Strict adherence to classicism
The concert by Vechoor Sankar organized by Sathguru Sangeetha Sabha at Padmasree Kalyana Mandapam in Kozhikode was noted for its melodic content and adherence to tradition.
Beginning the concert with the Pallavi Gopala Iyer’s varnam Entho Prema in Raga Surutti and set to Aadi tala, Sankar proceeded to render Muthuswamy Deekshithar’s Gananayakam Bhajeham Bhaje in Raga Rudrapriya. Maharaja Swathi Thirunal’s Gopalaka Pahimam in Revagupthi raga was rendered next. Gokul VS’ retorts during the imaginative Kalpanaswaras were brilliant. Sankar's rendering of Mysore Vaasudevacharya’s Bhajare Manasa in Raga Abheri was eloquent and steeped in raga bhava. Gokul’s delineation of the raga showcased his jnana. Tanjavur Shankara Iyer’s Mahadeva Siva Sambho in raga Revathi followed suit.
Papanasam Sivan’s Paratpara Parameshwara in Raga Vachaspathi was rendered as the sub-main piece of the evening,. Sankar’s delineation of raga was delightful.
Muthuswami Dikshitar’s Kanchadalayadakshi Kamakshi in raga Kamalamanohari was the next number.
The main, or the crème de la crème of the evening, was Thyagaraja’s Rama Katha Sudha in Raga Madhyamavathi. In the Krithi, Thyagaraja says that drinking the nectar like essence of Lord Rama’s story is equal to ruling a kingdom.
Sankar brought out the raga bhava in full measure in his delineation. Adherence to tradition along with bhava rich improvisation marked the rendering of the krithi. The neraval and kalpanaswaras were rendered with poise.
Swathi Thirunal’s 'Kanthanodu chennu melle' in Raga Neelambari was rendered with elan.
Sankar concluded the concert with an ashtakam. N Hari on the mridangam was in his elements throughout the concert. The remarkable Thaniyavarthanam by Hari and Kovai Suresh on the ghatam made the concert all the more memorable.
One of the unique aspects of the concert was that both the rasikas and the artists were able to appreciate and enjoy the aesthetics involved simultaneously, thus creating a blissful and ethereal atmosphere. VS Gokul’s tremendous knowledge, at so young an age, was also evident in the concert.