Garlands of erudite swaras were offered by musicians who performed at a cultural fete in Kuzhur.
Leading musicians reigned over the cultural programmes held in connection with the annual Ekadashi festival at Kuzhur Subramanya Swami temple.
O.S. Thygarajan (OST) concentrated on singing rarely heard kritis, most of them on Lord Muruga, the main deity of the temple. ‘Swaminatha Paripalayam’ in Natta, sung after the initial ‘Sree Ganapathini’ in Sourashtram, was packed with swaras. ‘Sree Valli Devasenapathe’, was sung with vivacity after a scholarly alapana of Natabhairavi. It was clear that the singer had an aural sketch in his mind and the rendering was filled with swara passages.
Revagupthi dawned with a humming and slowly transformed to a rarely heard Dikshitar kriti ‘Saravanabhava Guruguha’, decorated with swara passages in Srothovaha and Gopucha yathis. ‘Varavendum Vadivelane’ in the rare raga Nagavalli, a derivative of Kharaharapriya, was presented with a brief alapana before the main Kalyani piece ‘Ethavunnara’. He experimented with sruthibhedam in Kalyani alapana thereby creating a tone of Sudhadhanyasi.
T.H. Subramanian on the violin backed the vocalist on all the phases and his solo sequences, especially that of Natabhairavi and Nagavalli, were brilliant. V.V. Ramanamoorthy on the mridangam presented a variegated style of rhythmic support and presented a wonderful tani along with Udupi Sreedhar on the ghatam.
Maestro Ananthapadmanabhan once again proved his absolute command and control over the veena with his skilful mining of sublime music from the instrument. His fingers elegantly sailed through the frets, tapping the strings and creating flawless music with ease.
An erudite alaapana of Gambheeravani led to an outstanding rendition of the Tyagaraja composition ‘Sadhamathim’. With a single plucking of the string, he traversed through the octaves, showcasing his technical brilliance. After a poignant ‘Etijanmamithiha’ (Varali), he opened Sudhadhanyasi. The very entry into the raga was unconventional, thereby painting unforeseen vistas of this pentatonic raga.
‘Subramanyena Rakshithoham’ was the kriti selected for the presentation. Balakrishna Kammath on the mridangam accompanied the musician throughout the concert and and played softly, thus complementing the music. Thrikkara Y.N. Santharam on the ganjira played the role of upapakkam. A Meera bhajan in Pahadi comprised the final phase.
A detailed alaapana of Bhoopalam following the Nattakurinji varnam paved the way for an exposition of the monumental Dikshitar piece ‘Sadhachaleswaram’. She administered the ‘sadharana’ Gandharam evocatively during the swara rendering, thereby giving a clear picture of the raga.
‘Ninnada’ in Kannada was presented effortlessly, preceded by a short sketch of the raga and followed by swara passages. Mandaari, a derivative of Panthuvaraali sans ‘dha’, was convincingly presented with a brisk alaapana.
Next came a not-too-commonly heard kriti ‘Ennalu Thiruguthuno’ composed by Muthiah Bhagavathar. Her experimental thinking during the swaraprasthara, specially the usage of jandaprayoga, provided a rewarding experience to the audience. Kamboji was built on a strong edifice with rendering of organised phrases at a leisurely pace, thus providing a serene ambience. It was tagged on to ‘Sree Subramanyaya Namasthe’.
M.S.N.Moorthy on the violin was at his best and played with remarkable alacrity. The tonal quality with which he bowed was noteworthy. Nanjil Arul on the mridangam has the sense of beauty, timing and innate talent to harness his rhythmic abilities to complement a vocalist. He and Kottayam Murali, who played the morsing, presented a crisp taniavarthanam that was simple but elegant.
A resounding Ranjini followed by the Swati piece ‘Kalayedevadevam’ in the raga was enough to prove the maturity of this young artiste. ‘Kannadalli naapai’ in Devamanohari, ‘Anupama’ in Ataana were some other kritis rendered. Thodi was detailed before taking up the Papanasam Sivan kriti ‘Kunramkudi konda velavaa’. His brave and strong approach will be a support to him in the years to come.