Unexplored aspects of Carnatic music were presented by stalwarts at the fourth edition of Nadopasana 2012 in Thrissur.

During the two-day Nadopasana 2012 music festival at V.M. Auditorium, Annamanada, Thrissur, listeners were fortunate to experience unexplored nuances of the Carnatic genre, and all the three major concerts featured virtuosos in their own respective areas of interests.

K.N. Ranganatha Sharma

K.N. Ranganatha Sharma adhered to tradition in his two-hour concert. He took off with a précis of Mayamalavagaula for the composition of the saint-composer Tyagaraja – ‘Merusamana’ in Adi. The divinity of the raga defined the stature of the concert. The piece was embellished with kalpanaswaras in doublets. In contrast to this auspicious suddha rishabha raga, one in chathusruthi was served next – ‘Sankari neeve’ in Begada, Roopakam, composed by Subbaraya Sastri.

A fast-paced ‘Chinna nade na’, a Tygaraja kriti in Kalanidhi, came as an apt prelude to the weighty ‘Muripemu galige gadha’ in Mukhari, Adi, again a Tyagaraja composition, which was dealt with in detail. The tempos of these two compositions were in direct proportion to the next two that followed – Swati Tirunal’s ‘Bhogeendrasaayinam’ in Kuntalavarali, Khanda Chapu, and Chaturragamalika Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Ranjani and Manoranjani – a janya of Manavathi, Janaranjani and Sreeranjani, treated in Khanda Matyam.

Thiruvizha Viju S. Anand accompanied well on the violin and his responses to the improvisations were commendable. Palakkad Maheshkumar (mridangam), Udupi Sreedhar (ghatam) and Payyannur Govindaprasad (morsing) were on the percussion. The patterns of tisram and koraippus of the intricate tani were excellent and its mohra and korvai were beautiful. Sharma wound up his recital with Dharmapuri Subbaraya Iyer’s ‘Maru bari’, a javali in Khamas, Adi, and ‘Karpagame’ in Madhyamavathi, Adi.

Baby Sreeram

On the second day, in the morning, Baby Sreeram gave a concert steeped in classicism. Opening her recital with ‘Karunimpa’, a pleasing varnam in Shahana, she moved onto a composition of Papanasam Sivan – ‘Pollappuli’ in Mayamalavagaula, Adi. An alapana of Sankarabharanam was tagged to the Tyagaraja composition ‘Sambho Sivasankara guru amboruha nayana,’ structurally unusual, comprising eight charanas (the kriti does not have an anupallavi) commencing with different swaras of the raga that rings out the effulgence of Sankarabharana. The swaras she adopted for improvisation provided accurate links to all the eight charanas.

‘Karpaka manohara’ of Papanasam Sivan in Malayamarutham and Khanda Chapu was in allegretto. The major attraction of the evening was Tygaraja’s ‘Ennalu ulake’ in Shubhapanthuvarali. Phases of ragalapana were well defined and melodiously projecting the essence of the raga.

Baby chose to sing niraval and swaras at opening lines of the charana ‘Sati matlakinchi sad bhaktha kotula samrakshinchaga leda’. Trivandrum Sampath on the violin was lucid in his expressions, especially in his phrases and ‘etra jaaru’ oscillations. Kadammanitta Manu V. Narayanan (mridangam) and Vellatanjur Sreejith (ghatam) moulded a reverberating tani for the Adi (two kala) tala opus that had exciting exchanges between the two.

A ragamalika viruttam with high ends of melodic variations led to Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Ennathavam seithane’ in Kapi, Adi.

The concert came to an end with a thillana in Nattaikurunji composed by the singer herself. By her own admission, the anupallavi has a ‘gopucchayathi’ and the charana is full of mathematical interpretations.

Palakkad Sreeram

Palakkad Sreeram had a good start with a Adi tala varnam composed by Lalgudi G. Jayaraman – ‘Innum en manam’ in Charukeshi.

‘Aparadhamulanorva’ in Rasali, Adi, was interspersed with condensed swara patterns.

In ‘Gurulekhayetuvandi’ in Gowrimanohari, Khanda Chapu, focus was on the melodic aspects of the composition.

For Tygaraja’s ‘Rajuvedala’, the alapana of Thodi, however, seemed a little stretched and one thought it could have been shorter. Prologue in Kalyani for ‘Talli ninnu nera’ was candid and he tried out a sruthi bedham also. As expected, Sreeram carved out resilient patterns of swaras ending in panchama and shadja.

Edappally Ajithkumar on the violin dexterously responded to the niravals and swaras. Sreedhar Parthasarathy (mridangam), Vazhappilly Krishnakumar (ghatam) and Payyannur Govindaprasad (morsing) built up an energetic tani. Sreeram concluded his recital with ‘Nanati Brathuku’ in Revathy, Adi, an Annamacharya kriti, and a Meera bhajan in a raga with a mixture of Hindolam and Hindola Kamini.

The fete was organised by Agni Cultural Academy, their fourth National Music Conference and Music Festival billed as Nadaopasana 2012. It was supported by Touryatrikam and Eswar.