The thirtieth anniversary of the Vignana Samithi saw a mixed gathering of musiciansThe three-decade-old Vignana Samithi, one of the few prime music sabhas in the twin cities, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary and Thyagabrahma's 160th Aradahana together at the Anandnagar Community Hall in Khairatabad. This music sabha is particularly known for combining talent from the south with Andhra's well-known carnatic musicians, besides holding mini concerts of upcoming talent. The weeklong festival opened with an auspicious Nadaswara Kacheri by Pamuleti Narasimha Brindam. There was the usual group singing Pancharatna kirtanas of Thyagaraja, in which some of the noted carnatic vocalists of the twin cities took part, led by veteran Kokkonda Subrahmanya Sarma and M. Dakshinamurthy. The major events, included a lecture demonstration by Akella Mallikarjuna Sarma, well-known violinist and former principal Government College of Music, Hyderabad, who specialised in the art of laya. His speech was basically on this subject and said that proper knowledge of tala was the basic need if a person wanted to become a musician-vocalist or instrumentalist. He said, he chose his disciples only after testing the god-given gift of laya. This was followed by a violin concert by veteran P. Poornachander. The significant feature of this veteran's play has always been the pure note and erudition. These qualities were profoundly displayed in his play on the occasion. The raga essay he gave had all the qualities of a versatile player, adding loveable nuances, enhancing the total appeal in all the three octaves that he built effortlessly. The composition he chose was the popular Prakkala Nilabadi, which he played with a vocalist touch, so a listener could render it word by word as he played. The swaraprasthara part was a delight, for which he gave considerable time, applying his mind in producing some exemplary rhythmic patterns. The other raga was Ravichandrika (Niravadhi Sukhada) that was also well received. Neevalla Gunadoshamemi in Kapi, Maaravairi in Nasikabhushani and Rara Maintidaka in Asaveri were other notable numbers in his concert. For an invocation, he chose a rare Srigananadham in Kanakangi, which he himself sang in the film Sruthilayalu of K. Viswanath. The tani avartanam by supporting percussionists P.V. Ramanamurthy on mridangam and P.Srinivasa Gopalan on morsing , sounded interesting because of the odd combination of mridangam and morsing, with both the percussionists giving a spirited display.
Brothers in concertThe weeklong festivities continued with an impressive and absorbing vocal duet of Hyderabad Brothers D. Raghavachari and Seshachari. . Some of the students of the Brothers were allowed to sing along with their gurus. However, this proved a bit distracting as the gurus resorted to checking them, like in a classroom. It would be better if these aspects do not recur in concerts. Otherwise, the brothers gave an impressive show of high standard, both in musical quality and expression of Sahitya Bhava, imbedded in all the kirtanas of Thyagaraja. Seshachari was emotional while rendering some of the pieces with great appeal, like in Needaya Raada in Vasantha Bhairavi, known for Karuna Rasa. The brothers began with Sitamma Mayamma in Vasantha and went for a moving Devagandhari delineation. Their choice in this was Vinarada Naa Manavi. Then they went for the raga essay of Udayaravi Chandrika, for a quickie Enta Nerchina. This was marked by Swarakalpana shared by the brothers, revealing their erudition. The highlight of the concert was Kambhoji, delineated by both the singers giving a comprehensive look. Violinist Peri Sriramamurthi, in his response, gave a refreshing picture of the popular melody adding his virtuosi skills in his play of the instrument. And his support throughout the concert was such that every bit of his play found response in the auditorium with loud applause. O Rangasayi was the choice in which the brothers presented a very expansive nereval, at Bhooloka Vaikunthambidiyani that slowly slid into Swaraprasthara, which was simply brilliant. M.L.N. Raju on mridangam and Somayajulu on ghatam, lent percussion support.