Senior vocalist Prema Rangarajan’s concert for Mylapore Fine Arts Club, was neat, but did not leave a lasting impression. One was reminded of the brilliance that she displayed at the Music Academy concert last year, when she sang a delectable Kiravani, set to a complex, 19-beat tala called ‘Ragavardhanam.’ This time round there were no such offerings.
The concert started with the Chakravaham piece, ‘Gajananayutham’ of Dikshitar, and moved on to Arabhi. The alapana was brief and the vocalist took up Swati Tirunal’s ‘Narasimha Mamava’, and rendered it with a sprinkling of niraval and swaras. After singing ‘Kalavati Kamala’ of Dikshitar in raga Kalavati as a filler, Prema took up Kalyani. Once again, it was a nice and clean Kalyani, enjoyable no doubt, but run-of-the-mill.
Some redemption came in the form of the selection of the composition, which was Subbaraya Sastri’s ‘Ninnuvina’, a beautiful composition not heard in the halls for some time. The rendition was traditional, with niraval and swaras at ‘Vinuta Palini.’ Hindolam was Prema’s choice for ragam-tanam-pallavi. The Pallavi comprised just three words, ‘Purandara Gurum Vande,’ which are part of a two-line sloka on Purandara Dasar. The tanam was elaborate but niraval brief, and the vocalist then took the audience through Valaji, Sivaranjini and Madhyamavati.
Padma Shankar on the violin, Mannarkoil J. Balaji on the mridangam and Madipakkam Murali on the ghatam accompanied Prema Rangarajan.
On the whole, the concert provided a good time, but there was nothing special for someone, who chose this concert over many others.