Samagana Lahari Trust’s five-day musical fest featured the best of the classical music.
Samagana Lahari Trust, instituted by Malladi family conducted a five-day music festival marking the birth anniversaries of ‘Sangeeta Kalanidhi’ Dr. Sripada Pinakapani and late vidwan and grandfather of Malladi brothers — Malladi Sriramamurthy. The concerts took place on the first two days at Sri Sivaramakrishna Kshetram and the rest of the days at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kala Vedika in the premises of Government Music College, Vijayawada.
Each day’s programme began with a lecture demonstration followed by a full fledged concert by a reputed artiste. On the first day M.S. Sheela of Bangalore, a vocalist of international repute gave a fine concert. Her concert was preceded by an explicit lec-dem by scholar Dhulipala Ramakrishna who spoke on the significance of Muthuswami Dikshitar’s composition. Sheela’s voice does not sound shrill even when she reaches the higher octave.
Her manodharmam was sound. Her alapanas were expansive and attractive. Sheela’s main item Kaligiyunte in Keeravani brought out her musical depth and vast experience amply and the item was presented with sumptuous raga and swaras. Sheela got excellent support from K.V. Krishna on violin, V. Venkata Ramana Murthy on mridangam and B.S. Purushotham on Kanjira.
No superlatives are enough to gauge next day’s brilliant concert by Gayatri Venkataraghavan of Chennai. Her concert was power packed and marked with melody coupled with profound musical knowledge. Selecting difficult items she presented the concert with perfect sruthi alignment, gamaka sudham and great expertise. Her’s was one of best concerts heard in the city in recent times. Gayatri had excellent support from V. Srikant on violin, B.V.S. Prasad on mridangam and Trichy Murali on ghatam.
Next day’s programme started with an illustrious lecture demonstration by vidwan Modumudi Sudhakar on Dasa keertanas. Being a reputed vocalist himself, Sudhakar sang portions from keertanas of Venkatadri Swamy, Prayaga Rangadas, Tumu Narasimhadas and several others.
This was followed by a melodious flute concert by Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar, accomplished daughter of Sikkil Kunjumani one of the reputed flautist duo of Sikkil sisters. Mala’s music was traditionally pure and the melody produced by her was pleasing. Able support came for Mala from M.R. Gopinath (violin), M.L.N. Raju (mridangam) and S. Hanumanta Rao (ghatam). The concert came to a close with a tillana in Behag.
On the next day the programme began with an educative lec-dem by vidwan Malladi Suribabu, father of Malladi brothers. Suribabu demonstrated how manodharmam can be learnt and improved by practicing varnams and keertanas. The lec-dem was followed by a superb vocal concert by Trichur brothers Sri Krishnamohan and Ramkumar Mohan.
Energetic and full throated, the brothers sang with admirable co-ordination and ample musical depth. This was the first visit for the duo in Vijayawada. Mavuduri Satyanarayana Sarma (violin), Trichur R. Mohan (mridangam) and M. Haribabu (ghatam) gave the brothers able support. The gripping vocal duet by Malladi brothers Sriram Prasad and Ravikumar came as a fitting climax to the five day musical feast.
Perfectly blended melodious voices and good co-ordination marked their concert. The duo had superb support from Embar S. Kannan, veteran V. Kamalakar Rao and Sundarakumar on violin, mridangam and kanjira respectively.