Dr. S. Sunder is amongst these musicians who’re robust votaries of conventional strategy to music, whereby ragas and kritis are offered with out deviating from the time-tested technique. Within the live shows of such artistes, there isn’t a aggressiveness or showmanship. The hassle is to be to the purpose and ideal.
A bouquet of pleasing kritis by varied composers and in several ragas marked Sunder’s presentation on the Navarathri sequence, hosted by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He was accompanied by his scholar J.B. Keerthana on the vocals, Narmadha on the violin, Sumesh Narayanan on the mridangam and Sai Subramanian on the morsing.
Because the live performance was themed on Navaratri, the kritis that he selected have been on Devi. The night started with Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Sri raja mathangi’, a tana varnam in raga Suddha Dhanyasi, which set the stage for the opposite Devi kritis to observe. However Sunder’s subsequent was a uncommon composition on Ganesha, ‘Maha ganapathe palayasumam’, by Dikshitar in Nata Narayani. The inclusion of this composition amidst a sequence of Devi kritis was not stunning as a result of no classical efficiency is full with out paying obeisance to Ganesha. He sang one other kriti on Shakti — Syama Sastri’s ‘Tarunam edamma’ in Gowli Pantu, earlier than shifting on to current a short treatise of the vivacious raga Nalinakanti. Sunder dealt with it with class and delivered to the fore the attribute options of the raga. And his alternative of kriti was Thanjavur Sankara Iyer’s ‘Nathajana palini nalinakanti’. Just a few rounds of swarakalpana set on the pallavi adorned the kriti.
After the lilting Nalinakanti, there was a shift within the temper, when Sunder opened his subsequent kriti on the anupallavi line ‘Bhavarogam ara veru maundedu, from the track, ‘Shivagama sundari’, set in raga Mukhari by Papanasam Sivan. The composer pleads to Shakti for her benevolence. The rendition carried ample piety. Syama Sastri’s ‘Nannu brovu lalitha’, in raga Lalitha, turned the ambiance vibrant once more. It seamlessly segued into ‘Sri mahabalagiri nivasini’ by Muthaiah Bhagavatar in a novel raga, Saranga Malhar.
The melodious raga Hemavati was chosen as the primary. The opening part was offered by Keerthana, after which Sunder took over to convey the delicate nuances and sing the soulful and sonorous phrases of the raga. Can there be a more sensible choice than Dikshitar’s ‘Sri kanthimathim’ right here? After the sluggish, regular and poignant rendition of the kriti, Sunder elaborated on the ‘Shuka shaunakadi sadaradhikam’ line with touching combos. The swarakalpana traversed by means of each sluggish and quick tempos, however with none excesses.
Narmadha together with her lengthy innings within the subject proved to be an ideal foil to Sunder’s standard strategy to ragas, swaras and kritis. She punctuated her Hemavati raga essay with robust and poignant phrases. Sumesh and Sai Subramanian have been totally conscious of the vocalist’s prerogative. Nevertheless, their tani avartanam was brisk, brilliant and vibrant.
The concluding items have been ‘Ninnai charan adainthen’ in Punnagavarali by Subramania Bharati, and ‘Palisemma muddu sharade’ in Bhimpalas by Purandaradasar.
The Chennai-based author critiques Carnatic music.