By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
Maharajapuram Ramachandran performed for Nadabrahma Sangeeta Sabha on the 10th of December. He was accompanied by C.N. Chandrashekhar on violin, H.S. Sudheendra on mridanga and G.S.Ramanujam on ghata.
Ramachandran has a strong, bold voice, which initially took some time to settle down. As the concert was in memory of late Lalita Murthy, wife of senior art patron K.V. Murthy, Ramachandran had chosen three compositions of Savitramma, mother of Lalita Murthy, in addition to compositions of Mysore Vasudevachar and some compositions popularised by his father Santanam.
He began the concert with ‘Sharanu Sharanu Vinayaka tava paadake maNive Vinayaka’ by Savitramma in Hamsadhwani with a warm-up neraval and swaras at ‘Vidya daayine mangala mooruti’. ‘Tyagaraja’s ‘Brochevarevare’ in Sriranjani was a good choice of contrast.
Aarabhi ragalapana was good though short with many sangatis of Santanam and the composition of Swati Tirunal ‘Narasimha mamava Bhagavan’ in Khanda Chapu was a surprise. In Bhairavi, the sub-main chosen for his 3-hour concert, Ramachandran touched the quintessential phrases of the raga and Kannada composition of Savitramma ‘Raghuvara Rama BArai SuguNAbhirAma’ was presented well with right articulation.
Purvi Kalyani, which occupied the centre-stage, was enjoyable with well-carved phrases. Vasudevachar’s ‘Marachitive nannu maravakura’ was an apt choice and it suited the raga and the mood. Sudheendra and Ramanujam showed great restraint with subtle strokes. Their sharp exchanges during the tani received appreciation from the audience.
The post-tani part of the concert was raring with songs of Santanam fame. Purandara dasa devaranamas Ragamalika ‘Ksheerabdhi kannike Shree mahalakshmi,’ ‘Govinda ninna namave chenda’ in Janasammodini and ‘Bho Shambho Shiva Shambho svayambho’ in Revati enchanted the audience.
Violinist Chandrashekhar shined through the concert with his mature approach.
The concert was a tribute to Savitramma, who has composed many devaranamas and kritis in Kannada. Her compositions are also popularised by senior musician of the city Dr. Sukanya Prabhakar.