Yesterday (Jan 6, 2010) I had been to Narada Gana Sabha for Aruna Sairam's concert. The concert was organised for GNB's centenary function, by the GNB rasikar mandram. It was a short 1:30 hours concert. Yet I returned back with a sense of complete satisfaction.
She started with Sarva Mangala Mangalye slokam in the raga hindolam, followed by sama gana lole in hindola ragam, rupaka talam. This is a composition of GNB himself. Kalpana swaras were flowing like the river ganges. Embar Kannan on the violin, J.Vaidhyanathan on the mridangam and S.Karthick on the ghatam provided a great support for the day.
The next song was in the raga anandabhairavi which was GNB's one of the favourite raga. Aruna started with another sloka on goddess kamalamba and rendered muthuswami dikshitar's kamalamba samrakshathumam in misra chapu tala. Then she sung harikesanallur muthiah bhagavatar's suddha dhanyasi raga kriti himagiri tanaye which was also popularised by GNB.
The fourth song was in the raga kalyani. I was expecting vasudevayani and aruna didnt falsify my expectation. After an alapana in the raga which was rendered in her own style contrary to the normal style of singing kalyani (beginning with long phrases of swaras instead of developing from smaller phrases) she sung yet another GNB trademark vasudevayani. The niraval was placed in the charanam lines "raga tala" and swaras were also sung in that line. It was like a water flowing down from a hill top, without any obstacles.
The fifth song was in the raga dakka (much similar to vasantha), a tyagaraja composition set to adi tala, raka sasivadana. The sixth song was kaaranam kettu vaadi in the raga poorvi kalyani which portrayed the devotee's anxiety regarding the lord nataraja not turning up to his/her home. This is more like, the devotee is a girl and the lord is her lover and this girl having waited for a long time didn't see her beloved. So she is asking her friend the reason for the lord not coming to see her.
The final item was a sloka vande matharam ambikam bhagavathi in raga malikai. Ragas were saveri, hamir kalyani, ranjani and madhyamavathi.
It was a short and sweet treat for the listeners.