Kanyakumari, Embar Kannan and Vittal Rangan create an orchestral ambience with their violins


Kanyakumari, Embar Kannan and Vittal Rangan performing at the December Music Festival, 2022, at the Music Academy in Chennai
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A. Kanyakumari’s concert with her ace disciples Embar S Kannan and R. Vittal Rangan had several high points. The three violins were in three different levels of sruti — Kanyakumari in the middle level, Kannan played in the upper sruti and Vittal Rangan in the base — blended seamlessly to provide listeners a great experience. The perfect coordination and understanding among the performers were evident throughout the concert.

The opening song, Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Ganapathiye’ in Karaharapriya was segued to a rain of kalpanaswaras by the trio. Tyagaraja’s kriti ‘Evarito’ in Manavati was embellished with a few swara strands.

The first special feature was the ‘Mallari’ that Kanyakumari composed in Gambhira Nattai set to Khandajathi Triputa tala. This piece is normally popular in the nagaswaram. The next, Muthuswami Dikshitar’s magnum opus, the Chaturdasa Ragamalika ‘Sri viswanatham bhajeham’, moved at a leisurely pace, highlighting seamless change-overs. ‘Nenarunchara’ by Tyagaraja in raga Simhavahini brought in change in the mood with its vibrancy.

Raga Dwijavanti was dealt with in great detail in Dikshitar’s ‘Cheta sri balakrishnam’. The swara section saw all three artistes lend their own distinct touches.

‘Raghunatha nannu’ in Swara Ranjani by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar was a prelude to the slow navigation of Keeravani. At one point, the Keervani raga essay smoothly switched over to Brindavanasaranga, indicating that the RTP was structured in dual ragas. The tanam was another speciality of the concert. The pallavi ‘Lakshmi srilakshmi sri mahalakshmi’ was set in Khanda Jathi Jhampa tala. An extensive swaraprasthara followed the pallavi.

The tani avartanam by Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam and Udupi S Sridhar on ghatam was marked by high energy.

The concert concluded with a thillana in Sindhu Bhairavi composed by Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari’s ability to train her disciples with perfection was evident in this concert. The three violins created an orchestral ambience. Kannan and Vittal Rangan enjoyed their parts, and this showed in their individual segments too

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