Music Up-and-coming musicians took to the stage for the Sivaratri fete of the Chakkamkulangara Siva Temple at Thripunithura. Sivaprasad

Aseries of classical music concerts featuring new generation artistes was organised at the Chakkamkulangara Siva Temple at Thripunithura, in connection with its annual Sivaratri festival.

Ramakrishnan Moorthy, a 21-year-old up-and-coming vocalist, presented a concert that displayed his mastery over Carnatic music.

Moorthy began his recital with ‘Jaya jaya Padmanabhanujesa jayamohana,' a Swati Tirunal kriti in Sarasangi. As his concert was held on a Wednesday – ‘budhan' – Moorthy aptly took up ‘Budhamaasrayaami sathatham,' a Navagraha kriti by Muthuswami Dikshitar in Nattakurinji, Jhampa Thaal.

This was followed by a beautiful alapana of Mayamalavagowla. ‘Vidulaku mrokeda,' the vocalist's choice of the kriti, composed by Tyagaraja, showed his expertise. A marvellous alapana of Saranga and an enchanting briga was welcomed by the audience. A perfect follow-up by Viju S. Anand on the violin made the whole concert all the more lively.

Next came ‘Arunachala naadham smaraami,' a Dikshitar composition, followed by two quick numbers, ‘Maa Ramanan Uma Ramanan' in Hindolam, composed by Papanasam Sivan, and ‘Bandureethikolu,' a Tygarajan kriti in Hamsanaadam. Sankarabharanam was the main raga of the day. Moorthy took the audience to the heights of ‘Sivabhakthi' through his rendering of the kriti ‘Akshayalinga vibho Swayambho,' composed by Dikshitar. Niraval and swaraprasthara sung in the middle of the charanam at ‘Sadhujanopetha sankara navaneetha' was also impressive, despite some unwanted repetitions of swaras. R. Rajnarayanan (mridangam) and Kottayam Unnikrishnan (ghatam) came up with a good tani.

Impressive Thukkadas

Thukkadas included Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ‘Eppo vaaruvaaro' in Jonpuri, a Tamil sloka in Kharaharapriya, and a kriti of Neelakanta Sivan, ‘Navasidhi petralum Sivabhakthi illaada narargal.' The sahithya of this kriti was impressive. Moorthy concluded the concert with a kriti of Purandaradasa, ‘Chandachooda Sivasankara Parvathi,' in Dabari Kaanada.

Abhishek Raghuram, another rising star on the Carnatic circuit, also impressed with his sound knowledge of his craft.

Sound knowledge

Abhishek started the concert with a ragamalika varnam by Veena Kuppayyar. This was set in five ragas – Natta, Gowla, Varali, Arabhi and Sree – similar to the popular Pancharatna kirthana of Tyagaraja. ‘Naadathanumanisam sankaram smaraami' in Chitharanjini, a Tyagaraja composition, was the next song. A short alapana of Kedaram was striking. This was followed by the popular ‘Aananda natana prakasam,' a Panchabhootha kriti of Dikshitar. Abhishek must be applauded for giving space to supporting artistes, especially the percussionists, and the concert was a true example of ‘sangeetha vaadya vinoda thandava.' Thrissur C. Narendran on the mridangam, especially, utilised this chance to impress. The last part of the charanam, the chittaswara, rendered in three speeds, mesmerised the audience.

Abhishek rendered a marvellous alapana of Vachaspathi, something that is rarely done by musicians these days, and Akkarai Subbalakshmi followed well on the violin. This was followed by a kriti of Papanasam Sivan, ‘Paraalparaa Parameswara Paarvatheepathe,' which was adorned with excellent swaraprasthara.

Although it was brief, Swati's ‘Mohana Mayi Thava Muralee gana' in Yadukulakamboji was well sung.

Bhairavi was the main raga of the day. ‘Balagopala Paalayaasumam Bhakthavalsala,' a composition of Dikshitar, was followed by an amazing niraval and swaraprasthara at ‘Neela Neerada Sareera,' as usual, but in a different style. Abhishek came into his own with this composition.

Narendran's tani was superb, especially his beats with his left hand. Vazhappilly Krishnakumar supported well on the ghatam. Abhishek sang only a few thukkadas. ‘Ithuthaano thillaisanam Iththanainaalum ariye' in Behag by Gopalakrishna Bharathi was not as impressive as expected. However, he came into form again with a beautiful Sindhubhairavi, followed by an Aanai Vaidyanatha Iyer composition, ‘Chandrasekhara easa Sundareswara.'

Bonala Sankarprakash's veena recital was another highlight of the fete.

He started with the Vasantha varnam, ‘Ninnukori' by Tachur Singarachari, and then went on to an alapana in Natta. Perfection and extraordinary speed in the movement of his fingers, especially while playing swaras, made the performance superb. His essaying of the three octaves was also excellent.

Bangalore-based Vinay Sarva began his concert with a Saveri varnam, ‘Sarasuda ninne koti' by Kothavaasal Venkitarama Iyer. This was followed by a melodious Saranga. Vinay easily succeeded in capturing the attention of the audience with his rendering of the popular Panchabhootha kriti of Dikshitar, ‘Arunaachala naadham smaraami.' He was able to showcase his talent as a vocalist within a short time span, especially his rendering of swaraprastharas.