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Chitraveena Ravikiran strikes a positive chord
Chitraveena N. Ravikiran gave an energetic concert for Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha on December 23, 2008. The audience comprised quite a number of young rasikas. Ravikiran began the evening concert with an alap in Kamboji. It was a good start. And, Ravikiran straight away cast a magical net around the listeners. He took 'Sarisijanabha', a varnam in Kanda Jati Ata talam composed by Tanjore quartet brothers. The artiste was able to strike an instant rapport with the audience by presenting the varnam in his inimitable style. He had a complete measure of the instrument.

Ravikiran was accompanied by Neyveli Radhakrishnan on the double violin. The indefatigable Haridwaramangalam A.K. Palanivel played tavil and Giridhar Udupa the ghatam. It was a good combination. The music that came out of this combination was outstanding. Ravikiran took a composition of Dikshitar "Vigna Vinayaka" in Vegavahini (Rupakam), which is equivalent to Chakravaham mela. He embellished this kriti with brisk swaras and gave it a richer listening experience.

Ravikiran put even the not-so-discerning among the audience to ease by announcing the name of the kriti and its ragam after presenting each song. Poorvikalyani alapana was remarkable, as Ravikiran displayed his musical prowess as well his command over the instrument. The double violin of Radhakrishnan elicited curious queries from the audience. And, a few sangatis he had played with it drew appreciation from the audience. Well, the double violin has two necks with strings on either side. It has bass and high pitches. Ravikiran played "Deva Deva Jagadeeshwara" of Swati Tirunal, inviting appreciative nods.

Ravikiran then took up a popular number of his favourite composer Uthukadu Venkatakavi - "Enna Punniyam" in Ritigaula (Misra Chapu). This composition is a guru vandanam with rich Tamil lyrics. As his wont, Ravikiran went into a singing mode simultaneously even as he played the instrument. It brought out the vocalist in Ravikiran. By doing this, he also sort of demonstrated the vocalization of the instrument. The multi-faceted personality of Ravikiran the artiste was in full view. As the concert was gaining momentum, senior vocalist T.N. Seshagopalan trooped in to occupy a seat in the front row. Ravikiran looked extremely pleased at the vidwan's entry into the concert hall. This showed up as Ravikiran glided into the creative music part. He played raga Suddha Saveri (RTP) for a while. He brought out the various hues of the raga nicely. Ravikiran took the pallavi line "Samanama Sabapathy Sadasiva Trilokame Unakku Sari Samama" set to Kanda jati triputa talam in chatusra gati. He made it attractive by singing the pallavi along even as his fingers did a deft job on chitraveena. With his clear diction, he vocalized the chitraveena. This went a long way to add lustre to the concert. He shifted to ragas such as Hamirkalyani, Gaula and Varali briefly. It was really a brilliant exercise. RTP was followed by a tani avarthanam session by Palanivel and Giridhar Udupa. Palanivel displayed his prowess with some great works and the young Giridhar Udupa played skillfully to measure up to the maestro. Ravikiran played one of the famous compositions of Swati Tirunal "Deva Deva Kalayamithe" (Mayamalavagaula) and ended the evening concert with a Suruti piece.