The seven-day `Swati Sangeetotsavam 2006' was a treat for rasikas.

Music lovers who gathered at the palatial Kuthiramalika, Thiruvananthapuram, were mes merised by violin maestro V.V. Subramanyam.The recently concluded `Swati Sangeetotsavam 2006,' saw the violin maestro at his scintillating best.

Rapturous music

Open ing the recital with a Swati kriti in Hamsadwani (`Pahi sree pate... '), Subramanyam went on to play the famous `Paripalaya mam... ' in Reetigoula. The keertanams which started in an unconventional manner, that is, either on an unusual note or on a secon d phrase in the pallavi, aroused the curiosity of listeners. Similarly, he began an elaboration of ragas such as Poorvikalyaani (`Deva Deva jagadeeswara... '), Charukesi (`Kripaya palaya saure... ') and the main, Simmendramadhyamam (`Rama rama guna seema ... '), without revealing the ragalakshana at the outset. The people also got to hear his typical todi (Pankajakshatava seva... ), and short kritis in lighter ragas such as Surutti, Darbari Kanada, and Sindubhairavi. A meditative silence prevailed at the venue, while the intoxicating euphony from his violin serenaded the rasikas. It was a major achievement for the organisers, as the ace violinist has restricted himself to four or five public concerts in a year. He was accompanied only by the eminent mridangam artiste Thiruvaroor Bhakthavalsalam. Gayathri Venkataraghavan gave a bhava-laden recital the previous day to the stellar accompaniment of Akkari Subbulakshmi (violin), Ganapathiraman (mridangam) and N. Guruprasad (ghatom).The main piece she chose was the Navarathri kriti in Bhairavi (Janani mamava... ). The seven-day music festival started with a concert by Sanjay Subramaniam. His exposition of Darbar (`Smara manasa... '), Shanmukhapriya and the main item in Ameerkalyani ( `Gangey a vasana dhara... ') were steeped in classicism. Gururvayoor Dorai (mridangam), S.R. Vinu (violin), S. Karthick (ghatom) and Payyannur Govindaprasad provided a befitting accompaniment. The concert of the senior Malladi brothers (Suri Babu and Narayana Sh arma ) from Andhra Pradesh was an exposition in vidwath. Begada (`Karunakara madhava... '), and Panthuvarali ( `Sarasakha... ') were elaborated with elegance, while Kalyani ( `Pankachalochana... ') was the main item for the evening. S.R. Mahadeva Sarma handled the violin with expertise, especially in ragas like Begada, Pantuvarali and Kalyani. G. Babu on the mrdiangam and Uduppi Sridhar complemented each other.

Veena concert

Rama Varma's veena concert was accompanied by B. Harikumar and Bombay Ganesh on the mridangam, S. Karthick on the ghatom and Payyanur Govindaprasad on the morsing. A rare composition, `Bhavathi viswaswo... ' in Mukhari, which lauds th e nine forms of devotion to God, and the main piece `Jaya jaya padmanabha... ' in Sarasangi were noteworthy. The percussion-quartet's thani session evoked a warm response from listeners.

Befitting finale

The music fete came to an end with a vocal recital by K. Omanakutty. She was accompanied by Attukal Balasubramaniam on the violin, Chertala Jayadev on the mridangam, Adichanallur Anilkumar on the ghatom and Kottayam Murali on the morsing. The concert was noted for the selection of several less-heard Swati kritis, thanks to the research the vocalist has been doing in the subject. `Deva palaya murare... ' in Asaveri, `Kalaye Deva devam... ' in Ranjini, `Sree kumara ... ' in Atana, `Panchabhana Dhanurdhara... ' in Poorvikalyani, the main piece `Rasavilasalola... ' in Kamboji and a tillana in boopalam were some of the kritis presented. On the second day, it was a Hindustani treat from Pandit Veerabhadraiah Hiremath a nd party from Karnataka. A seminar on music was also held on the side on the third day.