Rarely have I come across Carnatic performers whoexplain the music that they are singing. R.K.Padmanabha’s concert yesterday at Jayarama Seva Mandali, Jayanagar was one such instance where the veteran engaged the audience even as he gave a short brief regarding the song or raga that was to follow. He touched upon the significance of lyrics in Tyagaraja’s magnum opus “Entharo mahanubhavulu” in Shri Ragam or bhava (feelings) evoked by ragas such as Kaanada or Kambodhi. While Kaanada creates a sombre mood, Kambodhi generates a feeling of veera (courage) rasa. He had a good rapport with the audience and engaged them throughout the performance.
Beginning with the varnam in Hamsadhvani Jalajakshi sung in all three speeds, he moved on to a sprightly Vasantha piece by Purandaradasar Kodubega divya mathi. The evergreen Tyagaraja favourite Oru joopu raa in raga Kannada Gowla (sung in a slower tempo than the norm with emphasis on sahitya) followed by Entharo mahanubhavulu set the pace for the concert. An unusual alapana in Kaanada in a taanam format that portrayed the raga beautifully for Purandaradasa kriti “Dhaasanthe” was followed by Vadiraja’s composition in Hamsadhvani. Vadirajaswamy is RKPadmanabha’s revered deity. The main item of the concert was Subramanya Namaste. The sancharas in Raga Kambodhi were vivid, dynamic and sung with a lot of feeling.
The accompanists were CNChandrashekhar (violin), C.Cheluvaraju (mridangam).