in Jonpuri, during the rendition of which the vocalist forgot the lyrics and had to refer to her phone, a Marathi abhang in Brindavana Sarang by Sant Namadev Maharaj ‘Bhaktajana vatsale’ rendered beautifully and Raghuvamsha sudhAmbudhi’ (Patnam Subramya Iyer) in Kadanakutuhala on request.

With this concluding concert, the curtains came down at Bhagini Ramotsava for this year. Kudos to Gururaj, the chief organiser of this grand event.

A word must be said about the anchoring of this week-long programme, which was done by Deepika Pandurangi, whose Kannada is amazingly superb.

The organisers announced that they intend to conduct Bala Ramotsava for young performers in the near future, which will be announced shortly.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

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