Srirangam audience had the opportunity to listen to leading musicians at the 12-day annual music festival.
The 12-day annual music festival organised under the auspices of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Bhavanam in Srirangam, provided a rare opportunity for the music lovers of Tiruchi to hear leading musicians. The festival marked the celebrations of Sri Rama Navami, Vasantha Navaratri and the Vardanthi (birthday) of Sri Bharati Tirtha Swami, the present pontiff of Sringeri Math. The festival commenced with a vocal concert by Jayalakshmi Sharma who presented a variety of compositions. Her alapana in Kalyani followed by Tyagaraja's "Nidhi Chaala Sukama'' was as intelligent as the Arunachala Kavirayar's song in Kedaragowla. The efficient handling of gamakas and swaras by T.M.Krishna kept the audience spell-bound all through his performance. His mellifluous voice that tackled Kharaharapriya for the Papanasam Sivan composition, "Janaki Pathae," Syama Sastri's kirtana in Kalyani ("Thalli Ninnu Nerae"), and Tyagaraja's "O Rangasayee" impressed the audience. Flute maestro N.Ramani's performance ("Mohana Rama") was well appreciated. He was accompanied by Ambika Prasad on the violin, Srirangam Madhusudanan on the mridangam and Malaikottai R. Dheenadayalan on the morsing. Yet another highlight was the concert by Koviladi R. Madhwa Prasad.
The rendering of Todi ragam by Maharajapuram Srinivasan was the most impressive. Other songs ("Dasarathi Nee Runamu Theerpa Na Tharama" and "En Palli Kondeer Ayya") reminded the audience of his father, the late Maharajapuram Santhanam's style of handling raga, kritis and swaras. Ganesh and Kumaresh presented an excellent violin performance. Ganesh's alapana for "Ramakatha Sutha''and Kumaresh's meticulous delineation of Purvikalyani were some of the highlights of their recital. P. Unnikrishnan's adherence to sampradaya and sublime Chowka kala performance earned the appreciation of Carnatic music lovers and young artistes. The Saveri varnam and "Saraseeruhana Priye" and the Hindolam piece, "Maramanan" of Papanasam Sivan, the Varali alapana for Dikshitar's kirtana ("Seshachala Nayakam") and elaborate Kapi enchanted the audience. He was accompanied by T.K.V.Ramanujacharyalu on the violin, Tiruchi S. Rengarajan on the mridangam, Coimbatore V. Mohan on the ghatam and Alathur T. Rajaganesh on the kanjira. The festival also provided an opportunity for budding artistes. An absorbing performance by two college students who brought out the essence of the ragas came as a pleasant surprise. S. Harish, an engineering student, rendered a vocal concert. B. Vijayagopal, a medical college student from Chennai, handled rare ragas perfectly and was at ease with Hameer Kalyani raga in ragamalika in the pallavi, "Krishnam Vande Govindan," composed by his mentor, K.V.Ramanujam. His main alapana in Sankarabharanam for Tyagaraja's "Eduta Nilachite" was a testimony to his talent.