Just returned from Sudha's concert in Shiva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD. Overall, it was a tremendous concert.
P.S. As a rasika who is on the younger side, I was motivated by senior rasikas on the forum encouraging young rasikas to write reviews- so here goes it!
Sudha Ragunathan - Vocal
Vittal Ramamurthy - Violin
Thiruvarur Vaidyanathan - Mridangam
Toronto Surendar- Morsing
1. Mathe- Khamas
2. Shri Jalandara- Gambheera Nattai (S)
3. Evarani- Devamruthavarshini
4. Sriman Narayana- Bowli (Preceded by slokam)
5. Jaya Jaya Padmanabha- Manirangu (R,S)
6. Om Namo Narayana- Karnaranjani
7. Chandrashekaram- Marga Hindolam
8. Etavunara- Kalyani (R,N,S,T)
9. Jagodadharana- Kapi
10. Kurai Ondrum Illai- Ragamalika
11. Eppadi Padinaro- Karnataka Devagandhari
12. Bho Shambo- Revathi
13. Thillana (Ragam ?)
A couple of general points about the artist: I find Sudha to always be an artist of great professionalism and humility, and an innate ability to make an amazing connection with the rasikas. The hall was packed as usual for her, and she did not disappoint.
It was a beautifully constructed concert, as Professor T.R.S, who was there, mentioned in his vote of thanks. Sudha selected songs that were either on Shiva & Narayana (given the Shiva Vishnu temple setting).
The concert started off with a stellar pace with Mathe, and Sudha mentioned it was a Daaru Varnam- and what a ragam to start the concert in Khamas! Then, she glided in Gambheera Nattai with ease. In the composition, she sang swarams at the charanam line of "purandarAdi sannuta gambhIranATya pradarshaka nAgalingam" right at "gambheera natya." It was very refreshing to hear the swarams lead right into the name of the ragam.
Next was Evarani- again an apt piece for this particular temple- as Thyagaraja prays to both the Shiva Mantra "Ma" and Narayana as "Ra" jeeva= Rama. This was followed by "Shanta Karam Bhujaga Shayanam" slokam in Bowli, leading right to Annamacharya's Sriman Narayana- it was quick and heartfelt. Then came the sub-main in Swati Thirunal's Jaya Jaya Padmanabha. The raga alapana was splendid, as was Vittal Ramamurthy's response.
Then were a couple requests in Karna Ranjani, and Marga Hindolam, leading up to the main piece in Kalyani. Sudha later explained that she was dedicating this ragam to her guru, MLV and also GNB. The alapana was tremendous, as was Etavunara- again an apt piece (Seetha Gowri, etc..). Sudha broke out of the norm by singing Neraval/Swaram here at "ShrIkarudagu thyagaraja kararcita." The neraval portion was short, but the swarams were exquisite, and even moreso because they didn't start at Samam. The thani was phenomenal, as was the morsing. I think Vaidyanathan sir stole the show towards the end.
Then came the usual crowd pleasers- Jagodharana, then some Tamil songs as requested bluntly by the audience! Kurai Ondrum Illai, then Eppadi Padinaro. Finally, she finished with Bho Shambo, which was somewhat lacking probably because I am not a huge fan of the raga. Then was the Vote of Thanks by the distinguished Professor TR Subramanyan- who gave a spirited, very jovial talk about Sudha & the concert! Finally, the concert ended with thillana (not sure of ragam) and then mangalam.
There were some issues with the audio systems & lights, so Sudha's voice was in & out on a few occasions, but no major issues.
Overall, I enjoyed the concert a lot. Others please fill in anywhere I have missed.