The city reverberated with music as six eminent artists shared the same platform during the six-day Bharat Sangeet Utsav, held in Coimbatore. B. Ramadevi

Carnatica's Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2011 was a heart-warming experience for the music lovers of Coimbatore. The spacious Sarojini Nataraj Auditorium was filled to capacity for six days continuously. The game show based on dance, conducted by Lavanya Sankar on the penultimate day, added a colourful dimension to the event.

After the inauguration by B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, M. Krishnan, managing director, Sri Krishna Sweets, was conferred the title ‘Manuja Seva Niratha.'

Later, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman presented his unique programme ‘Man v/s Machine.' The Roland Rhythm Box was set at 90 pulses per minute for Adi talam and 72 pulses per minute for Misra Chapu talam and Sivaraman wove intricate laya patterns in these two talas within the stipulated time. This rare feat, mastered after months of rigorous practice, received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Neyveli Santhanagopalan's energetic outpouring of the swaras was further beautified by the whole-hearted support of veterans Nagai Muralidharan on the violin and Srimushnam Raja Rao on the mridangam. His specially composed pallavi, ‘Bharatha Sangeetotsavame Paravasam Thanthidum Vaibhavame' in Sankarabharanam delighted the audience.

Legend R.K. Srikantan, supported by son R.S. Ramakanth, made first-time listeners wonder what he would have sounded like in his heyday, if this was the kind of music he could create at the age of 92. He began with a varnam in Kedaragowla and presented a few lovely kritis such as ‘Manasaa Sri Ramachandruni' (Isha Manohari) and ‘Nee Chittamu' (Dhanyasi). The highlight was the elaborate delineation of Latangi preceding Patnam Subramania Iyer's ‘Marivere' followed by a sparkling swarakalpana session and the energetic tani avartanam by Umayalpuram Sivaraman (mridangam) and K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira). Each note from Nagai Muralidharan's mellifluous violin was an aural delight.

Abhishek Raghuram took the audience by storm with his vibrant and imaginative rendition. He began gently with the varnam, ‘Karunimpa' in Sahana, proceeded with a vigorous alapana in Mayamalavagowla and followed it with the Tyagaraja kriti, ‘Meru Samaana Dheera.' Next came, ‘Sujana Jeevana' bringing with it peace and calm. Abhishek presented Mohanam in all its beauty for ‘' and was supported enthusiastically by Mysore Srikanth on the violin, Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam and K.V.Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira respectively.

Serene music

It was music pure and wholesome from Vijay Siva. He brought the raga bhava and the emotions packed in the kritis to the fore. The pleading tone of Syama Sastri 's ‘Talli Ninnura Neranamminaanu' in Kalyani and the niraval for ‘Annaiyodu Thanthai Nee' for ‘Saravana Bhava Guhane' in Madhyamavathi were intensely moving. Towards the end, the sloka, ‘Hey Gopalaka,' preceding ‘Vitalaa, Salaho Swami' by Purandaradasa and ‘Arunachala Siva' turned Bharat Sangeet Utsav into Bhakti Sangeet Utsav. Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi's graceful violin and Neyveli Narayanan's sensitive mridangam joined hands to create this musical magic.

O.S. Arun's ‘Bhajan Sandhya' was impressive in his typical way with charming improvisations on the well-known songs. He presented ‘Nannu Brova Neekintha Thamasamaa' in Abhogi, elaborately. ‘Koovi Azhaithal Kural Koduppaan' in Valaji and the Vittal Bhajan were particularly appealing. The contagiously cheerful group of accompanists with Kandadevi Vijayaraghavan on the violin, Kumbakonam Saravanan on the mridangam, Adambakkam Shankar on the ghatam and Chidambaram Rajendran on the morsing ensured the spontaneous participation of the rasikas.

The event was presented by RmKV Wedding Silks in association with Sri Krishna Sweets. The Hindu was the media partner.