Navarati celebrations of the Swathi Sangeetha Sabha, Palakkad, featured fine Carnatic vocal concerts.

It was a dual celebration for the Swathi Sangeetha Sabha, Palakkad. The organisation celebrated its fifth anniversary and the Navarati season with a three-day music fete.

The celebrations kicked off with a concert by up-and-coming vocalist N.J. Nandini at the Chinmaya Thapovanam hall. Jayaprakash Gopalan (violin) and Nandini's brother Nandagopal (mridangam) provided able accompaniment. The opening Bhairavi Ada tala varnam ‘Viriboni,' saw her rhythmic skill.

She rendered the pallavi and anupallavi in three speeds. An enlivening ‘Salakallala' of Tyagaraja (Arabhi), embellished with chittaswara and manodharma swara, was followed by an Anandabhairavi, that harmonised both lakshya and lakshana. ‘Pahitharakshu' (Adi tala, two-kala), a rarely-heard composition of Swati Tirunal, and an eulogy on the deity of the Mahadeva temple at Vaikam, was appended with cascading swarakalpana in two speeds. A short but exquisite Kalyani – Thalangampadi Panchanath Iyer's ‘Biranabrovayithe' (Adi tala-Thisranada) – was adorned with niraval and swarakalpana. Dikshitar's ‘Hiranmayeem' in raga Lalitha and Mysore Vasudevachariar's ‘Devadideava' in Sunadavinodini led to the main item – an exhaustive alapana of Madhyamavathi. Jayaprakash's solo saw some beautiful phrases.

Tyagaraja's ‘Rama katha sudha' was adorned with niraval and swarasanchara. The tani was followed by Swati Tirunal's popular padam ‘Aliveni' (Kurinchi), Vali's ‘Koovi Azhaithal' (Valaji) and Lalgudi's tillana in Desh.

Versatile artiste

Versatile artiste Sadanam Harikumar, accompanied by his sons Karthik Harikumar (violin) and Vignesh Harikumar (mridangam), took to the stage on the second day. His powerful and resonant voice struck the right chord with the audience. The opening ‘Vallabhanayakasya' of Dikshitar in raga Begada on Lord Ganesa, was followed by ‘Darini thelusukondi' (Suddhasaveri) adorned with lilting chittaswara and swarasanchara. A refined and mellifluous Saranga, composed by his guru C.S. Krishna Iyer – ‘Tharumo nin karunakataksham' (Khandha Chappu tala), brought out the structural aesthetics of the song, highlighting its lyrical beauty.

His exposition of Amruthavarshini documented the charm of the raga. ‘Ananthamruthakarshini' of Dikshitar, suffixed with manodharma swara was followed by ‘Padamalaratiyanu' (Balahamsa), a spirited Malayalam composition on the Goddess.

The highlight of the concert was a melodious Reethigowla. Karthik's attempt on the violin was noteworthy. Subbaraya Sastri's Choukakala composition ‘Janani ninuvina' (Misrachapu tala), embellished with chittaswara and chittaswara sahithya, well-articulated niraval and swarakalpana, was well received.

Haunting padam

After the tani he sang a haunting Kathakali padam – ‘Ajitha hare' from ‘Kuchelavritham.' He concluded the recital with his own composition – ‘Pachamulamkattil,' a kavadichintu that narrates an anecdote on Siva and Parvathy.

The final day featured three recitals at the Vithunni Saneeswara Temple. A nadarchana by Ramesan Punnayoorkulam and the students of the school of music was staged. They were accompanied by Jayaprakash Gopalan on the violin and Nandakumar Vadakara on the mridangam.