By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
Sandeep Narayan gave a Karnatak vocal concert with Dr. Nishant Chandra on violin and K.U. Jayachandra Rao on mridanga on Feb. 26 under the aegis of Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Mysuru. The concert had everything a listener would look forward to — A very resonant voice with a wide range, fluidity, clarity in sahitya, bhava, classicism, a well-planned structure, excellent manodharma, a good understanding with the co-artistes, an almost perfect shruti alignment, proficiency in ragalapana, neraval and swara kalpana, energy, great imagination and to crown it all, an utter confidence which said it all. It was a complete concert.
The very opening of the concert was impressive with a varna in Adi tala in Pantuvarali ‘Sami ninne nammina na pai’ by Patnam Subramanya Iyer. Saint Tyagaraja’s ‘Shobhillu Saptaswara’ brought satisfactory smiles to musicians present when the artiste sang ‘Dhara ruk saamaadulalo’ in swarakshara at ‘s’ and ‘m’ in different sthayis. Ragalapana of Hindola had rare sangatis and was a proof of the vocalist’s imagination. ‘Rama Krishnaru Manege Bandaru Kamadhenu Bandantayitu’ brought happy smiles to the audience not only because of the language but because of the worthy presentation.
Pattammal has composed more than 650 compositions in Tamil including compositions in Mela karta Ragas. Sandeep presented one of them in Chitrambari – ‘Chamundeshwari Taye sankata teertarul maye,’ a rare composition, was enjoyed though in Tamil, as the composition was about Goddess Chamundeshwari. Madhyamavati both by the vocalist and the violinist were satisfying with Shyama Shastri’s ‘Paalinchu Kamakshi Paavani’ with a grand neraval at ‘kaanta magu peru ponditivi,’ bringing memories of the legend M.S. Subbalakshmi. Jayachandra Rao offered a proficient and skilful Taniyavartanam.
The RTP was grand with Charukeshi, a raga rarely chosen for RTP. The ragalapana was splendidly detailed with a totally different dimension to the raga. The Pallavi in Charukeshi set to Mishra Chapu tala was preceded by an elaborate and elegant ragalapana, which included Veda hymn and also a masterly tana. The tanam gradually progressed with a command but still musically balanced. ‘Nee padamulane nammiti s r g m p d n Geeta Vadya laya traya’ was the pallavi, wherein the artiste smilingly showed himself for Geeta, the violinist for Vadya and the mridangist for laya. The swaras srgmpdn presented in Madhya and Tara sthayis with ease showed the artiste’s dedicated practice. That even the ragamalika swaras were in solid ragas like Kalyani and Kaharaharapriya was notable.
Many phrases in the tana and swarakalpana reminded the listener of Sanjay Subramanyam and yet Sandeep’s own style was evident in his singing. It was happy to note that a boy born and brought up in America has taken to music so seriously and has retained traditionalism in his music, not giving way to gimmics.
Dr. Nishant Chandra, a scientist in software development, was melodious, fluent and quick in grasping. There was no compromise anywhere in the concert throughout, which was evident even in the lighter pieces chosen for the concert. Mysuru Vasudevachar’s ‘Pahi Krsihna Vasudeva Dehi Sadgatim Sada’ was rendered with bhava, ‘Kaname namo’ in Tamil in Sriranjani was lively and the concluding tillana in Kamas was energetic.