Eminent musicians shared the same platform during the week-long Gokulashtami-Navaratri festival organised in Coimbatore

The week-long Gokulashtami-Navaratri music festival, organised by Manoranjitham, the cultural and fine arts wing of Ayyappa Puja Sangham, Coimbatore, offered wholesome listening pleasure to the rasikas.

Veteran vocalist Trichur V. Ramachandran’s inaugural concert filled the evening with nostalgia. He sang many popular songs of yesteryear as well as some favourites of GNB.

‘Unnadiye Gathiyendradaindhen’ (Bahudari), ‘Saama Gaana Priye’ (Anandabhairavi) and ‘Sarasijanaabha Sodhari’ (Naga Gandhari) saw the audience singing along. Pantuvarali, Madhyamavati and Sankarabharanam were presented elaborately with cascading swaras.

The RTP with the pallavi, ‘Sadha Siva Manoranjani,’ was fulfilling. ‘Radha Samethaa Krishna,’ ‘Muralidhara Gopala’ and ‘Kannanai Kaanbadheppo’ appeared as the tail-enders.

M.A. Sundareswaran’s raga essays on the violin were highly enjoyable. The flashes of familiar phrases from popular songs in the ragas added flavour. For example, the line ‘Paalinchu Kamakshi’ breezed in suddenly while Madhyamavati was being delineated. And, for Sriranjani, it was ‘Kaana Vendaamo.’ R. Ramesh on the mridangam and Vaikom Gopalakrishnan on the ghatam were full of life.

Gayathri Venkataraghavan presented her vocal concert on the second day, accompanied by M.R. Gopinath on the violin, Neyveli Skandasubramanian on the mridangam and Madipakkam Murali on the ghatam.

The vibrant concert by Trichur Brothers — Krishna Mohan and Ramkumar Mohan — was traditional yet carried the fervour of youth. There was not a moment of slackness as they filled the hall with their musical energy.

After a spirited alapana of Purvikalyani, they presented Oothukkadu Venkatakavi’s kriti, ‘Padmavathi Ramanam’ on poet Jayadeva. (Jayadeva’s wife’s name was ‘Padmavathi). The siblings’ niraval for the line, ‘Yat Gopi Vadhanendhu….’ explored the intricate beauty of the raga. When one brother seemed to exhaust all the possibilities, the other took over and introduced new facets of the raga. Following that was the brisk ‘Thaaye Tripura Sundari’ in Suddha Saveri.

The alapana of raga Jog for the RTP carried the fragrance of Hindustani and the tanam with the soft accompaniment of the mridangam by their father Mohan was a good example of aural pleasure.

They had taken the pallavi from Sadasiva Brahmendra’s kriti, ‘Chetah Sri Raamam, Chinthaya Jimootha Shyamam’ and decorated it with ragamalika swaras. ‘Enneramum Undhan Sannidhiyile’ and ‘Thunbam Nergaiyil’ wound up the concert on a sober note.

Edappaly Ajith Kumar’s violin play was rich in melody and depth. R. Mohan on the mridangam and Kovai Suresh on the ghatam added to the sprightliness.

Pantula Rama made a positive impression with her gratifying concert. Difficult swara phrases poured out effortlessly as she proceeded to etch the raga swaroopa. Her very first phrase clearly defined the raga and the rest was only an enhancement. She chose ragas that bordered on the familiar, but were, in fact, different.

She elaborated ‘Varamu’ (very close to Hindolam) and sang ‘Thunai Purindharul’ by Papanasam Sivan. It was followed by Nayaki (very close to Durbar) and she presented the heavily ornamental kriti ‘Ranganaayakam Bhaavayeham’ by Dikshitar.

A stirring alapana of Subha Pantuvarali, preceded ‘Sri Satyanarayanam’. Her RTP in Mohanam with the pallavi, ‘Rangapathe, Chathurangapathe,’ included the ragas Chathurangini, Sree and Saranga.

Violin play by husband M.S.N. Murthy was majestic and mellifluous. ‘Navaneetha Chora Devakai Vasudeva Nandana’ made one sway with its rhythm. V.V. Ramana Murthy’s mridangam was smooth yet powerful.