Ramothsava Sangeethotsava: Day 4: Aesthetic and appealing in musical expression
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Ramothsava Sangeethotsava: Day 4: Aesthetic and appealing in musical expression

April 4, 2023

By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

Chennai vocalist Vid. Ashwath Narayanan sang for Ramabhyudaya Sabha on the 4th day of Ramothsava at Alamma’s Choultry on Apr. 2. He was accompanied on violin by Vid. Vishwesh Chandrashekar, on mridanga by Vid. Ravishankar Sharma and on the ghata by Vid. G.S. Ramanujam.

Ashwath’s intensive training under a stalwart like Palghat K.V. Narayanswamy and later by Padma Narayanaswamy has made him what he is today. His style which he has adapted from the lineage of Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar is bewitching and his voice the result of years of practice.

Ashwath commenced his concert with Tyagaraja’s ‘Ramabhakti Samrajya’ in Shuddha Bangala followed by racy swaras. Janaranjani was enjoyable and saw a brief neraval for the pallavi ‘Smarane sukhamu Ramanama’, but for connoisseurs looking forward to listening to a neraval from a disciple of KVN, this was unsatisfactory, as this was also the only neraval in the entire concert.

‘Rama Rama kalikalusha virama’ is a very soothing composition of Deekshitar, wherein the composer pleads to Lord Rama, the repository of all virtues, to protect him, addressing Him as ‘kali Kalusha virama’ — the one who puts an end to the sins of Kaliyuga, cleverly knitting the name of the raga Ramakali in it. Ashwath sang this composition beautifully, etching the beauty of the composition splendidly. ‘Rama Rama Rama Sita Rama Enniro’ by Purandaradasa in Vasanta was a brisk piece but aesthetic in appeal in his musical expression.

Abheri was satisfactory in ragalapana and also a tanam which was a bonus but when the artiste took up Mysuru Vasudevachar’s ‘Bhajare Manasa’, it was clear to the listeners that there was going to be no RTP in the concert.

The composition lacked a few of the well-known sangatis in the pllavi and anupallavi portions, which the Mysuru listeners are so used to hear.

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Vishwesh was in his elements contributing his best in alapanas and swara bouts with the vocalist. Subtle mellifluity of nada came from Ravishankar Sharma and Ramanujam in Taniyavartanam.

Shloka on Rama ‘Shantam shashwatam Aprameyam anagham’ in Peelu and Yamankalyani was rendered in finesse kindling the listeners’ emotions, leading onto Tulsidas Bhajan ‘Sri Ramachandra Krupalu Bhaja Man’. Ashwath concluded his concert with a Lalgudi Tillana in Bagesri.

For music aspirants who expected more, the concert was a little disappointing as the expectation was high with a popular vocalist like this young man.


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