Festival Palghat Fine Arts Society's golden jubilee festival was a music and dance extravaganza. K. Ganapathy

T he Golden Jubilee Festival of Palghat Fine Arts Society got off to a flying start with an enchanting vocal recital by T.M. Krishna. With his resonant voice, he regaled the listeners with soulful music.

After the opening ‘Janakiramana,' a kriti of Tyagaraja in Sudhaseemanthini, Krishna came out with a scintillating exposition of the rare raga Phalamanjari, bringing out the raga swaroopa in full. The kalpana swaras appended in the Tyagaraja krithi ‘Sanatana Paramapaavana' were vivacious.

A superb delineation of Devagandhari, followed by Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ‘Enneramum' was inspiring.The vivid niraval and ingenious swara patterns in the Syama Sastri kriti ‘Ninnuvina' was followed by a sprightly tani by Poongulam Subramanyam (mridangam) and Anirudh Athreya (ganjira). ‘Saaramaina' (Behag), ‘Chinnanchirukiliye' (ragamalika) and ‘Kaanavendaamo' (Sriranjani) were etched in aesthetic nuances. Krishna concluded with the popular English note. Embar Kannan's raga versions and swara sallies on the violin were marvellous.

Deep classicism

S. Sowmya's concert on the second day was marked by deep classicism and sweet melody. The Saveri varnam ‘Sarasuta' and ‘Yochana Kamalalochana' (Darbar-Tyagaraja) set the ideal ambience, leading to a delectable presentation of Kamas.

The distinct flavour of Chalanatta was visible in her rendition of Koteeswara Iyer's ‘Ethayya Gathi.' The alapana of Yadhukulakambodhi and the rendition of the Dikshitar piece ‘Divaakaratanujam' were praiseworthy.

Avaneeswaram S.R. Vinu impressed with his melodious display on the violin. Neyveli R. Narayanan (mridangam) and Payyanur Govindaprasad (morsing) teamed up to provide adequate percussion support. Their tani was enjoyable.

The third day featured a violin duet by the brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh. Performing before a packed auditorium, the duo displayed their artistry and expertise. The highlight of their recital was a ragam, tanam and pallavi in Amrita kalyani, a raga conceptualised by them by combining Amritavarshini and Kalyani.

The pallavi in Khandajaathi triputa tala and the swara ragamaalika was a grand effort. Kumaresh's delightful delineation of Sri Ranjani and Ganesh's melodious essay of Begada in the initial phase were steeped in classicism. The tillana in Sindhubhairavi, composed by the duo, was appealing. R. Ramesh (mridangam) was agile and exuberant. His tani with Trikkakara Santharam (ganjira) was well appreciated.

Aswathi Thirunal Rama Varma sang on the fourth day. Hamsadhwani raga was fully explored in the rendition of M.D. Ramanathan's kriti ‘Gajavadana maampaahi' and in the appended swaraprastharas. Dikshitar's ‘Akhilandeswari' in Dwjavanthi was a poignant presentation. Behag raga alapana was imaginative; the kriti was Swati Tirunal's ‘Smarajanaka.'

A glimpse of his guru Balamuralikrishna's style was visible in Rama Varma's portrayal of the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Raminchuva' in raga Suposhini. The elaboration of Simmendramadhyamam was pleasing. The variety of sangathis in the thillana in Kuntalavarali (Balamuralikrishna) was interesting.

Edappally Ajithkumar was excellent on the violin. Palakkad Maheshkumar impressed with his gentle mridangam accompaniment. His tani was marked by dexterous touches.

In Musiri style

Octagenarian T.K. Govinda Rao's brief concert on the concluding day brought nostalgic memories of his mentor Musiri Subramanya Iyer. Govinda Rao started with the varnam in Mohanam ‘Ninnukori,' rendering it in three speeds. The Tyagaraja kritis, ‘Endavedukondu' (Saraswathi Manohari) and ‘Evarani' (Devamritavarshini) were sung in typical Musiri style.

The veteran's reverence for tradition was noticeable in his lucid alapana of Poorvikalyani. Kodunthirappally Subbaraman's violin accompaniment was tidy and precise. Kodunthirappally Parameswaran gave valuable support on the mridangam and presented a brisk tani.

Vinitha Nedungadi's Mohiniyattam proved to be a fitting finale of the festival. After the Ganesha stuthi, she presented the pure dance number (Nritta), ‘Mukha chaalam' set to Panchaari tala in ragamalika format. The second item, Tagore's Geethanjali (translated into Malayalam by Mahakavi G. Sankara Kurup) was portrayed in ragas Useni, Surutti, Hamsadhwani and Brindavanasaranga. The danseuse revealed a soothing calmness in the lullaby, ‘Oru urakku pattu'- a poem by Mahakavi Vallathol. Kottakkal Madhu's melodious music was a major plus point of the recital.