Of voices and varnams

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T his CD is a recent release of an earlier recording, done almost a couple of decades ago. Eleven well-known varnams are presented in the robust voices of C. Saroja and C. Lalitha (Bombay Sisters).

The repertoire

The fare consists of ‘Ninnukori' (Mohanam-Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar), ‘Inthachala' (Begada-Veena Kuppa Iyer), ‘Ninnukori' ( Vasantha-Tachur Sringarachari), ‘Viriboni' (Bhairavi-Pachimiriam Adiappa Iyer), ‘Evaribodhana' (Aboghi-Patnam Subramanya Iyer), ‘Sami Ninne' (Sri-Karur Devudu Iyer), ‘Sumasayaka' (Karnataka Kapi-Swati Tirunal), ‘Karunimpa' (Sahana-Thiruvottriyur Tyagaraja), ‘Eranapai' (Thodi-Patnam Subramanya Iyer), ‘Sarasijanabha' (Khambodi-Swati Tirunal) and ‘Valachi Vachi' (Navaragamalika-Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer).

The varnams in Begada, Bhairavi and Khambodi are rendered in two speeds, while the rest are sung in madyama kalam alone.

The Karnataka Kapi varnam is at a slower pace befitting the melody. Care has been taken by the vocalists while singing the muktayi swaram segment in ‘Viriboni.' The chaturthi daivatham is employed only while approaching the upper sadjam.

This is testimony to their concern for the raga lakshana and towards the aesthetic beauty of the raga

. The accompanists Usha Rajagopalan (violin), K.V. Prasad (mridangam) and N. Govindarajan (ghatam) provide the needed instrumental support.


Popular Varnams Bombay Sisters CD; Aditya Music classical series; MRP Rs. 150



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