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Updated: April 19, 2013 16:17 IST

Alathur’s favourites

Lakshmi Venkatraman
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N. Ravikiran.
N. Ravikiran.

N. Ravikiran dedicated the concert to Srinivasa Iyer.

This year is the birth centenary year of many stalwarts of Carnatic music, among them being Alathoor Srinivasa Iyer to whom Ravikiran dedicated his concert.

Thiruvotriyur Thyagayya’s Saranga raga varnam was the first item in his Chitraveena concert. Before beginning to play he did ask the audience about the quality of the amplification, but people seemed not to mind the loudness; also there was a disturbing sound like that of soft drilling whenever Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the violin played fast swaras or sangatis either alone or along with Ravikiran. A brief sketch of Poornashadjam preceded the charming ‘Lavanya Rama’ of Tyagaraja, which also had a suffix of lively swaras. An essay of Mayamalavagowla for the kriti ‘Vidulaku’ was presented by both of them; as usual the line taken for niraval was ‘Kamala Gowri’ followed by kalpanswaras. Ravikiran mentioned at this point that this kriti was a favourite of Alathoor Srinivasa Iyer.

‘Narasimha Aagaccha’ of Dikshitar in Mohanam came next; swaras for the Madhyamakala passage had quite a bit of tala manipulations, which was naturally aided by Tiruchi Sankaran on the mridangam. After a quick ‘Gopanandana’ in Bhooshavali, came the main item Thodi. The raga alapana was good but had no new ideas to offer; however, a long passage with just one plucking of the string was stunning. Another Alathoor favourite ‘Munnuravana’ in Jampatala was chosen in this raga. Tiruchi Sanakaran mentioned that his guru Palani Subramania Pillai had actually sung this composition of Tyagaraja, which was recorded by AIR!

The short niraval gave way to the swara segment that comprised mainly korvais of three or five notes. After a lively mridangam thani the concert came to an end with ‘Ni Matane ne mayanura’ of Pattabhiramayya in Poorvikalyani and ‘Muthukrishnamemudam’ in Senchuruti of Oothukadu Venkatavkavi.

All the alapanas were rather short so much so that just as one was settling down to enjoy them, they were over.


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