The concert by Suchitra Holla organized by Sadhguru Sangeetha Sabha at Padmasree Kalyana Mandapam in Kozhikode was characterised by an impeccable combination of sahithya bhava and sangeetha bhava.
Suchitra, who is blessed with a rich and melodious voice, is a disciple of Vidushi Neela Ramgopal. She is a well known carnatic vocalist from coastal Karnataka region and a graded artist of Akashvani.
Even though rain is a beautiful metaphor for music, the heavy downpour on Saturday evening played spoilsport which resulted in delay in the start of the concert.
Suchitra began the concert with Jayachamaraja Wodeyar's krithi 'Sri Jalandharamashrayamyaham ' in Raga Gambhira Nattai.The krithi was sung melodiously and the kalpana swaras were peppered with stimulating variations. Kodampally Gopakumar’s retorts on the violin were classy. Suchitra then sang Purandaradasa's Ramarama in Raga Vasantha with Kalpana swaras.
Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer’s Pahimam Sri Raja Rajeswari in raga Janaranjani set the mood of the concert. Janaranjani is a difficult raga to sing as a little carelessness will result in giving the flavour of Raga Purnachandrika. But Suchitra was meticulous in sticking to the nishada in the arohanam and audava structure in the avarohanam to bring out the raga bhava in full measure. The beautiful chittaswarams in the krithi were rendered with finesse. Gopakumar’s responses during the manodharma swaras were elegant.
Saint Thyagaraja’s Upacharamu Jesevaru in raga Bhairavi was rendered as the sub–main piece of the evening . Suchitra gave due respect to the weighty raga in her alapana. The neraval and kalpana swaras brought out the raga bhava in full measure.
Bantureeti Kolu in Raga Hamsanadam was rendered fast. The piece- de- resistance of the concert came in the form of a Ragam-Taanam-Pallavi presented in Vakulabharanam set to Aadi taala(purvanga-khandanade-uttaranga-chaturasra nade). Suchitra’s alapana of the raga and thaanam was melodious. The pallavi Sankara Kripakara and the Kalpana swaras took listeners to an ethereal realm. The artiste's mastery over layam was apparent throughout. Suchitra did not leave any room for even a small confusion to the fellow artistes while singing in this complicated thalam. Gopakumar’s delineation of the raga was smooth sans gimmicks.
Vyasarayar’s Kunidado Ranga in Karnaranjini and Purandaradasa’s Neene Doddavanu were the tukkadas sung in the post-main section. Suchitra ended the concert with the traditional mangalam. Veteran VR Narayanaprakash and Aluva R Rajesh gave soulful accompaniment on the mridangam and ghatom respectively.
The thaniyavarthanam by the duo was noted for the intricate rhythmic patterns.
Narayana Prakash’s take on the second line of the pallavi in Pahimam Sree Rajarajeshwari was exquisite. His accompaniment along with Aluva Rajesh aided in keeping the concert buoyant.