My first concert of 2020 is indeed a special one, by a special artiste, in a venue that always has a special place in my heart! Abhishek Raghuram delivered a feast for Yamini 2020 at IIM Bangalore, with HM Smitha on Violin, K U Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam. This Yamini is a different one for me, for I am used to coordinating and running all around in the previous few years and but this time I was able to listen to and enjoy the music that flew with no bounds!
- Swara Raga Sudha – Sankarabharanam
- Emi JesitheNemi – Todi
- Sarasa Sama Dana – KapiNarayani
- Balagopala – Bhairavi
- Thillana – MohanaKalyani
Magical Sankarabharanam phrases flew from Abhishek’s voice as he was doing sound check and it was no surprise that he took that ragam as his first piece of his concert and Yamini 2020! The grandeur of the ragam was brought out in a very few phrases in the brief aalapana. Thyagaraja’s masterpiece Swara Raga Sudha was sung in a sublime way. The Kalpana Swaras in both speeds were brilliant and Smitha had returned very well.
Very different and fresh shades of yet another grand ragam, Todi, were brought out by Abhishek, in a detailed aalapana. He was immersed in the ragam and he also made sure the packed Open Air Theatre of IIM Bangalore was too completely! Abhishek suddenly transitioned to a krithi while singing the aalapana and that was a pleasant surprise for all. The krithi, yet another Thyagaraja’s composition was very rendered soulfully. Swaras in both speeds were sung at Kantiki Menu and Smitha yet again showed her brilliance in responding to Abhishek’s swara patterns. Jayachandra and Udupa played subtly to enhance the beauty of the composition!
When Abhishek is in full flow, nothing stops him. He took up yet another ragam for a detailed expansion in KapiNarayani. An outstanding aalapana by him was summed up eloquently by a short and sweet return by Smitha. The famous Sarasa sama dana bheda danda chatura was rendered beautifully with an enticing Niraval followed by excellent round of Kalpana Swaras. Tani Avarthanam by Jayachandra and Udupa drew great applause from audience.
Abhishek was not done yet. There is a reason why I called this concert a feast!! He sang yet another detailed expansion of ragam Bhairavi bringing out the beauty of it with chaste phrases. Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s masterpiece, Balagopala became the pièce de résistance of this concert!
The concert ended with a Thillana of his maternal granduncle, Maestro Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman, in raga MohanaKalyani.