The annual Thyagabrahma Aradhana Mahothsavam in Kalpathy featured stalwarts who paid melodic tribute to Tyagaraja.

The 166th Sadguru Thyagabrahma Aradhana was celebrated in Kalpathy, Palakkad. The 90-year-old fete featured stalwarts who paid homage to the saint-composer by rendering his compositions.

The week-long fete began with Embar Kasthuri performing a ‘Sangeethopanyasa’ on Tyagaraja, based on his compositions.

The third day of the fete saw T.M. Krishna enthralling the audience with his classicism and pristine rendering.

Krishna began the concert with ‘Venugana Loluni’ (Kedaragowla), which was sung with verve and enriched with manodharmaswara at ‘Vikasita Pankaja’. Krishna continued with ‘Upacharamulanu’ (Bhairavi) and ‘Nijamarmamulanu’ (Umabharanam). He then took up Kapi, which had fast-flowing sancharas, before moving to ‘Enduku peddalavale’ (Sankarabharanam). After an impressive tani, a slokam ‘Ramaya Ramabhadraya’ was rendered in raga malika. He was ably assisted by T.H. Subhrahmaniam (violin), K.V. Prasad (mridangam) and Anirudh (ganjira).

Sriranjani Santhanagopalan has imbibed the core values of classical music from her father, Neyveli Santhanagopalan. She charmed the audience on the fourth day of the festival with her well-trained voice and immaculate diction. She made a promising start with the shloka, ‘Apaara Karunaa Sindhum’. She followed it with ‘Ninne bhajana seyu’ (Natta), ‘Ee Vasudha’ (Sahana) and ‘Marubalka’ (Sriranjani). These compositions were richly garnished with excellent niravals and kalpana swaras. The highpoint of the evening was a stylised and mature Khamboji and ‘Evari mata’, the kriti, was ornamented with niraval and swarakalpana at ‘Bhakthaparadheenutanuchu…’ The tani was excellent. The vocalist was accompanied by Trivandrum Sampath (violin), Nanjil Arul (mridangam) and Kovai Suresh (ghatam).

A. Kanyakumari presented a beautiful string of Tyagaraja kritis on her violin the following day. ‘Abheeshta Varada’ (Hamsadhwani), ‘Nadathanumanisam’ (Chitraranjani), ‘Nadasudharasa’ (Arabhi), ‘Dinamani vamsa’ (Harikamboji) and ‘Muddu momu’ (Sooryakantham) were some of them. She also played a raga alapana of Arabhi, Harikamboji, and Nasikabhushani that were ornamented with crisp kalpanaswaras. ‘Rama Katha Sudha’ in Madhyamavathi was soaked in devotion. After a superb tani, Kanyakumari wound the concert up with ‘Sita Kalyana’ in Kurinji and ‘Namonamo Raghavaya’ in Desyathodi.

Thirumalai brothers, Rangachari and Kasturi, highlighted the sahitya in Tyagarja’s compositions during their concert on the penultimate day. ‘Meru samana’ (Mayamalavagoula) and ‘Chalamelara’ (Margahindolam) were followed by an alapana of Harikamboji by Kasturi. Rangachari rendered ‘Banduriti’ (Hamsanadam) and ‘Chintistunnade’ (Mukhari). The brothers sang a detailed alapana of Kalyani. ‘Ethavunnara’ had well-articulated niravals and excellent swaraprasthara at ‘Sreegarudagu…’ ‘Nagumomu’ (Madhyamavathi) was the concluding piece. The brothers were supported by Rahul (violin), Trichur Narendran (mridangam) and Vazhappilly Krishnakumar (ghatam).

Octogenarian musician Trichur Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar’s concert on the last day of the fete was steeped in devotion, while Abishek Raghuram’s concert was the highlight of the day. His ragalapana of Arabhi, Ritigowla and Sankarabharana, with innovative phrases, showcased his sound training in music.

‘Rara mayintitaga’ (Asaveri), ‘Sathinjane’ (Arabhi) and ‘Ragarathnamalika’ (Ritigowla) were some of the songs he rendered. The best composition of the evening was ‘Ethuta nilachithe’ (Sankarabharanam), which had a vibrant niraval and swarakalpana at ‘Nuthudivrathaka…’ He was accompanied by Mysore Sreekath (violin) and Ananth R. Krishnan (mridangam).

The fete came to a close with Anjaneyothsavam.