Confluence of soulful renditions
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Confluence of soulful renditions

March 22, 2024

Vid. Bellary M. Raghavendra performed for Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha at its premises (Mysore Vasudevacharya Bhavana) on JLB Road in city on Feb. 24. He was accompanied on violin by Vid. Aniruddha Bharadwaj, on mridanga by Vid. A. Radhesh and on morching by Vid. Y.P. Vikram Bharadwaj.

The concert was marked for perfect shruti alignment, crystal clear sahitya, a rich, vibrant and resonating masculine voice that produces perfect pitching and tunefulness, breath control, expressiveness, bhava and tristhayi sancharas. The concert was appealing right from the varna ‘Vanajakshi’ (Pallavi Gopala Iyer) in Kalyani set to Khanda Jati Atta Tala. The vocalist rendered two rare compositions of his uncle Sheshagiri Achar – ‘Omkara Swaroopa Sri Gajavadana’ in Hindola and ‘Sri Purandara Gurum Vande’ in an unheard raga Hradini. A janya of 64th melakarta Vachaspati.

Vid. Raghavendra profiled the raga for six minutes with a lot of novelties even while adhering to the classical methods of progression. He sailed through the raga flawlessly and the kriti was delivered neatly with percussive embellishments from Vid. Radhesh and Vid. Vikram.

‘Simharupanada Srihare’ by Sri Purandara Dasa was presented with majesty in Kedara. ‘Hanuma anuma O manama’ is a unique composition of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna on Lord Hanuman in Sarasangi. The artiste presented this composition with emphasis on the note ‘ma’ which also is a swarakshara throughout the composition. As you listen to this composition, the mind gets fixed on this note madhyama as Adhara Shadja, which seems like Dharmavathi.

Not forgetting that he was performing at Mysore Vasudevacharya Bhavana, the artiste chose ‘Sri Ramana maam paahi’ in Ramapriya set to Khanda Chapu, the pallavi portion of which was suffixed with crisp, intelligent swaras. Dwijawanti saw a short but effective ragalapana leading onto ‘Akhilandeshwari Raksha maam.’ As both the vocalist and the audience were immersed in the ragabhava of this majestic but touching composition of Dikshitar, Vid. Raghavendra seemed to become a little emotional towards the end of this rendition.

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A 12-minute Bhairavi followed with all the expected sangatis emerging. Another composition of Dikshitar ‘Bala Gopala’ was the choice. Vid. Aniruddha’s version of the raga also received applause from the listeners.

The usual place in Anupallavi ‘Neela Neerada Shareera’ was chosen for niraval and kalpana swara essay, which was satisfying. The ensuing taniyavartanam by Vid. Radhesh and Vid. Vikram exemplified the duo’s control over laya.

The post-Tani part included ‘Bhaja Govindam’ (Shankaracharya), the very beautiful devaranama ‘Mareyabeda Manave Neenu’ for which Vid. Raghavendra is famous, a Balamurali tillana in Kuntaklavarali and an unusual Kannada mangalam which brings all the dashavataras of Vishnu in it.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

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