While two different performances paid tribute to Dikshitar, another took off from the elephant god Ganesha

In Hindu rituals, Ganesha, the god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles, is worshipped before commencing anything auspicious. Ganesha is believed to be a brahmachari (bachelor). One was, therefore, curious to attend the “Siddhi-Buddhi Vivaham” (marriage of Ganesha with Siddhi and Buddhi) organised by Sri Adi Sankara Seva Samajam as part of the Vinayaka Chathurthi celebrations in their Ishta Siddhi Vinayaka temple complex.

P. Subbarama Bhagavadhar, who led a very impressive description of the celestial wedding in the bhajan pandhadi, informed the audience that such a marriage has been described in the Sivapuranam. The underlying moral explained by Subbarama Bhagavadhar, assisted ably by his team, is that devotion to elders, particularly to one’s parents, leads to attainment of absolute bliss and acquisition of all conditioned knowledge.

In the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan 2012 concert recordings held in the Capital last weekend, Sukkanya Ramgopal and her all-women team enthralled music lovers with their instrumental ensemble programme. Starting the ensemble with a Muthuswami Dikshitar composition, the group led by Sukkanya went on to present pieces composed in Kundalavarali, Varamu and Madhukauns. Using a set of ghatams of different pitch matching with a raga scale, Sukkanya created music from the percussion instrument.

Yoga Vandana on the veena, Soumya Ramachandran on violin, Ranjani Venkatesh on mridangam and Bhagyalakshmi Krishna on morsing contributed significantly to enrich the ensemble. The recordings of the Sammelan concerts held in Delhi and other parts of country are scheduled to be broadcast by AIR from October 20 to November 29. Music lovers who missed Sukkanya’s music ensemble can hear the recordings on November 12, 2012, 10 p.m. onwards.

In another well-organised programme, “Guruguha Music Festival”, at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), the Chennai-based Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan delighted music lovers with some well-presented compositions of Muthuswami Diskshitar.

The concert was preceded by professor T. R. Subrahmaniam’s lecture on the topic “Influence of Dhrupad in the compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar”, which was informative. Arnab Chatterjee and Radha Venkatachalam sang two Dhrupads and Dikshitar’s compositions (in Hindolam and Hamirkalyani ragas) demonstrating the similarities.

Santhanagopalan started his concert with Dikshitar’s popular composition “Vathapi ganapathim” in raga Hamswadhani. One felt his swaraprastharas towards the end of this song were a little too stretched at that point of time of the concert. “Srinadadi” in raga Mayamalavagoula, and “Manasa guruguha” in raga Anandabhairavi were soaked in bhavas.

“Palayamam Parvadeesa” in raga Kanada underwent fine treatment. Santhanagopalan took up “Ramanatam bhajeham” in raga Pantuvarali and “Ketha Sri Balakrishnam” in raga Dwijavanti for detailed presentations. He concluded his concert with “Balasubramanyam bhajeham” in raga Suruti.

M.A. Sundareswaran on violin, K.V. Prasad on the mridangam and Vikom R. Goplakrishnan on ghatam provided excellent support to Santhanagopalan. Ajay Namboodri provided his vocal support. While Sundareswaran played good sketches of ragas Pantuvarali and Dwijavanti, the percussionists played a riveting tani avartanam in rupakam tala.