The annual Tyagaraja Aradhana Mahothsavam in Kalpathy celebrated the lyrical richness and melodic beauty of Tyagaraja kritis.

The 167th Sadguru Tyagaraja Aradhana Mahothsavam was observed at Kalpathy on the premises of the Viswanadhaswami Temple. Kalpathy has been conducting this festival for the last 90 years.

The five-day fete started with a Nagaswaram recital by Raghunadh followed by a vocal concert by K.N. Ranganadha Sharma. Opening with ‘Ra Ramayindithaka’ (Asaveri), he moved on to an erudite elaboration of the rare raga Naganandini and tagged it to ‘Sathaleni’. The Tyagaraja kritis that followed included gems such as ‘Thulasamma’ (Devagandhari), ‘Eramuni’, (Vakulabharabharanam), ‘Bhuvinidasudane’ (Sreeranjani), and so on.

The high point of the concert was a pristine elaboration of Dhanyasi along with the kriti ‘Dhyaname’. It was enriched with a well-articulated niraval and brilliant swaraprasthara. Palakkad Mahesh Kumar (mridangam) and Kottayam Unnikrishnan (ghatam) played a brilliant tani. R. Swaminathan accompanied on the violin.

Pattabhirama Pandit began his recital on the third day with a lively ‘Kodinadulu (Thodi), which set a fine tempo to the concert. ‘Sadhinjene’ (Arabhi), one of the Pancharatna kritis, was well-executed.

A skilful alapana of Panthuvarali led to the kriti ‘Ninne neranammi’, which had an enlivening niraval and vivacious swaraprasthara. Bhairavi was the main raga. ‘Thanayunibrova’, the kriti, had an attractive niraval and intricate swaraprasthara. Vibrant tani was followed by ‘Sreepathe’ (Nagaswarali).Viju S. Anand (violin), Sudheendra (mridangam) and Sudheer (ghatam) accompanied.

N.J. Nandini stole the show on the fourth day with her pleasing stage presence and musical skills. Lilting ‘Evarani’ (Devamruthavarshini) provided a glittering start. An immaculate rendering of ‘Merusamana’ (Mayamalavagoula) was decorated with niraval and swaraprasthara, demonstrating her mastery over weaving sarvalaghu patterns. The central piece of the concert was Varali tagged to ‘Kanakanaruchira’, one of the Pancharatna kritis.

Excellent support was provided by Trivandrum Sampath (violin), Cherthala Dinesan (mridangam) and Vellanjatoor Sreejith (ghatam).

The grand finale was a chaste and serene concert by Ambikapuram Sivaraman. Sivaraman’s unadulterated bani, reminiscent of his celebrated guru C.S. Krishnayyar’s, was rich in devotional fervour.

Flagging off with ‘Sree Raghukula’ (Hamsadhwani), Sivaraman offered a musical garland composed of rare gems. ‘Dayajooda’ in the rare raga Ganavaridhi, ‘Palukukandasakkare’ (Navarasakannada), ‘Bhajanaseayarada’ (Athana), and brisk ‘Kanna thandri’ (Devamanohari) were some of the pieces he sang.

In the interpretation of Keeravani, the main number, the raga’s structure was essayed with imagination and exquisite touches. ‘Kaligiyunde’ had a delectable niraval and pleasing swarasancharas that led to an excellent tani by the brothers Kovai Prakash (mridangam) and Kovai Suresh (ghatam). Sivaraman wound up the concert with ‘Laliyugave’ in Neelambari, lulling the listeners into a deep reverie.

Idappally Ajith Kumar (violin) provided motivating support.