Fete O.S. Thyagarajan, Abhishek Raghuram, and violin duo Mysore Manjunath and Nagaraj wooed the audience at Palakkad with their brand of music. P. Vijayambika

Three memorable concerts were held in Palakkad in connection with Vadakkanthara Thirupuraikkal Bhagavathi Temple's ‘Valiyavilakkuvela.' The concerts were by O.S. Thyagarajan (OST), Abhishek Raghuram, and violin duo Mysore Manjunath and Nagaraj.

OST, a traditionalist and classicist to the core, teamed up with R. Swaminadhan (violin), Kallekkulangara Unnikrishnan (mridangam), Udupi Sreekanth (ganjira), and Kovai Suresh (ghatam), to captivate music lovers with a concert that was soaked in devotional fervour. His years of experience were evident in his meticulous planning and judicious selection of compositions in praise of the deity of the temple. He started the concert with the Bhairavi Ada tala varnam – ‘Viriboni.' The piece was garlanded with colourful Devi kirtanas. He succeeded in essaying the ragabhava in Syama Sastri's ‘Sankari sankuru' (Adi tala-thisranada), in Saveri. The piece had an excellent niraval at ‘Syamakrishna Sodari…'

‘Annapoorne,' a devout Dikshitar kriti in Syama, was followed by a dexterous rendition of ‘Shankari ninne' (Misra chappu tala) with improvisation and swaraprasthara at ‘Pankajakshi neethu mahima….' Swaminadhan's melodic essay on the violin was impressive. Dikshitar's ‘Ekambresa Nayike' sung in a slow pace, had excellent niraval and swaras, as the vocalist travelled octaves effortlessly.

The tani was one of the highlights of the concert. O.S.T. wound up the concert with a haunting ragamalika sloka in Surutti, Hamsanandi, and Navarasa Kannada for ‘Nanoru vilayattubommaya' and ‘Vinayakuni' in Madhyamavathi.

Fine choice

Abhishek Raghuram wooed the audience with his choice of compositions. Even though his choice of songs was a bit too heavy for a temple festival, his skill in handling ragas and scintillating manodharmaswaras mesmerised rasikas. He was accompanied by young talents Mysore Sreekanth (violin), Anand Krishnan (mridangam) and K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira).

A lively rendition of a Thodi varnam ‘Era Napai' was followed by ‘Saraseeruhasanapriye'(Natta), which was embellished with swarakalpana.

‘Budhamasrayami,' one of Dikshitar's Navagraha kritis in Nattakurichi (Misrajathi Jhampa tala), was a brilliant choice. Two Tyagaraja kritis – ‘Adamodi Galade' (Charukesi) and ‘Bantu Reeti' (Hamsanadam) – were preludes to a spirited ragam tanam pallavi. A flamboyant Kanada and well-structured tanam were followed by a ragamalika pallavi ‘Sitapathe…' in Kanada, Bahudari, and Ganamoorthy, set to Thisrajathi thriputa tala.

Creative swarakalpana and a superb tani led to the concluding piece ‘Sapasya Kousalya' (Jaunpuri).

Eminent violin duo Mysore Manjunath and Nagaraj, along with Pathri Satheeshkumar (mridangam) and Giridhar Uduppa (ghatam), transported the listeners to melodic heights through their artistic acumen.

‘Evari bodhana' in Abhogi raga showcased their perfect synchronisation.

‘Marivere,' composed by Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer, had a fine use of of swarakalpana. Dikshitar's ‘Annapoorne' was followed by Tyagaraja's ‘Anuragamu leni.'

Alternate playing of manodharmaswara phrases on the mridangam and the ghatam along with the string was noteworthy.

Nagaraj's Kapi was marked with enchanting sancharas. ‘Intha soukhyamani,' studded with creative swarasanchara, led to an enchanting tani enriched with fascinating patterns. The duo concluded with ‘Alai payuthe,' and a piece in Sindhubhairavi.