He is 86 years of age and you wonder whether he will be able to perform when you look at his frail frame seated on a chair-like structure. When he starts singing, you wonder if the strong voice is actually coming from this old man. He is none other than veteran Carnatic music vidwan “Sangeetha Kalanidhi” Dr. R.K. Srikantan who presented part 1 of his concert series on “rare ragas and compositions” at the R.V. Dental College Auditorium in J.P.Nagar, Bangalore yesterday. He was accompanied by Sri H.K.Venkatram on the violin, Sri Mannargudi A. Easwaran on the mridangam and Sri Dayananda Mohite on the ghatam. Vocal support was provided by Sri Manasa Nayana. The concert was organized by Advaita.
The highlights of Sri R.K.Srikantan’s performance were beautiful sangathis, shruti suddham and clear pronunciation of words that comprise a song, all this with a loud, clear and strong voice. Veteran mridangam vidwan from Chennai, Sri Mannargudi Easwaran provided very good percussive accompaniment. It was nice to see him encourage and enjoy the korvais played by Sri Dayananda Mohite on the ghatam during the taniavartanam.
One observation however regarding the choice of kritis is that except for a couple of them (say the AndhAli and the danyAsi one and you can count in the nAttai varnam also), almost all the other kritis are sung in thyAgaraja aradhanas regularly, if not in regular concerts. I am not sure if they can be termed rare as such.
The concert details/list of songs are as follows:
Vocal: Dr R.K.Srikantan
Vocal Support: Sri Manasa Nayana
Violin: Sri H.K.Venkatram
Mridangam: Sri Mannargudi Easwaran
Ghatam: Sri Dayanand Mohite
Tanpura: Sri Jagannath
List of Songs:
1) sarasijanAbha (varnam) – nAttai – Adi – pAlghAt paramEswara bhAgavathar
2) idi samayamurA – chAyAranjani – Adi – thyAgarAja
3) vinavE O manasA – vivardhani – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
4) manasA srI – IsamanOhari – Adi – thyAgarAja
5) tappaganE – sudha bangalA – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
6) kalalanErchinA – dIpakam – Adi – thyAgarAja
7) endundI bedalitivO – darbAr – misra chApu – thyAgarAja
8) brihannAyaki – AndhAli – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
9) vidulaku – mAyAmAlavagOwla – Adi – thyAgarAja
10) raghupatE rAma – sahAnA – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
11) syAma sundarAnga – danyAsi – rUpakam – thyAgarAja
12) tanayuni brOva – bhAiravi – Adi – thyAgarAja
13) nAma kusuma – srI – Adi – thyAgarAja
14) mangalam kOsalendrAya (mangala slOkam) – srI
pavamAna (mangalam) – sowrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja
Part 2 and Part 3 of this concert are scheduled for 13th Oct 2006 and 18th Feb 2007 respectively.