Two great personalities were remembered as Delhi music groups commemorated the annual Tyagaraja Aradhana and the birth centenary of vocalist T. Brinda

Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha and the India International Centre organised a function in the Capital recently to mark the birth centenary of the celebrated Carnatic vocalist T. Brinda. As a part of the event, a DVD film on Brinda was screened. This was followed by a brief concert of Carnatic music by Tiruvarur S. Girish, grandson of late Brinda. In a structured concert suiting the occasion, Girish delighted music lovers for about an hour with some well-presented items. These included a padam and a javali too — appropriately enough, since his grandmother was renowned for her rendition of such compositions.

Endowed with a good voice, Girish started his concert impressively with an Adi tala varnam in raga Sahana. He even suffixed crisp swaraprastaras towards the end of the varnam. Swati Tirunal’s composition “Devadeva” in raga Mayamalavagowla too was suffixed with some crisp and fast paced kalpana swaras.

Taking up Tyagaraja’s “Etijenma midiha” in raga Varali for detailed presentation, Girish brought out the emotive contents of the lyrics. Earlier, he presented a scintillating raga alapana, and later in the composition, his neraval that flowed with rich creativity.

Since this was a short concert, Girish then took up another song in some detail — Kumara Ettendra’s “Gajavadana Sammodita” in raga Todi, a song one does not get to hear frequently in concerts. A fine alap of the raga and creative swaraprastaras yet again were the highlights.

In a fitting finale, Girish took up “Ososi” a padam in raga Mukhari, and “Samayamide”, a javali in Behag. VSK Chakrapani on the violin and Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan on the mridangam provided excellent support to Girish. Chakrapani’s delineation of ragas Varali and Todi was enjoyable. So was the tani avartanam (percussion solo) which Padmanabhan played in Adi tala. Given the time constraints, Girish managed to do adequate justice to various aspects of concert singing. Both the organisations deserve credit for arranging the function as well as the concert by a musician belonging to Brinda’s family.

Elsewhere at Mayur Vihar Phase III, Sri Adi Sankara Sewa Samajam organised a Tyagaraja Aradhana programme at their Sri Ishta Siddhi Vinayaka temple complex last Sunday. The programme culminated with Vasanthi Krishna Rao and her disciples rendering the Pancharatna kritis of the legendry composer in a synchronised manner. R. Saravanan on the violin, J. Ramakrishnan on the flute and Jayant P. Dass on the mridangam provided good support.

Tradition in flow

Born on November 5, 1912, into a musical family, T. Brinda had her initial training in music from her mother Kamakshi Ammal from a very young age, and later on from Kanchipuram Naina Pillai, under the traditional gurukula system. The legendary Veena Dhanammal was her grandmother and T. Balasaraswati, the celebrated Bharatanatyam exponent, was her cousin. Brinda soon rose to be a musician of high calibre and started giving concerts along with her sister T. Mukta. Brinda was known as a repository of padams, javalis and many rare compositions. A number of musicians are known to have taken advanced training from her.