HARISH BAL

The annual festival of Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha, Thripunithura, featured concerts by stalwarts in Carnatic music.

The 31st annual festival of Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha, Thripunithura, featured concerts by Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan, Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, Charumathi Ramachandran and M. Jayachandran. M. Jayachandran, a front ranking music composer of Malayalam film music today, proved that he is equally adept with classical music. As the rain poured, he started on an apt note, the rain raga `Amruthavarshini.' The Dikshithar composition `Anandamruthavarshini' was sung with panache and the detailed kalpanaswaras enticed the audience. Jayachandran seemed to be fully involved with the mood of the raga and went easy with the sahitya. A detailed raga exposition of `Vrindavana saranga' and Dikshithar's `Soundararajam' was followed by a comprehensive passage of swaras. The vocalist did several exercises, placing the two variant nishadas side by side and achieving the contrast. Korvai swaras also embellished the piece. The vocalist's soft modulated style of singing agreed with only certain compositions. `Sivakamasundarim' in Mukhari and `Nannuvidachi' in Reethigowla testified this, whereas `Enthamudo' in Bindumalini, which demanded this rendition, shone. The resounding tenor of the mridangam of Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan sustained the energy level of the concert.

Violinists and siblings

Lalgudi G.J. R. Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi performed on the second day. `Rama neepai' in Kedaram received a brisk and novel treatment by the musicians. `Srinarada nada saraseeruha' in Kanada raga was noteworthy for precision of content. The raga delineations were crisp and self-contained in Mohanam. The long gamakas were enunciated in `Evarura ninuvina' in misra chappu. A Kalyani alaapana by Krishnan was marked by tonal purity and absence of musical acrobatics, which often mar instrumental renditions. The Tyagaraja kriti `Enthukoni manasu' was played with perfect ease of rhythm and expression. The taniyavarthanam by Trichur Narendran on the mridangam and Thripunithura Radhakrishnan on the ghatom rose to a healthy competition, ending on a variant mukthaippu that was spontaneous, yet marked with the expertise of experience. Shyama Shastri's `Mayamma' in raga Ahiri, `Madhava mamava' in Nilambari, `Ramachandraprabhu' in Sindhubhairavi and `Dhanashri' tillana of Swati Tirunal were the concluding pieces.

Seasoned performer

Charumathi Ramachandran, a disciple of the late M.L. Vasanthakumari, was the performer for the third day. She began with `Sadhinchane,' a majestic composition in Arabhi. Most of the compositions presented were those made popular by MLV. `Vallabha nayakasya' in Begada and `Marivere dikkevaru' in Lathangi were rendered in the racy style characteristic of the MLV bhani. Although her voice let her down occasionally, Charumathi's creativity in manodharma made her concert special. Her alaapana for Keeravani showed fantastic flashes of creativity, marked by some superb brigas and jarus. `Kalikiyunte' had detailed swara patterns with intricate mathematical patterns towards the final phase of avarthana and mukthaippu. It was a festival that integrated musicians of varying calibre and traditions, and one to cherish for days to come.