A three-day festival was organised in Irinjalakuda to pay homage to Swati Tirunal.

Synchronised euphonic strains from the strings of Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi soothed the rasikas.

Nadopasana, Irinjalakuda, paid homage to the royal composer Swati Tirunal by organising a three-day festival of music and dance recently and for the 15th year in succession.Salem Gayathri Venkatesh, disciple of T.R. Subramaniam, excelled on the first day by presenting a memorable concert. After the initial Kalyani varnam and varanamukha (Hamsadwani), she took Karnaranjini for elaboration and sang the Muthiah Bhagavathar composition `Vanchathomune.' The Vasantha piece of Tyagaraja, `Etuladorikitivo,' which is rarely heard, showed her repertoire. A well-structured neatly executed alaapana of Dharmavathi (`Bhajanaseya') and a detailed Thodi (`Thaamathamen') were ample proof of her command and control over her voice and vocal chords. Edappally Ajithkumar faithfully accompanied on the violin. J. Vaidyanathan, disciple of T.K. Moorthy, won the appreciation of the audience for his rhythmic expositions in Tanjore bhaani. `Ranganatha Panchakam,' `Thevaram,' `Kurai onrum illai' - all set to raagamalikas and a Lalgudi thillana in Maand comprised the post-thani session.

Violin duet

On the second day, synchronised euphonic strains from the strings of Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi soothed the rasikas. The blessings received by their forefather Rama Bhagavathar from Tyagaraja has percolated down the generations and the purity of the bani is maintained, refined and rejuvenated at each stage. According to Sthalapurana, Lalgudi means Bhairavi Vana and true to its meaning, Krishnan with a neat essay of raga Bhairavi, escorted the audience through its nook and corner. A ragam thanam pallavi in Vaachaspathi tagged with raagamalika swaras was another memorable piece. Another important feature was that one could decipher the sahithya from their performance, whether it was `Jananipahi' (Sudhasaaveri), `Smarasada maanasa' (Bilahari) of Swati or `Aadamodi galade' (Charukesi) of Tyagaraja or `Govardhanagireesam' (Hindolam) of Dikshitar.

Mohiniyattom recital

Danseuse Gopika Varma choreographed and presented Bhagavatham of Swati Tirunal in Mohiniyattam on the final day. The music set by Govinda Rao comprised Ghana raga panchakam - Naata, Goula, Aarabhi, Varaali and Sree. Various episodes like Poothanamoksham, Govardhonadharanam, Rasakreeda, Rukmini Swayamvaram, Viswaroopa Darsanam and Kuchela vritham were effectively emoted. Her stint with Kathakali maestro Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair has helped a lot. Rajeev (vocal), Jinapalan(violin), Reghunath (flute), Sudhaman (mridangam) and Nandakumar (edakka) contributed to the success of this thematic solo. Sangeetharaadhana, Sopana sangeetham, Naadha Samanwayam and a Raaga Samanwayam, wherein selected compositions of Irayimman Thampi were rendered by Rajeev in Kathakali style and Reju Narayanan in Carnatic style added variety to the festival.