Vignesh Ishwar’s line-up comprised kritis mostly by Tyagaraja.
Prof. P. Sambamoorthy used to remark that Subbaraya Sastri, the second son of Syama Sastri ‘belied the usual caustic ignorance associated with Pandita putras.’ He had his early training under his father, and later under Saint Tyagaraja himself! Little wonder that his compositions are brimming with raga bhava.
‘Sankari Neeve,’ one of his masterpieces was rendered by young Vignesh Ishwar at Mylapore Fine Arts Club. Almost all the classical elements of Begada were brought out in the alapana itself. Lavanya Kothandaraman, the young talented violinist etched a sweet Begada. Their swaraprastaras (at Pallavi) were engrossing.
Vignesh delineated Kharaharapriya eloquently and Lavanya too created a charming raga. No doubt, as they get to listen to and practise more and more of music, their raganubhava also is bound to enhance. ‘Pakkala Nilabadi’ (misra chapu) was the chosen kriti. The saint in this composition is addressing both Sita and Lakshmana who constantly stand on either side of Lord Rama aand serve him. Tyagaraja desires to visualise the scene. The niraval and swaras were at ‘Manasuna Dalachi’. The mridangam thani provided by the young N.C. Bharadwaj was a sheer rhythmic beauty. Here is a youngster who is equipped to soon blossom into a great vidwan.
Vignesh commenced the concert with the ‘Vanajakshi’ varnam, followed by Dikshitar’s maiden kriti, ‘Sri Naathadhi Guruguho’ in Mayamalawagowla. While the niraval was at ‘Maya Sabalitha Brahmarupo,’ the swaras were at ‘Mayamalavagowladhi.’ Well, nowadays, all these are accepted. So, no problem.
‘Karuna Elagante Nee Vidhame’ (Varali) is another divine composition of Tyagaraja. He explains as to how a devotee who realises the oneness of the Paramathma and Jivathma will be. “He will not utter a lie, will not injure others, will not give up learning, will not have the three desires and will not exhibit any kind of exultation even when he is a jivanmukta. The grace of the Lord will be at the service of such a devotee,” says the Saint. Vignesh rendered this kriti quite well. ‘Govardhanagiri’ (Durbari Kanada) of Narayana Tirtha and Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh, ‘Niraimathimukamenum’ were the tail-enders.