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Abhishek Raghuraman weaves a spell in Bangalore concert
BANGALORE, September 15: Watch out for young Abhishek Raghuraman! That he has enviable pedigree is well known. What is not is that he has evolved into a fine musician. This was revealed in the exhilarating performance he gave at the spacious new hall of the Sri Ganapati Satchidananada Swami Temple at Girinagar (phase two) in Bangalore on Saturday evening (September 13).

Amazingly, he produces deep-toned, brigha-laden expressions from a slightly-built frame. His rich voice is flexible and traverses the octaves with great ease. More significantly, he has a natural ability to blend sheer erudition with palpable exuberance. Brighas emerge as bright chiseled jewels, not overbearing.

The Bhairavi ata tala varnam Viriboni set the tone for the evening's wholesome music. Each phrase was laden with bhava. He also wove sangatis with a lot of charm and enthusiasm. The swaraprasthara for the Hamsadwani kriti 'Jaya Jaya Ganapati Mangala Kari' was resplendent with creativity. The song had great sweetness evidently to please Lord Ganesha and the listeners. Thyagaraja's Pancharatna kriti 'Sadinchine' in Arabi raga was absorbing and impressive in full flow.

Abhishek revealed a new facet to his music with the dignity and poise that he brought while singing the raga Hindolam. There was a meditative quality that made one relish the raga but seemed to lose the haunting effect in the upper octave sancharas. Overall though the effort and Purandaradas kriti 'Yake Bandana' was quite pleasing.

Then he sprang a surprise. His delineation of the raga Dwijavanti was very imaginative and pleasing. It had both richness of theme and nice expressions. He chose Swamiji's bhajan 'Ganga Sankari palayamam' which he had himself tuned in the raga but one felt he sang it hurriedly.

He then dwelled upon raga Revathi creating melodic phrases and bringing much happiness to the rasikas. The Annamacharya's 'Aladi Vega' was rendered with a nice feel, highlighting the poignant mood of the composition. A brief ragamalika bhajan touching Yamuna Kalyani and Sindhu Bhairavi came as a fitting concluding effort to a good concert.

L. Ramakrishnan on the violin lent able support. He has a free flowing style and excellent technique and his tonal quality is admirable. I only wish that when he plays a raga like Hindolam he shows some more poise and takes time to develop the theme. T. Ravishankar on the mridangam and K. Chandramouli on the kanjira gave an excellent account in percussion accompaniment with their brisk 'thani' providing a lot of happiness to the listeners.