Delightful Concert by Vidwan Poorna Pragna Rao, B.Sc.

Author: Ms Lakshmi
 What makes a concert delightful, memorable and wholesome? A good mellifluous voice, in-depth erudition, a smart rapport with the audience!
 If these are some ingredients – well Vidwan Poorna Pragna Rao amply displayed it and earned a good applause and appreciation at both the music concerts rendered by him in Delhi at the Sankatahara Ganapathy Temple complex, Vasundara enclave on the 7th July and at the Subha Siddhi Vinayaka Mandhir at Mayur Vihar on the 8 th July.
 Mr. PP Rao, son of veteran musician and musicologist Late Dr.Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao gave ample indication of the term ‘Chip of the Old Block’ by his exquisite rendering.At the Vasundara Enclave concert he started off with a brisk traditional invocation song Mooladhara murthy a composition of Papanasam Sivan in the raga Hamsadwani. The tempo was maintained with a quick follow up of short brisk items ‘Srivalli Deva Senapathe’ in raga Nata Bhairavi and ‘Dharini Telsu’ in raga Sudha Saveri.

Then followed a very relaxed and detailed rendering of the raga ‘Mayamalava goula’ It was replete with melody, sukha bhava and the composition rendered was ‘Meru Samana’ a lovely composition of the veteran Composer Saint Thyagaraja. The swaraprastara was imaginative and interesting. The audience meanwhile went up to him for their privileged audience choice and he obliged them cheerfully with some very interesting items like ‘Durmagachara’in Raga Ranjani and a very touching lyric ‘Enna Thavam’ in Raga Kapi.

The Thodi Raga rendering with a lovely composition ‘Emichesite’ with soft frills of neraval and again an imaginative swara prastara marked the highlight of the concert. And just as the audience were warming up for a passionate and elaborate listening, the time factor brought the conclusion of the concert with a different type of mangalam rendering to mark the finale. It was a Dhikshitar piece in raga Sri – Sri kamalambike.

The concert at Mayur Vihar was no less in spirit and content. The Concert was sponsored by the ‘Technomedia Solutions’ an IT industry in full control of the technical support/aspect of the broad cast of many of the FM stations here. The sustenance of the Classical Music culture seems to be in safe hands with such liberal and apt patronage. May their tribe thrive and increase.

Here the concert started off with a varnam rendering in raga Saveri marked by alacrity and verve. Then it was the Dikshithar’s kriti ‘vathapi ganapathim’ in raga Hamsadhawni, the traditional invocation to Lord Ganesha. Raga Abhogi which followed was replete with passion and appeal suiting the composition ‘Sabapathiku Veru daivam’ which was well received.

Having knowledge of Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Sanskrit it facilitated the artist to render classical compositions with understanding and feeling. He had the greatest privilege of learning Deekshithar Kritis from his Sishya Parampara i.e. directly from his father who himself was an eminent scholar of Sanskrit and a Disciple of Justice Late Shri T.L.Venkata Rama Iyer an Authority of Dikshitar Krithis This was further embellished by the privilege of learning from stalwarts like Late Sangeetha Vidwan KV Narayanaswamy and others.

The hallmark of the concert was the deep involvement in rendition, clarity of sahithya with devout manodharma , captivating svarakalpana and accuracy in gathi bedas.

The climax of the concert was a RTP – Ragam Tanam Pallavi in raga Karahara priya. It was marked by a soulful rendering and innovation not loosing the traditional basics.

Well the success of any concert hinges on various factors like good music audio system, ambience, audience etc. Prime among them is good accompaniments. And here it was a listeners delight to hear Shri Madurai Balasubramaniam wield his bow exquisitely in providing a very able violin accompaniment. He does full credit to his erstwhile guru M Chandrashekaran a veteran violinist and a doyen of carnatic music. His rendering was replete with melody and style.

Delhi R Srinivasan, a student of veteran mridangist Shri Guruvayoor Durai gave able and crisp percussion support. He exhibited deep understanding of the kritis and his style marked the soft touch approach and blended with the renderings.

Both Mr. Balasubramaniam and Mr. Srinivasan gave able support on both the days of the concert.