Delightful Veena Concert by Saraswathi Rajagopalan

Concert Review Author: Mrs. Lakshmi

Saraswati Rajagopalan was the star Cultural Ambassador of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)’s recent tour to the Fiji Islands and other spots. There too she cast her magic musical web of charming the mixed audience and getting the applause even in the front pages in the local dailies.

In its continuing efforts to build bridges of peace through cultural diplomacy, the ICCR presented an evening of contemporary music by two renowned Pakistani artists, Shafgat Amanat Ali Khan and Shehzad Roy a little while back at the Kamani Auditorium here.

ICCR also hosted “The Spirit of Tanjore”, a festival of dance and music at the Kamani Auditorium here from October 10 to October 12. The festival included a veena recital by Saraswati Rajagopalan, a devotional dance by Vanaja Uday and Thappattam by the famous Madurai drummers.

The Veena Concert by Saraswathi Rahagopalan was a remarkable performance and
stole the festival show. The image of Carnatic music’s beauty, triumphant in
alapana, kirtana rendering and swaras, was brought before the listeners by the
lady Saraswati Rajagopalan.

She started off with a crisp and atmosphere setting Vatapiganapatim bhajeham
in raga Hamsadhwani set to Adi- Tal a composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar Then a
rare raga Chandrajyoti carried the very touching composition of Thyagaraja –
Bagayaneyya also in Adi Tal.

The more popular piece Sabapatiku veru deivam samanam agumuma- rag Abhogi in
Rupakam tal, a Gopalakrishna Bharati.kriti got a detailed raga alapana of Abhogi
and kalpanaswarams.

Her delineation of the raga Abogi was masterly, comprehensive, consummate and
replete with aesthetic splendor.

Such a good rendering gives a reassuring satisfaction to the fact that Veena
is a ‘pucca’ concert-instrument (on par with even the concert vocalists).

Shri A.Prem Kumar on the mridangam and Shri E. M. Subramaniam on ghatam added
color to the concert with very able, dignified and soft touch rhythm provision,
and on the Thani avarthanam went on to do a brisk work like a firework with
their percussion skills.
The veena concert was a satisfying experience.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has a very challenging role
especially in today’s scenario. Now we live in an enlightened world – a time of
being in the Peak of Civilization – what with great organizations like the
United Nations who are overseeing Peace and Prosperity of the World? In this
astounding scenario kudos to ICCR in their continued efforts in playing their
skillful weapon of cultural diplomacy. Their task among other things is
• to promote cultural exchange with other countries and peoples
• to promote and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between
India and other countries.

This ICCR is indeed a good explorer of Fine Arts and adept in talent search.
A multifarious job of discovering talents from nooks and corners of the nation
and projecting it all over the world is quite a task. But in the process many
others would just over look or ignore local talents (& as they would refer to
this as a “Gharki Murgi dal barabar” aspect – but no so with ICCR. They spotted
the local maestro Saraswati Rajagopalan.