Nirmala Rajasekar played the Veena for the Indian Music Society of Minnesota on September 12th, 2010. She was accompanied by the brilliant Tanjavur Muruga Bhupathy on the Mridangam. K.V.S. Vinay on the violin and Balaji Chandran on the ghatam rounded off the team nicely.
Below is a list of songs that were presented:
1) Neeve Gatiyani - varnam in Nalinakanthi (Lalgudi Jayaraman)
2) Jaya Jaya in Naatai (Purandara Dasa)
3) Varanarada in Vijayasri (Thyagaraja)
4) Lambhodara mava lamba ambaasutha in Kambhodi (Mysore Vasudevaachar)
5) Kalavathy Kamalasanaavathy in Kalavathy (Dikshitar)
6) Sarasa Samagana in Kapi Narayani (Thyagaraja)
7) Tharunam Idhamma in Gowlipanthu
8 RTP in Shanmukhapriya
9) Muddugare Yashoda in Kurinji (Annamacharya)
10) Aadum Chidambaramo in Behag (Gopalakrishna Bharathi)
11) Thillana in Mand (Lalgudi Jayaraman)
Nirmala is a Vainika par excellence. She is a rare artiste who is rooted very firmly in tradition, but at the same time, is able to impart a very novel and youthful flourish to every song / ragam she plays. Kambhodi and Kalavathy were handled superlatively. The highlight of the concert was the RTP - she chose a pallavi that has been popularized by the Alathur brothers, set to Khanda Triputa Talam. The lyrics of the pallavi were - Thenparam girivalar muruga guhane deivaanaikarul saravana bhava guhane, which were presented in Shanmukhapriya (main ragam), Naatai kurinji, Chandrakauns, Mohanam and Revathy. Thanjavur Muruga Bhupathy's Mridangam was spectacular, without overshadowing the delicate sound of the Veena, and together they created sheer magic on stage.
Overall, it was a superb performance, and while the concert lasted over 3 hours, it definitely did not feel like it, and we were left yearning for more.
She is currently touring in Turkey, and is scheduled to perform in Wisconsin next month.