Concert featured a great team who fell bit short
Date/Time: 7th December, 7pm
Venue: Chennai Cultural Academy, Karnataka Sangha School, Chennai - 17
Ambiance: Hall is spacious, but one does not get a feel of being in a posh sabha
Crowd: The concert was a ticketed concert. Attendance around 75
In nutshell: Vidvan Sikkil Gurucharan in his concert at Chennai Cultural Academy could have impressed more with his share of weighty sangathis. Accompanied by Nagai Muralidharan on the violin, Mannargudi Easwaran on the mridangam, Read on you will see why!
Vidvan Sikkil Gurucharan had a very accomplished team of support – Vidvan Nagai Muralidharan in violin and Vidvan Mannargudi Easwaran in mrudangam. They were also assisted by a kanjira artist (apologies for not knowing his name) who was fixed at the last hour .The team however could not produce an entirely satisfying concert.
The first two numbers, the shree ragam varnam “sAmi ninnE”and shri GNB’s nalinakAnthi krithi were great choices to start with, considering that an early fast tempo adds a lot of aesthetics to a concert. However the relative high volume of the violin gave a feel as though it was a violin concert accompanied by a vocal artist for support. Infact few in the audience got up and gave their share of vent in particular about volume of the violin. The sound adjustment was done right, but from then on the concert still did not give an extreme satisfaction.
Abhogi as a submain was dwelled well with the krithi manasu nilpa . The neraval and swaras were quite arresting with the beats of easwaran’s mrudangam falling in line with a seasoned violin nAdham of shri muralidharan. The next filler bhOgeendra sayinam in kuntalavarAli has lovely turns of sangathis that can be gripping , but however Gurucharan could not give that level of brigha polish for this swathi tirunal krithi.
The main in kalyani was Patnam Subramania Iyer’s NijadAsa varadA. Kalyani alapana is quite difficult to impress, the usual gait of few slow glides did come out well in the first half , however the second half of his alapana did not have a right brigha embellishments for us to enjoy kalyani in total. The neraval and swaras in kalyani were quite standard.
Gurucharan ended with a highly emotive tukkada in sumanesaranjani from the contemporary composer Smt Rukmini Ramani on Lord Parthasarathy in Thiruvallikeni. The customary finish in Lalgudi thillana in mAnd did not create a lasting impression.
The violinist Nagai Muralidharan has a divine melody in his bowing. His sensitivity in general for higher volume needs a bit of correction. Shri Easwaran played with exceptional clean solkattu and the tani was crisp.
Gurucharan has a high level of refinement in emote, but when sangathis demand a higher degree of weight , the finish is at times not that convincing.
Overall a good to very good concert for 1 hour and 55 minutes.
[Rajesh N, is an IT Professional who lives in Chennai. He is passionate about carnatic music. In popular carnatic internet forum rasikas.org he writes with the id rajeshnat]