Shruthi S. Bhat’s concert was both aesthetically and technically impressive
Shruthi S. Bhat’s concert for Naada Inbam stood out for its poise and finesse. There was nothing frenetic about her music. Perhaps it’s because she has trained under veteran Chingleput Ranganathan and senior vocalist S. Sowmya.
The Kamboji raga had dignity and emotive character, in line with the kriti, Tyagaraja’s ‘Marimari ninne’, one that’s rarely heard these days. It used to be one of the masterpieces of the Alathur Brothers. Shruthi took up the charanam line, ‘Karunato Dhruvanikedhu’ for niraval and swaraprastara. On the violin, M. Vijay was at his best in the alapana. He stood up well to every challenge posed by the singer. The concluding korvais of both were impressive, both technically and aesthetically.
B. Ganapathiraman (mridangam) offered a lively thani, displaying through the concert a smooth and enjoyable artistry, with many hints of his laya refinement.
Shruthi began with the Sahana varnam, ‘Karunimpa’, by Tiruvottriyur Tyagaiyer, with swaraprastara at the pallavi. She followed it up with Patnam Subramania Iyer’s Sourashtram piece, ‘Ninnujuchi dhanyudaiti’. Her elucidation of Ritigowla was graceful, with Tyagaraja’s ‘Ragaratna malikache’ as the composition. The niraval was at ‘Bhagavathoththamalu koodi’.
Shruthi then took up the prolific Mysore Vasudevachar’s popular Sunadavinodini piece, ‘Devadi deva sri vasudeva’, rich in bhakti bhava, and followed it up with Neelakanta Sivan’s ‘Enraikku sivakrupai’.
The singer’s rendering of Gopaladasa’s ‘Ena bedali ninna balige bandu’ in Revathi brought out the spirit of the song. ‘What more can I ask for when you have blessed me with sowbhagya,’ says the composer. It was preceded by two Purandaradasa Ugabhogas, in Hindolam and Revathi. Shruthi concluded with a Meera bhajan, ‘Koyi kahiyore prabhu aavan ki’ in a poignant Mia Malhar.
The concert is available on Parivadini’s YouTube Channel.
The Chennai-based reviewer specialises in Carnatic music.