In the hands of Ravikiran, the ragas got a new sheen
Even ragas that seem to have less scope for expansion take on a different and fascinating form, if the artiste happens to be a musical genius. Sangita Kalanidhi N. Ravikiran for instance.
Two ragas, which rarely frequent the concert platform, revealed their range and beauty in the hands of the maestro. Immediately after ‘Sami daya’, the Kedaragowla varnam of Thiruvotriyur Tygayyar, Ravikiran launched an alapana of Kalavati, a janya raga of Chakravaham. The twisted proyaga in the avarohanam of the raga gave it a different shade and Ravikiran brought forth every subtle nuance of Kalavati in his essay. The kriti here was Tyagaraja’s ‘Oka bari judagarada’. The brisk presentation was followed by an extensive swaraprasthara, once again reiterating the speciality of Kalavati.
Another exotic raga Urmika came next. As a derivative of Simhendramadhyamam, though it exhibits a strong semblance to the basic raga, its distinct identity comes through as it progresses. Ravikiran served an exemplary Urmika treatise and played Pallavi Seshayyar’s ‘Entani vina vintura’ (Adi Talam Tisra nadai). Here also the artiste’s focus was more on sketching an interesting image of the raga, both in expansion and swara sallies, with Akkarai Subhalakshmi.
Sankarabharanam occupied the centre stage and Ravikiran presented it in all its majesty. The imposing structure of Sankarabharanam led to the popular ‘Swara ragasudha’ of Tyagaraja.
The direct swara swing on ‘Mooladharaja’ proceeded on varying gatis initially, the melkala swaras switched over to developing notes around shadjam. Subhalakshmi, who has accompanied the vidwan at many concerts, responded intuitively.
This concert also witnessed a comprehensive show of tani avartanam with one pakka vadhyam and two upa pakkavadyams — mridangam (K.V. Prasad) with ghatam (U.N. Giridar Udupa) and ganjira (Alathur T. Rajaganesh). Each was given time to demonstrate laya patterns that culminated in a grand finale. The decibels, however, were well within enjoyable levels.
In the RTP in Thodi, Ravikiran informed that in the pallavi he had given importance to ‘arudi’.
The simple ‘Saravana Bhava Guhane Shanmugane’ was set to Misra Chapu. Though brief, all sections of RTP were quite engaging with ragamalika swara tag. Saveri, Begada, Ananda Bhairavi, and Hamir Kalyani alternated between the main artiste and the violinist.
The sign off piece was a lilting tillana in Kalyana Vasantham composed by Ravikiran.