|A convincing Bilahari by Krithika Natarajan|
It was Edward Bulwer Lytton who stated that ‘Music as soon as admitted to the soul, turns into a type of spirit, and by no means dies.’ Our music, particularly, is for the soul. So, it’s at all times a pleasure to hearken to a classical live performance. More so when the performing artiste is younger and imaginative.
Krithika Natarajan’s live performance for Kedaram was throughly fulfilling. The spotlight of her live performance was Tyagaraja’s ‘Na jeevadhara’ in Bilahari. It is believed that the saint-composer introduced an individual again to life by singing this music. Krithika introduced out the essence of the kriti in each sangathi of the pallavi. Of course, our vidwans have already demonstrated the spectrum of sangathis that the pallavi might be embellished with. She included a splendid chittaswaram to this already elegant kriti. The detailed kalpanaswaras had been on the pallavi. As a prelude to this composition, she provided an intensive alapana.
On the violin, M. Rajeev complemented the vocalist by aptly bringing out each nuance of the sangathis. His Bilahari alapana particularly stood out. Vijay Natesan (mridangam) and Sunil Kumar (Kanjira) provided a delightful thani as a continuation of the music. Both of them enriched the live performance all through.
Krithika had her coaching beneath Lalgudi Jayaraman, Manjula Sriram and Ranjani-Gayatri. She commenced this recital with a Khamas Dharu varnam, ‘Mathey malayadhwaja pandya sanjathey’ by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar. She adopted it up with N.S. Ramachandran’s ‘Sri mahaganapathe’ in Abhogi (Jhampa tala). The kalpanaswaras had been on the madhyama kala phase, ‘Hema mani vibhushana’.
After a short sketch of Sahana, Krithika rendered one in all Dikshitar’s Abhayamba Vibhakti kritis, ‘Abhayambayam, bhaktim karomi’. This is in reward of Abhayambha of Mayiladuthurai. A Panthuvarali alapana adopted this kriti, as a prelude to Papanasam Sivan’s in style ‘Ninnarul iyambalaaguma’ (Roopakam). Niraval and kalpanaswaras had been on the regular ‘Innal lootti inbamootti’. Tyagaraja’s Jayanthasri Kriti, ‘Marugelara O raghava’ was a neat rendering.
Krithika subsequent took up Ambujam Krishna’s Kanada music ‘Enna solli azhaithal varuvayo’, after a viruththam. Narayana Theertha’s ‘Nanda nandana gopala’ was pleasing. How might one not be reminded of Bombay Sisters’ rendering of this piece! Krithika Natarajan wound up her live performance with a Lalgudi thillana in Sindhu Bhairavi.