Most of the musicians who participated in the Kalpathy Sangeetholsavam showcased vintage Carnatic music at its best.

The annual Kalpathy Sangeetholsavam offered a sumptuous feast of vintage music.

Sanjay Subramanyam

Sanjay Subramanyam showcased his creative artistry in his concert on the opening day, which was dedicated to Purandaradasa. Starting with the varnam ‘Chalamela' in Nattakurinji, he proceeded to Purandaradaasa's ‘Jaya Jaya Janakikantha' in Natta, appending it with racy swaras. ‘Devi Brova,' the Shyama Sastri kriti in Chintaamani, was full of astute bhava. His innovative alapanas of Sarasaangi and Kanada fully brought out the swaroopa of the ragas.

Sanjay's elaboration of Mohanam opened up new vistas. It was a unique creation, full of well-chiselled sangatis. The stage-by-stage development of tanam, followed by the pleasing pallavi in Adi tala, was superb. Ragamalika swaras in Anandabhairavi, Begada and Subapantuvaraali were etched in delectable melody.

Providing splendid accompaniment, Nagai Sriram( violin) presented delightful sketches of the ragas. Bangalore Praveen (mridangam) and B.S. Purushothaman (ganjira) enlivened the concert with their spirited display. Their tani was a laudable effort.

Nithyasree Mahadevan

Nithyasree Mahadevan enthralled the large audience with her electrifying concert on the second day, dedicated to Annamacharya.

With her mellifluous voice and wonderful stage presence, she was able to easily strike a chord with the listeners.

She opened with the varnam ‘Intamodiseya' in Saranga and followed it up with Annamacharya's ‘Sriman Narayana' in Bowli.

The build-up of kalpana swaras for the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Naadathanumanisam' was magnificent. Her delineation of Atana was full of classical sangatis; serenity marked the rendition of Tyagaraja's ‘Aepaapamu.' Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ‘Sabhapathikku' (Abogi) was followed by an elaborate version of Bhushavali; the Swati Tirunal kriti ‘Gopanandana' was well presented .

A lucid exposition of Bhairavi was interspersed with delectable ‘akaras.' Neraval and swara passages in the Dikshitar kriti ‘Baalagopala' were scintillating. Swati Tirunal's bhajan ‘Aaye Giridhar' in Poorya Dhanasri, a moving Tamil virutham in the ragamalika format followed by the song ‘Kapaalini'( rare raga Paalini-Lalitha Sivakumar) and Annamacharya's ‘Aadhi Deva Paramatma' in Sindhubhairavi were soulful.

Violinist C.S. Anuroop rose to the occasion; his raga essays were rich in melody. Percussionists I.Sivakumar (mridangam), Sivaramakrishnan (ghatam) and Raja Ganesh (ganjira) played their roles with competence.

Sreevalsan J. Menon

Sreevalsan J.Menon's vocal recital on the third day (Swati Tirunal Day) was characterised by deep classicism and rich musical expressions. With his resonant voice, he was able to capture the attention of the listeners. Further, he was in great company that day with maestro Umayalpuram Sivaraman on the mridangam.

Commencing elegantly with the varnam ‘Aeranapai' in Thodi, he came out with pleasing renditions of ‘Vignarajaninnu' (Sriranjani- M.D.Ramanathan) and ‘Paramapurusham' (Lalitha Panchamam - Swati Tirunal). His essay of Poorvikalyani was traditional. Neraval and swaraprastharas in the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Gnanamusgaradha' made an impact. In his in-depth elaboration of Nattakurinji, he clearly brought out the raga swaroopa. The beauty of the raga was further explored in the rendition of Syama Sastri's ‘Maayamma Nannubrova' and in the succeeding swara patterns.

Although the time was short for an RTP, Sreevalsan ventured to go for it with an excellent exposition of Sindhubhairavi. The tanam passages were superb and the pallavi in Misra chaapu tala was nicely executed.

T.H.Subramanyam's (violin) raga versions and swara sallies were delightful. Umayalpuram Sivaraman's remarkable skill to reproduce the musical expressions on the mridangam was amazing while his tani was a veritable feast of dexterous touches. Thripunithura Radhakrishnan's (ghatam) role in the tani was praiseworthy.

Vinay Sharva

Young vocalist Vinay Sharva of Bangalore gave ample proof of his erudition and rich manodharma in his absorbing concert on the fourth day (Muthuswamy Dikshitar Day).

The Sahana varnam ‘Karunimpa' and ‘Sree Maha Ganapathe' in Natta formed an ideal base to build a grand superstructure. A fine sketch of Arabhi preceded the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Naadhasudha.' He did full justice to Poorvikalyani; the alapana was enriched with brigas and akaras.

Delineation of Madhyamavathi for RTP was marked by energetic prayogas while pallavi in Tisra triputa thaala, with a plethora of swaras, was a tidy presentation. Accompanists, Raghuram (violin),Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma (mridangam) and Bharadwaj (morsing) performed as a team, extending good support.

Malladi Brothers

The Malladi brothers Sriram Prasad and Ravi Kumar kept the audience enraptured with their spirited renditions on the fifth day, earmarked for Shyama Sastri. Endowed with vibrant voices, the duo excelled in offering vintage music.

The brothers maintained a lively tempo from the opening ‘Bhavanutha' (Mohanam-Tyagaraja) till the last Mangalam.

Sriram Prasad's graceful essay of Anandabhairavi was followed by a soulful presentation of Syama Sastri's ‘Himachalatanaya.'

Ravikumar's alapana of Poorvikalyani proceeded on classical lines.

Dikshitar's ‘Kaasi Visalakshim' was well rendered with a tidy neraval and manodharma swaras. The duo's elaboration of Kambodhi was embellished with powerful sangathis, touching many facets of the raga's innate strength.

The subtle improvisations in the neraval and swaraprastharas in the portrayal of the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Sri Raghuvara' were mind-blowing. Their exposition of Gowrimanohari (RTP) was a testament to their profound manodharma. The raga bhava emerged beautifully in the alapana, thaanam and pallavi, which was set to tisra triputa tala. Ragamalika swaras added pep to the rendition.

M.A. Sundareswaran's violin accompaniment was a fine amalgam of melody and tone. His raga versions bore the mark of the distinctive Parur style. K.V. Prasad's soft strokes on the mridangam provided aural pleasure.

Vaikom Gopalakrishnan (ghatam) lent excellent support. Their tani was well received.

The final day was dedicated to Tyagaraja. The proceedings started in the morning with Unchavrithi, followed by rendition of the saint's Pancharatna kritis.

Kudamaloor Janardanan

In the evening, Kudamaloor Janardanan performed a flute recital. He is no doubt a talented musician. Soothing, melodious music emanates from his flute, rather, flutes.

However, deviating from the established concert pattern, he chose a different path that day, much to the chagrin of discerning rasikas.

He started with raga Behag and announced the rendition as ‘Varna murali.' The second item was a dance-based composition, in the raga Naagaswaravali – ‘Natana murali.' It was a speedy presentation, with racy swaras. He next played two Tyagaraja kritis, ‘Sadamadim' (Gambhiravani) and ‘Ravinchuvarevarura' (Subhoshini).

His rendition of Swati Tirunal's ‘Chaliye Kunjan' in Brindavanasaranga – particularly on the long flute – was captivating. In the ragamalika swarapallavi, he played melodious tunes of Dharmavathi, Thodi, Mohanam, Valaji and Sivaranjani.

He concluded with the popular English Note ‘Gaamaga rigama rigasa.' Accompanists, H.Kishore (mridangam) and Hari Krishnamurthy (tabla) did a good job. Their tani was enjoyable.

The aural festival was organised by the District Tourism Promotion Council, Palakkad.