Kalasagaram honoured Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana, V. Kamalakara Rao and Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan.

Kalasagaram's annual Day festivities at Keyes High School, Secunderabad, are always marked by a festive atmosphere and also the conferring of its prestigious title ‘Sangeetha Kalasagara' on chosen classical artistes of repute. The focus was on 86-year-old Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana, 73-year-old veteran mridangam artiste V. Kamalakara Rao, another eminent musical personality - the young violinist Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan, son of legendary Jayaraman.

Performer and a teacher

Nookala was praised for his active service in the field of Carnatic music both as a performer and teacher.

He presented his concert accompanied by Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan on violin, and V.Kamalakara Rao on mridangam. B.S. Purushotham on kanjira and P. Srinivasa Gopalan on morsing were in the support group.

Nookala's concerts, these days, are generally set in teaching mode. But this time, Nookala delivered a masterly vocal concert as a lesson in spontaneous rendition, displaying rich manodharma. Nookala began with a brief but relishing Begada and went on to offer his salutations to Ganesha with the Deekshitar Kriti, Vallabha Nayakasya, followed by free flowing sSwaras.

He then rendered Kannada Gowla for Thyagaraja's Sogasu Jooda Tarama, bringing out the Ssogasu (beauty) of the song and the raga, which is rarely chosen for Raga elaboration. His swaras too had the ring of a seasoned singer.

The next item was Nalinakanti for Thyagaraja's Manavi Yalakincha Radate also of Thyagaraja. Nookala's elaboration of this raga had his own stamp of bringing out the rRaaga flavour in every phrase and every turn. His swaras again had the easy flow of a river after a frantic dissent. Finally, Nookala elaborated Ananda Bhairavi, with all its flavour and unexplored beauties.

The elaborate O Jagadamba of Shyama Sastry had another slew of well laid out swaras. One thing that has to be mentioned about this concert is that Nookala gave a demonstration of how the swara singing has to start, how the flow should be built up and how it should be concluded with a bang, all the time punctuated with stock as well as unexplored phrases. Krishnan on his violin followed the vocalist with perfect anticipation and gave his own swara improvisation with equal prowess.

The rhythmic solo for O Jagadamba in the leisurely tempo of a ‘Chowka Kala Adi Talam' was neither too long nor too short. He rendered the kriti with emotions .

The role played by Krishnan and Kamalakara Rao was such that at one stage Nookala preferred to say that he was singing only to listen to the seasoned accompanists' performance. His flair for innovation could be noticed at every stage. He ended his concert with presentation of his own composition on Anjaneya – Bhavaye Pawamana Nandanam preceded by a slokam.