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TYAGARAJA'S LEGACY Women sing Pancharatna kritis at Gayathri Fine Arts' festival in memory of the saint composer
TYAGARAJA'S LEGACY Women sing Pancharatna kritis at Gayathri Fine Arts' festival in memory of the saint composer
As Delhi warms up after winter, we know the performance season will slowly taper to a close, as the hot dry summer is a time when concerts are few and far between. But this is also the time when Carnatic music enthusiasts get a special dose of inspiration, as the birth anniversary of Tyagaraja the 19th Century composer, whose large corpus of musical works form a major chunk of the repertoire of Carnatic musicians, falls in February. Festivals in memory of the saint composer abound throughout spring, and one of the latest that took place in the Capital is the one by Gayathri Fine Arts. This was Gayathri's 17th such annual festival, and 60 young and old artistes participated. The climax of the festival was the presentation of Tyagaraja's Pancharatna kritis - a set of five compositions set to five significant ragas known as `ghana' or heavy ragas by six women vocalists. The Pancharatnas, or `five gems' are peppy though pure classical songs, and their rhythmic appeal along with catchy note patterns and melody, not to mention the meaning of the lyrics for those who understand Telugu, make them favourites of music lovers. Group singing of Pancharatna kritis is always the grand finale of a Tyagaraja aradhana or festival. The vocalists who sang the Pancharatna kritis were Sita Kumar, Vijaylakshmi Santhanam, Radha Krishnan, Lata Ramamurthy, Vijayalakshmi Ramaswami and Girija Sriram. They were accompanied on the veena by Geeta Mohan and on the mridangam by Kumbakonam Padmanabhan.

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