December 21, 2009
The morning slot on Dec. 21 at The Music Academy, for a generally unusual number of rasikas for a veena concert, should have been a different experience and travel into the past on a modern mode of musical journey.
Smt. Kalyani Ganesan presented a Veena recital, which made the senior rasikas reminisce about veteran vainikas of the olden days. The young students and rasikas would have thought that if a Veena recital could ever be presented with aesthetics yet with a modern approach to it.
Every musical instrument has its own pace. Smt. Kalyani Ganesan could find the right pace or the Kala pramanam for her style of traditional playing and set the entire presentation just on it.
Beginning with Sriraga Varnam, she played the Hamsadhwani kriti of Mysore Vasudevachar - Vande anisham. On Monday, it could not be any other vara kriti than Chandram bhaja manasa, in Asaveri and in Chaturasra Matya talam.
As a tribute to the maestro GNB, she took up his composition 'Parama Kripa Sagari' in Yadukulakambhoji. Every syllable explicitly poured out the raga in its true form. After a short alapana of Purvi Kalyani, she rendered Paripurna kama, of Thyagaraja in rupaka talam.
A garland got ready in the hands of the vidushi and became a Sankarabharanam that was offered to the 'Akshayalinga'. Misra chapu precisely set into the kriti.
Then came Saveri. If one looks at the list of ragas and kritis presented so far, the traditional attire the concert wore would be felt. The essence of Saveri ran through the alapana and spilled over the tanam. the pallavi Kari moralida in Adi was neat and crisp. She let the mridangam and kanjira to have their 'tani' at this point. Umayalpuram Mali (mridangam)and KVRS Mani (Kanjira) fit their part in tune with the tempo and style of the veena artiste and their tani reflected the mood set in by the main artiste.
The swaras for the pallavi followed after the 'tani' giving it a different approach.
The post tani session had bright ragas and a ragamalika, yet with compositions of stalwarts. Mamava sada janani in Kanada by Swati Tirunal, Arabhi maanam, the Ragamalika of Tarangampadi Panchantha Iyer, Manadirkugandadu in Sindhubhairavi of Tanjavur Sankara Iyer gave a colourful yet ethnic touch to the concert. When it was a tillana, it had to be of none other than Lalgudi jayaraman's Khamas.
The rich and traditional veena concert ended with her tribute to Mylapore Karpagambal - 'Karpagame' of Papanasan Sivan in Madhyamavathi.
For a set of senior people who came to Chennai from the neighbouring states for the December season, the concert was an inspiring one and they all gathered backstage to prostrate before Smt. Kalyani Ganesan!