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KHMC February 2016 Carnatic And Hindustani Concerts - A Review

Ragini Sanath and Suzana Naik

KHMC February 2016 Carnatic and Hindustani Concerts - A Review

New Hampshire winter delight with soulful music on a beautiful Saturday - -Ragini Sanath and Suzana Naik

And why not -

The 2016 winter session concert of KHMC was held at the residence of Sri.Girish Satpute in Nashua right after the first official snow of the winter. This day 6th of February was a fantastic Saturday both in terms of the weather and the music that flowed in the afternoon. The agenda for the evening was a junior segment, followed by senior segment of Carnatic and Hindustani vocal.

The junior concerts in the Carnatic vocal segment were presented by the talented duo Amrita Tirumalai and Divya Godavarti, students of guru Smt. Tara Anand. Supported ably on mridangam by Sudarshan Thirumalai , Kanjira by Tarun Bangalore (students of Sri.Pravin Sitaram) and on violin by Yash Ravish(student of Smt Tara Anand).

The concert started with an obeisance to Lord Ganesha in the kriti Gam Ganapathe  of Sri Muttaiah Bhagavathar in Raga Hamsadhwani set to tishra Adi tala with swaraprastaram .The main kriti Enthuku Pedalla of Sri Tyaagaraja  in  Raga ShankarAbharanam Adi tala was rendered after a good elaboration of the raga . The duo were very well coordinated as they flawlessly presented the neraval and swaraprastaram at Veda shastra tatvarthamulu with a clear emphasis to the sahithya . Yash accompanied the vocalists wonderfully. Thani avartanam was very neatly executed by Sudarshan and Tarun  to the enjoyment of the audience. The concert concluded with a brisk thillana  by Dr.Balamuralikrishna  in Raga Brindavani set to Adi Tala . The confidence exuded by the young artists was noteworthy and a reflection of the wonderful training they have received. 

Following a short snack break, the audience settled in to listen to the senior segment of the concert to be presented by  vocalist Smt.Kamakshi Kalyanasundaram from Connecticut , a highly  accomplished  student of Sri.TN Seshagopalan and accompanied by eminent artists and teachers in the Boston area -Sri.KVS Vinay on violin and Sri.Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan(Mali) on mridangam.

The concert began with a lively rendering of Karunimpa, a varnam by Tiruvotriyur Tyagayyar in Sahana raga set to Adi Tala in two speeds setting the stage for the rest of the concert. This was followed by the composition, Seethamma Maayamma of  Sri Tyaagaraja in Raga Vasantha set to Adi tala. The artists brought forth  the complete essence of the raga in a brief raagalapana,sprightly neraval and distinct Kalpana swarams.Annapoorne Visaalakshi by Sri.Muttuswamy Deekshitar in Sama raga was presented in a gentle pace hiliting the meditative essence of the raga generating serenity. Marivere , a composition of Sri.Pattnam Subbramanya Iyer  in Raga Latangi,khandachapu followed after a classical elaboration of the raga. An apt neraval and swara prastara at Dharalona nee saati exhibited all facets of the raga with an enigmatic magnetism between the artists.Yaarukkuthan theriyum in the raga Devamanohari,Adi tala a composition of Gopalakrishna Bharathi was presented rapidly.

“Piece de resistance” was traditional Todi Raga which was elaborated with extensive creativity.  Complete justice was done to the Alapana in all the three sthayis. The varjya prayogas embellished the beauty and depth of the raga. Grahabheda to Kalyani at the tonal note Ri was briefly outlined during the alapane. She subsequently explained this advanced technique. Sri KVS Vinay presented  the raga through wonderful phrases setting  afloat finer aspects of the raga. Nine nammi ,a kriti by Syama shastri set to mishrachapu was sung majestically. Neraval at Bhakta kamitartha phala daayaki  was rendered with high intensity by both the artists. The artists strict allegiance to tala and spontaneity  was demonstrated in the swara prastaram.  Special mention to the support Mali extended on the mridangam at  the neraval and an erudite  taniavartanam to finish the kriti. Smt. Kamakshi went on to conclude the concert with a highly soulful rendition of purandaradasa devaranama , Chandrachooda shiva shankara parvathi in Darbari Kaanada and a melodious thillana in HameerKalyani composed by Sri.TN Seshagopalan.

The Hindustani segment of the concert showcased 2 talented singers, Adirath Bollapragada in the junior segment and Aditya Shah in the senior segment.

Adirath is a disciple of Smt. Kumkum Sanyal, herself an artist par excellence. He was accompanied on the harmonium by Mukund Desibhatla and on the tabla by Giri Subramaniam.  Adirath started his presentation with a Ganesh Vandana followed by a presentation of Raag Yaman, in which he sang a bada khayal, a chota khayal and concluded the presentation of the Raag with a tarana, composed by Smt. Kumkum Sanyal.  Adirath followed this presentation with a short bandhish in Raag Bilaskhani Todi and ended his performance with Raag Bhairavi.  The training and hard work of both the guru and shishya were apparent in the presentation from this youngster.  It was heart-warming to see Adirath, who is born and brought-up outside India, give such a wonderful presentation of Hindustani classical music and his level of preparation certainly qualifies him to present in the senior segment next time. Giri, on the tabla, was pleasant and embellishing, whereas, Mukund provided able support on the harmonium and the trio kept the audience engaged throughout the junior segment.

The vocalist for the senior segment of the evening was Aditya Rohit Shah, a disciple of Pt. Radharaman Kirtane and Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasraj.  Being a disciple of such renowned maestros set high expectations from Aditya and he did not fail to deliver. For this KHMC presentation accompanying Aditya were Dilip Acharya on the harmonium and Rohit Panchakshari on the tabla.  Aditya delighted the audience with a variety of presentations starting with Raag Bhageshri.  He followed this with short compositions in a variety of Raagas.  They included Raag Din ki Puriya, Raag Puriya Dhanashree, Raag Madhukauns, Raag Keervani and Raag Hamsadhwani intermingled with Ghei Chand Makarand (Katyaar Kaaljaat Ghusli) and Teertha Vitthala.  The audience was fortunate to listen to some of these precious compositions of Pt. Jasraj ji.  Aditya demonstrated his versatility and skill and delighted the audiences for over a couple of hours.  Aditya teaches music at the LearnQuest Academy and we look forward to hearing him again at other Hindustani music concerts.  Dilip Acharya, a renowned Vocalist himself, followed the nuances of Aditya's presentation quite well and Rohit Panchakshari did a fine job as a table accompanist and enhanced the presentation. It was quite a delightful evening of music which lingered in our hearts through the night!

All in all, a fantastic concert for winter. Thanks to KHMC and the host for a fabulous warm evening.

(With inputs from Smt Uma Sankar for the junior concert segment and Jeyanthi Ghatraju on the Hindustani segment)

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