All India Radio’s national broadcasts of live recordings from the 167th Tyagaraja Aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru brought the scent of the festival to listeners.

All India Radio, in a special programme “Ravivaria Akil Bhartiya Sangeeth Sabha”, some time back, broadcast the live recordings of two Carnatic music concerts from the 167th Sadguru Tyagaraja Aradhana Festival which was held at Thiruvaiyaru, where the saint composer Tyagaraja attained samadhi. The emphasis in the music recitals during this festival is on the compositions of Tyagaraja, through brief raga alapanas and neraval to bring out the lyrical value of these compositions. Music lovers also, who gather at the Aradhana, pay great attention to the lyrical values. Unlike in other regular concerts, the emphasis is also on the mathematics in swara singing. AIR has been broadcasting such live recordings for the past many years. The other highlight of these broadcasts is to hear the group rendering of the famous five ‘Pancharatna’ kritis — in the ragas Nattai, Gowla, Arabhi, Varali and Sri — by innumerable musicians gathered like pilgrims at the venue.

The first broadcast contained a brief vocal duet recital of Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya, (popularly known as the “Priya Sisters”), for about 45 minutes. Even in the short concert, through a careful and thoughtful selection of the compositions, the siblings provided a feeling of listening to a full-fledged concert. Many of the songs they chose are not often heard in regular concerts. They did highlight the emotive content of many of the compositions.

The Priya Sisters started their recital with “Lakshanamulu gala” in raga Suddha Saveri and ended with “Pahi Ramaduta” in raga Vasantavarali. Their rendering of the slow paced “Manamu leda” in raga Hamir Kalyani was delightful. Even in this brief recital, the duo sang “Vedalenu Kodandapani” in raga Todi and “Soumitri Bhagyame” in raga Karaharapriya in a fairly detailed manner. In the former composition, their brilliant neraval of the phrase “Vasudha bhara mellanu dirpa vedalenu kondandapani” — partly from the charanam portion of the composition and partly from the pallavi portion itself — was impressive. In the latter composition, the brief alapana of the raga, seemingly by Haripriya (as one was listening to the radio broadcast) and the brief tani avartanam by the percussionist were enjoyable. V.V. Srinivasa Rao on the violin, Patri Satishkumar on the mridangam and Madipakkam A. Murali on the ghatam provided excellent support.

In another live broadcast, B. Vijaygopal rendered Tyagaraja compositions delightfully on the flute. His recital too was of same duration as that of Priya Sisters. The opening piece “Ninnada Nela” in raga Kannada was well presented. “Nada loludai” in raga Kalyana Vasantham and “Bagayanayya” in raga Chandrajyoti were rendered very emotively. “Ramabhirama Ramaniyanama” in raga Darbar and the main piece “Etavunara” in raga Kalyani were handled very well. The main piece was preceded by a fine alapana of raga Kalyani and ended with tani avartanam. The accompanying artistes R.K Shriramkumar on the violin, B. Harikumar on the mridangam and K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the kanjira were excellent.