Pleasing pentatonic scale

Amrutha Venkatesh started her concert at Ragapriya’s 49th anniversary celebrations on Monday with an Adi tala varnam in Hamir Kalyani ‘Senthil Vazh Murugaiya’ by T. S. R. Subramaniyam. She then meditated on Lord Maha Ganapathy by singing ‘Mahaganapathim’by Muthuswami Dikshithar in Nattai.

Her next selection was Ambujam Krishna’s composition in Shriranjani for the song ‘Karunai Puriya,’ which was sung the way the composer would have liked it to be.

The next song was on the presiding deity of Madurai, Meenakshi, ‘Mamava Meenakshi’ in Varali by Dikshidar.

The team then went on to tackle in quick succession Patnam Subramaniam Iyer’s ‘Raghuvamsa Sudha’ in Kathanakuthoohalam in praise of Lord Rama.

Mohanam, very popular in East Asian and South-East Asian music, was the singer’s main raga, in which she sang ‘Kapali Karunai Nilavu’ by Papanasam Sivan in a very pleasing and enchanting pentatonic scale.

The RTP for the pallavi ‘Sarva Ragapriye’ (dedicated to the sabha) on Goddess Meenakshi saw improvisation by both the singer and the violinist, to a great extent.

It demonstrated her talent and depth of knowledge. She sang the ragas Shanmugapriya, Baguthari and Sindhu Bhairavi during the course of the RTP.

Her final pieces were a vritam in Kandar Alangaram ‘Naal En Seiyum,’ ‘Senthil Valar Sevalane’ by Papanasam Sivan, ‘Eppovaruvaro’ in Jonpuri by Gopalakrishna Bharathiar, ‘Shyamale Meenakshi’ (a Western note by Dikshidar) and finally a thillana by Balamurali Krishna in Kunthavarali.

The singer showcased her emotions, melody, depth, bhava and involvement during the concert as she traversed from one song to another. She also began her songs by announcing the raga and the composer. Violinist L. Ramakrishnan and Arjun Ganesh on the mrudangam supported her well.

S. Padmanabhan

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