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A refreshing recital by Sudha Ragunathan
Sangitha Kalanidhi Sudha Ragunathan was at her expressive best as she gave a concert for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha on the evening of December 27, 2017. She bore a close resemblance to her guru MLV. Her interpretation of the sahityas and raga alapana were remarkable. Kamboji glittered with a new glow as she traversed the octaves in a controlled voice. Sudha gives a number of performances during the Margazhi season in Chennai. She never disappoints her rasikas once she is on stage. Her tutelage under the legendary MLV and her hard work over the years had earned her many accolades. She also makes it a point to render the kritis made famous by M.S.Subbulakshmi in her concerts. On this evening, she started the concert with a varnam in raga Nalinakanti `Nive gati ena’ of Lalgudi Jayaraman and `Jaya Jaya Janaki Kanta’ (Natta) of Purandara Dasa. This particular kriti was made popular by M.L.Vasanthakumari. There was grace in rendering a compostion of G.N.Balasubramaniam in Shiva Shakti raga “Sri Chakra Raja Nilaye”. Yatiyochanalu (Kirnavali) of Thyagaraja bore the Sudha trade mark. It was a good selection. And, the rendition was vibrant. Sudha’s RTPs (ragam, tanam and pallavi) are unique. Mostly, the pallavi is chosen from the famous composer’s kriti. Sudha this time chose a pallavi in raga Purvikalyani as “Parthasarathy Jagannatha Hari Govardana Giridhari Parivodu Emmai Kakka Arulpuri” (set to Sankrina jati triputa talam in chatusra gati).The alapana was absorbing, as she gave the rakthi raga a luxurious treatment. Sudha was splendid while she sang the swaras in various ragas such as Brindavana Saranga, Ranjani and Sindhubhairavi and reversed back. Kamboji kriti “O Rangasayee” of Thyagaraja and `Om Namo Narayana’ (Karnaranjani) are always listeners’ delight. `Amrutha Huni Goad(Bimplas)’, `Tirada Vilayattu Pillai’ of Bharathiyar and `Parthasarathy Thiruvallikeniyil Naan Parthasarathy’(Sumanesha Ranjani)were melodious. Embar Kannan on the violin played an accommodative part, and gave the concert an elevation. Raman on Morsing was at his usual best. Mridangist Neyveli Skandasubramaniam played with enthusiasm and vigour.

You may or may not be her fan. But you can't ignore this artiste. The experience of Sudha Ragunathan was on full view at Sri Parthasarathy Sabha as she held the audience on a complete hold for three hours. The range of her repository, unwavering commitment, and a keen sense of involvement had all combined to make her evening concert a refreshingly educative experience for the audience. And, Sudha Ragunathan never compromises on the religion of her music which is traditional. Kudos to this principle disciple of M.L. Vasanthakumari

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