1. Varnam: Jalajaksha, Hamsadhwani
2. Gajananayutham, Vegavahini, Muthuswamy Dikshitar
3. Raaga Ratna Malikache, Reethigowla, Thyagaraja
4. Vande Sadaa Padmanabham, Navarasa Kanada, Swathi Thirunal
5. Ekkalathilum, Poorvi Kalyani, Ramaswamy Sivan
6. Karpakabmike, Bilahari, Papnasam Sivan
7. Brovavamma taamasamele, Maanji, Shyama Sastry
8. Vinave O manasa, Vivardhini, Thyagaraja
9. Ragam Tanam Pallavi, Kiravani. Pallavi: Thenpazhani Vadivelane,daivaanai manaalane 10. Kaliyuga Varadan, Brindavana Saranga, Thanjavur Sankara Iyer
11. Venkatachala Nilaya, Sindhu Bhairavi, Purandaradasa
12. Sreechakraraaja simhasane, Ragamalika, Agastya
13. Varugalaamo ayya, Maanji, Gopalakrishna Bharati
14. Thillana, Natakuranji
It was pouring outside, but that didn't stop anyone. Even on a weekday evening, Smt. Sowmya's concert started promptly at 7:00 PM to a rapt audience. From the opening strains of the Hamsadhwani Varnam till the Mangalam, the fortunate Rasikas at Parvathi Hall in the Hindu Temple experienced the downpour of music from Smt. Sowmya, accompanied by the maestro Sri. R.K.Shriramkumar on the violin and Sri. Neyveli Narayanan on the Mridangam
In addition to the stormy conditions outside, we had to live with the thunder from the auditorium upstairs, where a boisterous musical program was going on. But being the consummate professional she is, Smt. Sowmya never let it faze her. She followed up the varnam with a fairly elaborate treatment of Gajananayutham (Chakravakam, Muthuswamy Dikshitar) and launched into the exquisite Raaga Ratna Malikache (Reethigowla, Thyagaraja). The next major item was Karpakambike (Bilahari, Papanasam Sivan) rendered briskly.
Requests started pouring in from the audience by this time. Interestingly, there were two requests in Maanji, Brovavamma and Varugalamo, and a vote of the audience was inconclusive. Smt. Sowmya agreed to do both! Brovavamma followed next, rendered with full feeling and devotion that the krithi is infused with.
After a brief fast number (Vinave O manasa, VIvardhini, Thyagaraja), Smt. Sowmya began the Ragam Tanam Pallavi, in Kiravani. Sri. R.K.Shriram Kumar showed his mastery when his string unexpectedly broke during his response to the Ragam. Without missing a note, he switched over to the first string, and continued the phrase in the lower octave, and brought the Ragam to a successful conclusion! He began to fix his string as Smt.Sowmya began the Tanam, accompanied by Sri.Narayanan. Interestingly, there was a Ghana ragamalika in the Tanam section. The pallavi was "Thenpazhani Vadivelane,daivaanai manaalane". The thani by Sri. Neyveli Narayanan was sheer rythmic bliss, and showed his mastery of the instrument.
The RTP was followed by a number of short pieces, including the promised Varugalamo (Maanji, Gopalakrishna Bharati). It was indeed fortunate that rasikas did not have to chose between the two items, because this one was, if possible, rendered with even more feeling than Brovavamma! All too soon, the Mangalam came in and the concert was at an end.
The audience expressed their exhilaration by giving a full minute long standing ovation to the artists.
Sri. Sreenadh Jonnavithula, Director of Shruti Laya, introduced the artists and briefly spoke of their accomplishments. Smt.Sumathi Sumangali, Director of Shruti Laya, thanked the artists for this wonderful concert. Following Shruti Laya tradition, a member of the audience, Smt. Usha Balachandran was invited to give a musical appreciation. Smt. Lalitha Bhadrinath, a local music teacher, honored Smt. Sowmya with a shawl. Junior members, front desk volunteers and music students Sanjay Jonnavithula and Gautam Ramasubramanyam presented shawls to Sri.R.K.Shriramkumar and Sri. Neyveli Narayanan, and received their blessings.
Shruti Laya would like to thank State Bank of India, whose generous sponsorship helped us stage this program. We also thank our tireless volunteers Subu Garikapati, Mani Sundaram and Ashok Chintakunta for help with setting up the hall, and Sanjay, Saipriya and Gautham for manning the front desk. And of course, we thank our members and rasikas, whose support and encouragement made Shruti Laya possible.