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Thread: Sudha Ragunathan Concerts

  1. #1
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber R.Latha's Avatar
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    Sudha Ragunathan Concerts

    Spiritual offering


    Sudha Raghunath’s recital evoked a devout and serene ambience.

    Pristine singing: Sudha Raghunath.

    Sudha Raghunath’s vocal concert at Vadakkanthara Thirupuraikkal Bhagavathi Temple was more of a devout musical offering than a full-fledged classical concert. The concert was held in connection with the Valiyavilakkuvela.

    Endowed with a soothing and mellifluous voice, Sudha, a senior practitioner of the G.N.B-M.L.V. bani, has carved a niche for herself with her unique style of rendering with accent on purity and perfection. She was accompanied by Pakkala Ramadas on the violin, Palladam Ravi on the mridangam and Raman on the morsing.

    A lively ‘Mathe Malayadhwajapandhya samjathe,’ a Sanskrit Daruvarnam of Muthiah Bhagavathar, set to Adi tala, was sung in two speeds and ornamented with fast-paced jathis. It was preceded by a sloka on Lord Ganesha, ‘Gajananam’ in Hamsadhwani, which was soaked in devotion.
    Lilting chittaswara

    ‘Pahi pahi Balaganapathe,’ a composition of Chidambara Bharathi, set to Roopaka tala, was enriched with lilting chittaswara and brilliant manodharmaswara, mostly revolving around the upper octaves.

    A majestic composition of Dikshitar ‘Renukadevi samrakshithoham,’ a hymn on the mother of Parasurama in raga Kannadabangala, set to Khandhachappu tala, was adorned with swarakalpana. ‘Ka vava,’ Papanasam Sivan’s composition on Lord Muruga in Varali, was followed by a picturesque portrayal of the raga Saramathi for Tygaraja’s ‘Mokshamu galada.’ ‘Annapoorne Visalakshee,’ a Dikshitar composition in Sama, was sung with a great deal of emphasis on the diction of the lyrics. A brisk Tyagaraja kriti, ‘Bandureethi kolu’ in Hamsanadam, which came next, was appended with enlivening niraval and manodharmaswara.

    Mohanam, the main raga chosen for detailed elaboration, was unfurled smoothly, with perfect sruthi alignment. However, there were a few hitches in the lower octaves. The succeeding composition was ‘Jagadeeswary, krupai puri,’ set to Adi tala. Sudha’s rendition captured the mood and spirit of the Thiruvaroor Ramaswami Pillai composition and it was embellished with creative swarakalpana, woven into Jhandha and Dhattu prayogas. The thaniavarthanam of Palladam Ravi and Raman saw arithmetical phrases.

    Sudha’s masterpiece ‘Kurayondrumillai,’ a song immortalised by the legendary M.S., was, however, not up to her usual standard. She made up for it with a bhava-laden presentation of Purandaradasa’s ‘Innudayabarade’ in Kalyanavasantham.’ She also sang ‘Brahmamokate’ in Bouli and ‘Kandanal muthalai’ in Madhuvanthi. Sudha wound up the concert with ‘Santhi nilava vendum’ in Thilang, creating a serene atmosphere.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber R.Latha's Avatar
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    Spotlight on sahitya

    Sudha Ragunathan’s voice has gained a silken sheen over the years and is at its best in this recording.

    Soulful rendition
    Of late, DVDs seem to be steadily replacing audio CDs, as the listeners are able to enjoy the music of their favourite artists more by watching them in action.

    The recently released DVD by Amutham Music P Ltd has Sudha Ragunathan rendering compositions of various composers. The vocalist has given prominence to the compositions by restricting raga alapana, niraval and kalpanaswaras to only a couple of songs. Sudha’s voice has gained a silken sheen over the years and is at its best in this recording.

    The Khamas daru varnam ‘Maathe’ of Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar provides a bright start to the proceedings with the noteworthy mridangam accompaniment of Patri Satish Kumar.

    Tyagaraja’s ‘Mariyadagadayya’ in Bhairavam is vocalised by the singer in a sedate fashion, reminding the listener of the soulful rendering of this composition by Sudha’s guru, M. L.Vasanthakumari.

    Full justice is done to the rendering of this song, without burdening it with unnecessary solfa passages.
    An element of drama

    A breezy sloka in Hindolam paves the way for Mysore Vasudevacharya’s beautiful composition ‘Mamavathu Sri Saraswathi.’

    The vocalist adds an element of drama by commencing the kriti from ‘Saraswathi’. The swaras are also sung at ‘Saraswathi’ with tidy replies by the violinist Embar Kannan.

    Rishabapriya is the raga chosen by Sudha for an alapana in this recording. The chaya of the raga gets established clearly with the opening phrase employing the notes ‘NDNDPMGRG’. The essay is of the right proportion with the jarus, janta prayogas, lingering karvais and electrifying brigas contributing to a wholesome effect.

    The vinyasa with perfect swara sthana sudham accounts for the maximum listening pleasure in this album. Kotiswara Iyer’s ‘Gananayadesika’ is rendered with azhutham and the patanthara is a weighty version.

    A brief niraval at ‘Sapthaswara’ is followed by kalpanaswaras and a kuraippu with an attractive korvai, all of which bear testimony to Sudha’s involved approach. The short percussion interlude by Patri Satish Kumar and R. Raman (morsing) is restricted to a mohra and a korvai which are delightful.

    The vocalist has offered seven songs which constitute the tukkada section.

    ‘Ragi Thandiro’ (Ahir Bhairav-Purandaradasa), ‘Vishamakarakannan’ (Chenchuruti-Oothukadu Venkatasubba Iyer), ‘Nandanandana’ (Suddhasarang-Meera), ‘Aarupadai Veedamarnda’ (Ragamalika-Vishvanathan), ‘Chidambaranai’ (Sindhubhairavi-G.S.Mani), ‘Bhavayami’ (Yamunakalyani - Annamacharya) and a thillana in Brindavani composed by M. Balamuralikrishna account for the tukkadas. A sloka and a virutham precede the songs in Yamunakalyani and Sindhubhairavi. The Meera bhajan, however, falls a bit short of expectations.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Veteran Hubber R.Latha's Avatar
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    Navarathiri Special Sudha

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