Unni’s unforgettable Thodi

Unnikrishnan, the crowd-puller, began his concert for ‘Chennayil Thiruvaiyaru’ at Kamarajar Arangam with a Varnam in Nattai - Jayajayaswami by Narayana Theerthar. 

His swaras for this composition was followed by ‘Thulasidhala’ in Mayamalava Gowlai by Tyagaraja. The niraval gave a fair account of the raga and the swaras proved that he is wedded to the art. 

Unni’s exhaustive alapana of Shanmukapriya for ‘Andavane’ by Papanasam Sivan reflected his sound musical training. The niraval was a mine of sukha bhava. 

The vocalist’s rendition of Thodi alapana for ‘Ghadhanu Variki’ by Tyagaraja, which was the main piece of the concert, showcased his virtuosity to build the entire gamut of the raga skillfully. 

His swara blitzkrieg was like a clap of thunder and the rasikas waited to see the thundershowers. 

He is an artiste of rare genre who could traverse three octaves with felicity without straining his vocal chords. 

His rendition of the evergreen ‘Jaga Janani’ in Rathipathi Priya made the audience sing along with him. 

M R Gopinath on the violin blended sampradaya with creativity. 

Anand on the mridangam proved that he is the grandson of veteran mridangist Palghat Raghu by his unique style and energetic play. 

Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan on the ghatam played with regal mien. 

Their tani was charged with glowingly rhythmic patterns.

We felt like saying – Sabash, Ithu Sariyana Potti. 

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