Music Thrissur V. Ramachandran and A.K.C. Natarajan showcased their expertise and experience to a discerning audience in Thripunithura. Sivaprasad

T hrissur V. Ramachandran's Carnatic vocal concert at Kalikkotta Palace, Thripunithura, was a tribute to the legendary G.N. Balasubrahmaniam.

Beginning the concert with a Hindolam varnam ‘Sakalakalaavaani Sakalaloka Karani,' composed by GNB, Ramachandran continued the concert with ‘Karimughavarada' in Natta, also by GNB. It was nostalgia for senior citizens as most of the kritis sung by Ramachandran were either composed or popularised by GNB himself.

Moreover, the rendering was in ‘chathushkaala' singing that maintained the lyrical beauty of the compositions.

Violinist M.A. Sundaresan complemented Ramachandran, especially during the alaap of Panthuvarali. ‘Paripaalayasaraseeruha' by Swati Thirunal was the kriti.

Excellent accompanists

Sundaresan reproduced each swara sung by Ramachandran, both in the alaap and the keerthanam. Next was Reethigowla, ‘Raagarathnamaalika' by Tyagaraja, followed by Bilahari and ‘Parithaanamichithe' by Patnam Subrahmania Iyer.

R. Ramesh (mridangam) aided the excellent team work.

The real GNB style came to fore during the rendition of ‘Unnadiye Gathiyen' (Bahudaari) and ‘Vikasithapoorna' (Poornachandrika), both GNB compositions, which were rich with swaraprastharas and unusually beautiful swara combinations of the raga.

Ramachandran took Kalyani as the main raga of the day with ‘Kamalaamba Bhajare,' a Kamalamba Navavarana kriti of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Aalaapana and swaraprasthara revealed the orthodox, classical style of the GNB baani. Ramesh and Uduppi Sreekanth (ganjira) made the tani a remarkable one.

Before concluding, Ramachandran sang ‘Sevikkavendumayya' in Andolika, composed by Muthuthandavar and a slokam ‘Agre Pasyaami' in ragamalika.

Anniversary celebrations

The concerts were in connection with the 36th anniversary celebrations of Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha, Thripunithura.

The programmes started with a new series called ‘Gurusmarana' to introduce musical stalwarts of the last century to a new generation of music buffs by organising talks about the legends.

On the first day, being the birth centenary year of GNB, his disciple Ramachandran presented an interesting speech about GNB's style and way of teaching, and the highlights of his concerts. GNB's son Rajasekhar also talked about his father.

On the second day of the fete, A.K.C. Natarajan came up with a memorable performance on the clarinet.

Beginning with ‘Valachi vaachi,' a Navaragamalika varnam by Patnam Subrahmania Iyer, Natarajan continued with ‘Vaara Namukha va thunai' in Hamsadhwani, composed by Koteeswara Iyer and ‘Akhilandeswari' in Dwijavanthi, a Dikshitar composition.

He also chose a rare raga ‘Jujahuli' (also known as Jujavali), a Janya ragam of the 28th melakartha Harikamboji. ‘Paraku Jesina Nikemi,' by Tyagaraja, was the kriti. Natarajan performed a marvelous alaap both in Khamas and Kanada.

Popular kritis too

His selection included popular numbers like Papanasam Sivan's ‘Itathupaadam thookki' in Kamas, and and Oothukkadu Venkata Subba Iyer's ‘Alaipaayuthe' in Kanada. Both were played melodiously. Before the main, he played a Navarasakannada also.

Most of the time, it was difficult to differentiate the sounds of the clarinet and the violin as both the artistes were perfectly synchronised in sruti. Attukal Balasubrahmaniam on the violin was exemplary.

Natarajan selected the popular ‘Bhavanutha,' composed by Tyagaraja, for the main. Thani by Thanjavur Ramdas on the mridangam and Vaikom Gopalakrishnan on the ghatam showcased another perfect combination.

All the four artistes contributed well to make the concert an outstanding one.

Thukkadas played were ‘Kural onrum illai,' a popular ragamalika by C.Rajagopalachari and ‘Bho Sambho Sivasambho Swayambho' in Revathi, composed by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi. Earlier, the Sangeetha Sabha honoured Natarajan with a title of ‘Sangeetha Sampoorna.'