Sreevalsan J. Menon paid homage to Irayimman Thampi through his exquisite renditions.
A concert on the compositions of Irayimman Thampi could not have a better presenter than Sreevalsan J. Menon, who has done extensive research on the composer’s works and has recorded albums comprising these compositions.
The concert was an attestation of the composer’s brilliant compositions in chaste Sanskrit, Manipravalam and Malayalam. The concert, which took off in Natta raga, saw an extensive and dainty muktaippu for the composition ‘Pahi Nikhila Janani’. This composition is an invocation to the goddess at Palkulangara in Thiruvananthapuram.
The vocalist came up with such snippets on the songs during the course of the concert. After a short sketch of raga Surutti, Sreevalsan sang ‘Neelavarna Pahimam’ written on Neyyatinkara Krishnan.
Nanjil Arul’s percussion support on the mridangam was exemplary as he picked every phrase of the composition and followed them with perfection, considering the fact that these songs are rarely sung in concerts.
Pantuvarali raga alapana was short and crisp and the kriti ‘Shambho Mahadeva’ had a detailed niraval on the title line. ‘Karunacheyvan’, originally composed in Sriragam, is now popularly sung in Yadukulakamboji. This was sung with feel and melody.
After an alapana of Mukhari, Sreevalsan sang ‘Adimalarina thanne Krishna’. The abounding devotion was moving and the audience reacted warmly to the song. He sang structured swaras against the line ‘Paramadayambunidhe’.
Mohanam was effortlessly sung. Sreevalsan eschewed some mundane phrases and made it more appealing. Idapally Ajith adroitly followed up the alapana.
A systematic singing of Tyagaraja’s ‘Mohanarama’ with its many sangatis had swaras with ample variety. The singing of swaras culminated in variations and korvais centered around gandhara. It concluded with a tani by Arul and Vazhappilly Krishnakumar on the ghatam. They vied with each other in a healthy spirit, yet, as always with Arul, the coordination was remarkable and this led to a wonderful rhythmic crescendo.
On the request of the audience, he sang M.D. Ramanathan's composition ‘Sagarashayana vibho’ in Bageshree and tagged it to the evergreen lullaby of Thampi in Navroj ‘Omanathingal kidavo’.
Irayimman Thampi Day was organised by Kerala Fine Arts Society