Four Carnatic music concerts treated the audience in Thrissur to enthralling rendering of classical notes.
Thrissur hosted four illuminating concerts by stalwarts who came up with an interesting melange of musical finesse and virtuosity.
Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijaylakshmi
Of the four, the inaugural concert was by the violin duo Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijaylakshmi. Melody was the hallmark of the two-hour performance presented in the typical concert format.
The very first note Krishnan bowed to begin his Guru’s Charukesi Varnam ‘Innam eu manam’ was quintessential of this. Padri Satheeshkumar was on the mridangam.
Tyagaraja’s ‘Mokshamugalada’ in Saramati, Adi, received an emotive rendition, creating the very mood of the composition. A few movements in the bass strings in the charanam were noteworthy. A Lalgudi touch was discernible in the swaras that flowed with mathematical precision in Dikshitar’s ‘Sree Mathrubhootham’ in Kannada, Misra chap. Rhythmic flourishes heightened the beauty of this prolonged attempt.
Kalyani was taken up for elaboration. The composition was Dikshitar’s ‘Kamalambam bhajare manasa’, Adi. Innumerable colours of the raga emerged through the phrases of swaras that were bowed out.
Staccato beats of Tripunithura Radhakrishnan’s ghatam had a fascinating dialogue with Padri’s mridangam in the tani that was in the right proportion. ‘Ennai thavam saithu’ in Kapi and ‘Krishna nee begane baaro’ in Yamunakalyani preceded the Lalgudi tillana in Behag.
A three-hour-plus recital by T.N. Seshagopalan was essentially a demonstration of his musical prowess. Abundance of swaras rendered while gliding over three sthayis was a common denominator to all the numbers he rendered eloquently beginning with ‘Sami ninne’ in Sree, Adi, a composition of Karur Devudu Iyer.
Support from C. Rajendran on the violin, C. Narendan on the mridangam and Vazhappilly Krishnakumar on the ghatam was pivotal. Tyagaraja’s‘Ee vasudha’ in Sahana had a racy rendering and niraval at ‘Daasa varada Tyagaraja’ was enjoyable.
After a short ‘Ananda nadata prakasam’, the Dikshitar composition in Kedaram, Misra chap, the musician forayed into an RTP in Shanmughapriya, which covered more than half of the concert.
Such a prolonged exercise could have suited a Sabha concert but not for the Athirotsav that is held in a make-shift auditorium at the Sreemoolasthaanam of the temple where people of all tastes assembled.
Not only was tanam overdone, the string of ragas tagged on was also unusually long.
They included Dwijavanti, Behag, Aahiri, Neelambari, Bowli and Revathi. Purandaradasa’s ‘Chandra choodda sivasankar’ in Darbarikannada, Adi, marked the end of the recital.
Enthralling was a two-hour vocal recital by Visalakshi Nithyanand, whose high-pitched, full-throated rendition throughout the concert was commendable. Clarity of diction and a penchant for creativity were evident when she rendered a Thevaram number ‘Thodudaya seviyan’ in Gambhira natta, Roopakam, a composition of Thirugnana Sambandhar.
Her rapport with the supporting team, comprising N. Sampath on the violin, K.M.S. Mani on the mridangam and T. Govinda Prasad on the morsing, contributed immensely in giving shape to a memorable concert. Hindolam received a sketchy deliberation being the main raga for the evening. Clinging to thara shadja for long revealed her meticulous care for sruti alignment. Sampath’s violin exhibited amazing fidelity while reproducing the alapana. The kriti was ‘Samajavaragamana’. Mani led the tani brilliantly and Govinda Prasad matched his strokes through singular tonal variations. The concert concluded with a few Tamil compositions including ‘Navasiddhi petralum’ of Neelakanta Sivan, ‘Ayye methakadinam’ of Gopalakrishna Bharati and ‘Aadum mayil alaveduthu’ of Papanasam Sivan.
Music that veteran O.S. Thyagarajan poured out for two hours was chaste. Of the 10 compositions he sang, the first six were on Siva, the presiding deity of Sree Vadakkunnathan temple, a reflection of the musician’s propriety. Admittedly, one wondered whether OST was presenting a tribute to Tyagaraja as half of the concert embraced only the vaggeyakara’s compositions, that too in quick succession. He opened with ‘‘Nadathanumanisam Sankara’, Chithtaranjini, Adi. This was closely followed by ‘Sambho mahadeva Sankara Girija ramana’ in Panthuvarali, Roopakam. Niraval was at ‘sura brindu kirita’. ‘Isa paahimam’ in Kalyani, Roopakam, received a meticulous treatment.
The swara prasthara stood out on account of the flow enriched by C.S. Anoop’s violin, K. Jayakrishnan’s mridangam, Vellattanjur Sreejith’s ghatam and Payyannur Govindaprasad’s morsing. Kamboji was the main raga. The composition was Gopala Krishna Bharathi’s ‘Thiruvadi saranam’, Adi, a kriti on Ayyappa kriti, perhaps keeping in mind the pilgrimage season to Sabarimala, when devotees trek up the hills to worship Ayyappa. Mainly staying in the upper octave, the essaying of the raga was flamboyant.
The niraval at ‘Aduthu vandu ennai’ was captivating. It was a brilliant tani marked by fireworks that the percussion trio led by Jayakrishnan tagged on the rendition to. OST rounded up with three Tamil pieces, two composed by Neelakanta Sivan, and one by Gopalakrishna Bharathi. A demarcating feature of the concerts organised by the Vadakkunnathan Kshetra Samrakshana Samithi was the affinity of the musicians to Tamil kritis. The concerts were held in connection with the seventh Athirotsavam at Sree Vadakkunnathan temple in Thrissur.