Music of various genres was the highlight of the second National Music Festival in Palakkad.

The 14-day-long second National Music Festival 2010 had stalwarts and practitioners of music from various genres providing musical evenings to rasikas of Palakkad.

A unique Jalatharangam performance by Anayampetti Ganesan was a novel experience for the rasikas as Ganesan demonstrated how the water level in 19 porcelain cups of varying sizes control the pitch and produce different notes when tapped with two wooden sticks. G. Venkitasubramanian, Ganesan's son, accompanied him on the violin. K. Jayakrishnan (mridangam) and E.M. Deepu (ghatom) provided excellent percussion support.

Scholarly phrases

‘Vathapi Ganapathim,' ‘Entharomahanubhavulu' and ‘Manavyalakim' were followed by a ragalapana in Kharaharapriya – ‘Pakkala nila batti,' the kriti, had arresting swaraprasthara.

The highlight of the performance was Tyagaraja's ‘Bhavanutha' that had a pentatonic Mohanam, which was followed by a scholarly swaraprasthara with arithmetical phrases.

T.N. Seshagopalan proved his prowess on the veena as he brought the instrument to life with his fingering. The veena is capable of producing various gamakas. Trichy Sankaran accompanied him on the mridangam.

‘Viriboni' in Bhairavi (Ata tala) had the maestro displaying the Dasavidha gamakas by bringing out the right expressions on the veena. Ragalapana of Poorvikalyani for ‘Anantha natamaduvar' (Neelakanda Sivan) and Varali for ‘Kanakana' (Tyagaraja) also showcased his ability in handling the instrument as he gave prominence to ragabhava and sahitya in gayaki style.

Sankarabharanam was the main raga and the kriti chosen was ‘Akshayalinga vibho' (Dikshithar); Thanam was woven around Natta, Anandabhairavi, Reethigoula, Suruti, Dhanyasi, Begada, Hamsanandi, Ahiri, Behag and Madhyamavathi. Swaraprasthara at ‘badareevana' was followed by a superb tani by Trichy Sankaran.

Promising musician Prasanna Venkitaraman captivated the audience on the penultimate day of the fete with his pliable voice.

Flagging off with the Kanada Ata tala varnam ‘Neranammithi,' he went on to render ‘Parvatharajakumari' (Dikshithar-Sreeranjani), an exquisite alapana of Simhendramadhyamam and ‘Ihaparamennum'(Papanasam Sivan) that was laced with niraval

Kovai Balu reproduced the aesthetic sancharas on the violin. Tygaraja's choukakala kriti ‘Nadopasana,' embellished with swaraprasthara, led to an excellent tani by the Kovai brothers, Prakash (mridangam) and Suresh (ghatam). A skilful presentation of a complex ragam-thanam-pallavi in Saveri ‘Saveriraga Priyan…,' set to Thisrathriputa (two kala), and a brilliant round of swaras culminated into ragamalika, comprising Kalyanavasantham, Ananthabhairavi, Kedaram and Kanada in two speeds.

The grand finale by Aruna Sairam. Listeners were captivated by her open-throated resonant voice. The vocalist was accompanied by B.V. Raghavendra Rao (violin), Pathri Satheeshkumar (mridangam) and S.V. Ramani (ghatam).

Masterpiece rendition

Her masterpiece – a haunting virutham ‘Namassivaya vazhka' in Abhogi – was followed by Papanasam Sivan's ‘Sabhapathikku.' ‘Ananthamruthavarshini' was adorned with spirited swarakalpana.

Tyagaraja's ‘Chakkani raja margamu' was a fine display of sangathis.

Luxurious niraval and flamboyant swaraprasthara in rhythmic spells laced with korvais led to an outstanding Tani.

The latter half of the concert had the musician rendering devotional songs.