Chennai and Tamil Nadu
Songs of devotion
| Thirumurugan Music,
Lecture and Dance Art Festival, 2008, had a mix of vocal and
instrumental music. |
Classical tunes: (clockwise from left to right) M.S.
Jayshri Prakash, Mambalam Sisters – Vijayalakshmi, Chitra and
Hemalatha, Trivandrum P. Padmesh, Trivandrum K. Krishnakumar and Surya
It was a grand finale for Thirumurugan Music, Lecture and Dance Art
Festival 2008 as R. Surya Prakash wowed the audience with excellent
breath control, voice modulation and smooth swara sancharam. Sticking
true to his guru T.V.Sankaranarayanan’
s style, Surya Prakash enthralled the listeners with his manodharama
Perfect swara sancharam
He began his two-and-a-half-hour-long concert with an invocation to
Lord Ganesha. The composition was ‘Swaminatha paripalaya sumam’ in
Natta. The highlight of the concert was Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ‘Sree
Subramanyaya namasthe’ in Kamboji set to Roopaka tala. The rendering
stood out for perfect swara sancharam and apt oscillations while
singing the neraval.
Kasaragod K. Ganaraj highlighted the beauty of the raga as he presented a short sketch of it on the violin.
Yet another important piece of the evening was a ragam tanam pallavi
in Shanmughapriya set to Adi tala. The taniavarthanam was performed by
Kadakkavur G.S. Rajesh Nath on the mridangam and Trivandrum Karthikeyan
on the ghatam.
Earlier the six-day long festival began with a vocal concert by M.S. Jayshri Prakash.
The main item of Jayshri’s kutcheri was a ragam tanam pallavi in
Sudhadhanyasi set to khandajati triputa tala. After elaborating the
raga with felicity, she moved on to the tanam. The pallavi was ‘Sree
Padmanabha’ with a ragamalika that comprised Nalinakanthi, Sivasakthi
and Revathi. Padma Krishnan provided able support on the violin. The
taniavarthanam was performed by L. Gopalakrishnan on the mridangam.
‘Sikkil singara velane,’ one of her own compositions in Kalyani, was
music to the ears and it brought the vocalist and the violinist
applause. She ended her concert with a tillana of Maharajapuram
Trivandrum P. Padmesh, disciple of N. Ramani, began his flute
concert with a Navaraga varnam ‘Vallachi’ and followed it with the
evergreen ‘Vatapi Ganapathim bhajeham’ in Hamsadwani.
The major attraction was ‘Subramanyane rakshitoham,’ a Dikshitar
kriti in Sudhadhanyasi wherein he exposed the intricacies of the raga.
Uduppi S. Balasubramaniam supported the flautist on the violin. The
taniavarthanam was performed by Uduppi S. Balakrishnan.
It was a family affair on the fourth day as the Mambalam Sisters –
Vijayalakshmi, Chitra and Hemalatha – and their father, Rangachary,
performed. Vijayalakshmy and Chitra are renowned vocalists while their
sister Hemalatha is a gifted violinist. Rangachari is an ace ganjira
The Mambalan Sisters began their concert with ‘Kaitha niraikani,’ a
tiruppugazh in Gambhiranatta set to Adi talam. Vijayalakshmi and
Chitra’s talent was brought to fore in Pappanasam Sivan’s kriti
‘Saravanabhava’ in Madhyamavati, set to Adi tala as they carried the rasikas to sublime heights with their manodharma sangitham.
Hemalatha, the youngest of the sisters, proved her talent as an
accomplished violinist as she infused a touch of class and clarity into
the swaras. The taniavarthanam saw smooth and skilful exchanges between
Rangachary on the ganjira and Nanchil Arul on the mridangam.
Trivandrum K. Krishnakumar, trained under Neyyattinkara
Mohanachandran and M. Balamuralikrishna, is known for his expertise in
laya and manodharma sangitham. He began his vocal concert with a varnam
in Hamirkalyani composed by T.R. Subramaniam. The audience enjoyed the
smooth glides of his rendering. This was followed by a
Balamuralikrishna composition in Tamil, ‘Pirayaniyum perumal,’
eulogising Ganapathy. The main piece of the evening was a ragam tanam
pallavi in Dharmavati. Krishnakumar brought forth the inherent
qualities of the raga. S.R. Vinu provided excellent accompaniment on
the violin. The pallavi was rendered with aplomb by the vocalist. The
taniavarthanam was performed by Cherthala S. Dinesh on the mridangam.
Krishnakumar concluded his kutcheri with ‘Ninnaikathu neram elai’
(Ragasree), a Lalgudi tillana in Desh and a tiruppugazh in Manirang.
The festival also featured a couple of concerts by up-and-coming
artistes like Jayashree Jayaganesan (vocal) and Vibha Balasubramanian.
The festival was organised by Sree Seetha Rama Bhaktha Sabha and
Thiruppugazh Anbargal at Sri Chembai Memorial Hall, Thiruvananthapuram.
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