KRIPA SUBRAMANIAM

Vidya Shankar elaborated on the Sastri trio and M. Chandrasekaran dealt with Annamacharya.

On the last day of the music conference of the year at the Music Academy, veena vidushi Vidya Shankar presented Vaggeyakkara Vaibhavam of Syama Sastri, Subbaraya Sastri and Annaswami Sastri. They are father, son, and grandson respectively.All the three of them were Kamakshi bhaktas, and their compositions were all on Kamakshi. Annaswami Sastri has composed varnams also in addition to kirtanas, in contrast to his forefathers. Vidya Shankar demonstrated a varnam of the composer in Thodi, Adi tala, commencing with the sahitya, `Karunakatakshi Nannu Kavave Kanchi Kamakshi,' indicating that his varnams are also on Kamakshi.His compositions are all short, in easy Sanskrit whereas Syama Sastri's kritis have minimum or no sangati patterns. Those of Subbaraya Sastri and Annaswami Sastri are adorned with sangatis. The pallavi of Annaswami Sastri's kritis are straightforward statements. And only the latter part of the pallavi has sangatis. The kritis are full of bhakti, raga bhavam and well bound in tala. Deep emotions are expressed well in Sanskrit by Annaswami Sastri as easily as in Telugu or Tamil.Students of music can easily understand the raga lakshana from the compositions of great vaggeyakaras, and Annaswami Sastri's are no different. Annaswami's kritis `Moharagni Maampahi' in Bilahari and `Parama Paavani Mamava' in Atana were sung by Sugandha Kalamegham to the accompaniment of veena by Vidya Shankar.Subbaraya Sastri had the benefit of absorbing his guru and father, Syama Sastri's style and thinking to a great extent. That he was an image of his father is clearly reflected in his compositions. He had imbibed Tyagaraja's sangatis set up from his interactions with the disciples of the saint. Even though much junior to Muthuswami Dikshitar, Subbaraya Sastri had the opportunity to associate with him and thereby absorb his madhyama kala sahitya patterns.Syama Sastri was the one who gave a high status to swarajati through his monumental pieces in Bhairavi, Thodi, and Yadukula Khambodi. Following in his foot step, Subbaraya Sastri has composed swara sahitya for his kritis as though these are miniature swarajatis. As examples, Vidya Shankar took up the kritis, `Shankari Neeve' (Begada), `Janani Ninnuvina' (Ritigowla), `Ninnuvina Gati' (Kalyani), and `Yema Ninne' (Mukhari).Even though Subbaraya Sastri closely followed Syama Sastri in composing, it was not imitative. Syama Sastri's signature or mudra was `Syama Krishna' and Subbaraya Sastri's, `Kumara.' Annaswami Sastri did not have any mudra. With Syama Sastri's kriti, a mangalam, `Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu', Vidya Shankar concluded the presentation. She was assisted by Ram Nayak on the veena and Sugandha Kalamegham, vocal.The presentation was commended by T.N.Krishnan, T.V.Gopalakrishnan, Vedavalli, Kalpagam Swaminathan, Vellore Ramabhadran, M.S.Gopalakrishnan, and T.K.Govinda Rao.

On Annamacharya

M. Chandrasekharan opened his presentation on Annamacharya with `Sriman Narayana' (Bowli) and explained that the kriti had no anupallavi but only charanam. Later he sang the Sriranjani raga kriti, ``Vedakina Giriye,' the pallavi of which says that Veda is the essence of everything. Annamacharya says Hari is the greatest Lord and Dhyanam is the best mode of worship and Venkateshwara is the Moola Mantra for everything.The kriti in Sankarabharanam, which was tuned by Nedunuri Krishnamurthy was mentioned. After singing the Sudhha Dhanyasi kriti, `Bhaavamulona,' and Bhavayami Gopala, tuned by Kadayanallur Venkataraman, Chandrasekharan concluded the lec-dem with the Navaroj kriti, `Ksheeraabdhi.' In this krithi the Lord is worshipped with camphor. Chandrasekharan was accompanied on the violin by Bharathi and on the mridangam by Thirukokarnam Krishnamurthy.Govinda Rao, Suguna Purushottaman and Janakiraman offered their comments. Madurai Sri T.N.Seshagopalan praised Chandrasekharan for virtually transporting everyone to Tirupati to have the Lord's Darshan. He said Nammazhvar and Annamayya had the same birth star, Vaishaka Visakam indicating their oneness in Vaishnava Bhakthi.Annamayya's kritis are divided as Adhyaathmika and Sringara rasa kritis, said Seshagopalan. He has sung about the festivals of Tirupati in his compositions. He mentioned that in Harinama Sankeerthanam, the focal point was Lord Vishnu.