A full house on a Sunday afternoon greeted Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath, something she is familiar with. Having attended her concerts earlier too, I feel her strengths are her penchant for classicism and the impressive reach of her voice. She would do well by working further in her pursuit of excellence.
‘Pavanathmaja’ (Nattai) and ‘Smarane’ (Janaranjani) at the beginning created a melodious ambience, enhanced by the Syama Sastri piece that came next. She explored Lalitha raga through thesmooth flows of ‘dhaivatham’ and ‘dheerga rishabham’ that produce its characteristic prayogas. ‘Nannu brovu,’ (Lalitha) was embellished with karvais and phrases of the Brindamma school. The niraval was on ‘Ninnuvina evarunnaru.’ (there was no swarakalpana due to paucity of time)
A faster rendering of Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s not-often-heard ‘Veenabheri’ (Abheri) again with the raga mudhra in the first line, followed. The singer came up with a beautiful chittaswaram that spoke of her training and talent.
In the Khambodi alapana, Aishwarya preferred to dwell longer on the mid-octave phrases and on the antara-gandhara flourishes in the tara sthayi. H.M. Smitha (violin) embellished her treatment of Khambodi in equal measure. The kriti chosen was ‘Evarimata’ with the niraval in ‘Bhakta paradinudanuchu parama.’ The long kalpanaswaras stressed on the ‘dhaivatha.’ Aishwarya ended it with a compact porutham.
In the Sriranjani raga for RTP, the vocalist rendered the pallavi ‘(Sri)Ranjani nikhila Janani Pahimam Vani’ in Khanda Triputa tala, ending it with anulomam rounds and swarakalpana .
The thani by Rajesh Srinivasan (mridangam) and Nerkunam Manikantan (morsing) deserves special mention for the versatility on display.