2012 Madras Music Season — Aswath Narayanan Music Concert Review


The review is limited to 400 words. [ Enthusiasm with the stamp of classicism — The Hindu version (Dec 19, 2012) ]

Carnatic music shall prevail. That is the feeling I left the vocal concert of Aswath Narayanan at Naadha Inbaam, ably accompanied by Nandhini on the violin and Sumesh Narayanan on the mridangam.

Aswath started with a short sketch of kEdAram and eased into the varnam thyagaraja gurum AshrayE composed by M. D. Ramanathan. In the next thathvameruga tharamA (rIthigowlai) of Sivan, violin exchanged fast swaras with vocal, ending in the familiar ‘ma, ni, ni, dha…’ refrain made popular by Madurai Mani.

Purvikalyani alapani followed. The song was dEva dEva jagadhIswara by Swathi Thirunal, rendered with a neraval section with good ideas. The subsequent brisk swara patterns were ably repeated on the violin by Nandhini whose bowing was pleasant throughout.

After vaiyaththu vaazhveergal (Andal pasuram) in gowlai, for which Aswath maintained Adhi talam in 2 kalai (one also hears this song in misra cApu), a competent alapanai in bowli was delivered. Briefly it sounded like purvikalyani, perhaps because three successive ragams including bowli had similar swarams. The song was karunAnidhiye thAyE (Sivan).

The main ragam for the concert was bEgada which was elaborated in a structured manner. Occasional flourishes during later stages with a flatter sounding ‘ma’ sliced a layer off the classicism that was otherwise stamped. The krithi nAdhopAsana by Tyagaraja was delivered in all its glory.

The tani with Sumesh bristling in fast passages was brilliant. Despite a flamboyant style, during his supportive role in the rest of the concert, young Sumesh was never intrusive, a hard to acquire, admirable trait.

The post-tani session contained senthamizh nadenum (Bharathiyar), a virutham (sOnaiyum kAthu) followed by rAmanai tharuvAi both set in sindhubhairavi and composed by Arunachalakavi. The penultimate was a Kabir bhajan (bhajO rE bhaiyA) set in sumanEsaranjani (prathimadhyama ragam of sudhadhanyAsi). The concert ended with oruthi maganai piranthu (behAg).

Aswath has good diction in all the languages in the vilamba kAlam. Fast delivery occasionally marred the lyrics, as it happened during the fast charanam of karunAnidhiye and a similar spot could be observed in his fast swara singing. These could even be ephemeral blemishes on that day, but perhaps not to be glossed over in the longer run.

Overall, the artists as a team, enjoyed themselves on stage; an enthusiasm that subsumed the audience. They left the concert with the belief that nothing ails Carnatic music that timely encouragement cannot cure.

The review is limited to 400 words. [ Enthusiasm with the stamp of classicism — The Hindu version (Dec 19, 2012) ]