Nadanjali: An aural treat by 108 veena artistes

To pay homage to doyens Pichumani Iyer and Mysore Doreswamy Iyengar

If musical talent is considered God’s gift, being a ‘vainika’ is a greater blessing, since it is not easy to master this ancient, beautiful and complex instrument.

To mark the birth centenary of veena legends — K. Pichumani Iyer and Mysore Doreswamy Iyengar — veena exponent B. Kannan organised the unique ‘Veena Naadaanjali’ by 108 artistes, as part of his annual event ‘Veena Mahotsavam’, at Narada Gana Sabha.

The strings in synchrony made for an ethereal experience. The performance, according to Kannan, was a tribute concert. The kritis, popular yet challenging, conveyed the devotional aspect of Carnatic music. With no rehearsals, the artistes bonded purely through melody and rhythm.

After Saraswati Ashtothram, the invocation piece, Dikshitar’s Hamsadhwani kriti, ‘Vathapi Ganapathim’ was taken up.

The next was Syama Sastri’s popular Bhairavi swarajati ‘Amba Kamakshi’. The lively ‘Sri Saraswathi’ in Arabhi, again of Dikshitar, was followed by yet another gem of the composer, ‘Meenakshi memudam,’ in Purvikalyani. Following the ‘Mahishasura Mardhani’ slokam, the finale was the timeless ‘Maithreem bhajatha’ in Yamuna Kalyani.

The kritis chosen demanded exceptional practice and precision. In classical music, ‘patantharam’ (the way of learning) and ‘sangatis’ (variations of singing or playing a line) play a major role. At the concert, there wasn’t a single dicordant note or beat though the talas varied from Adi and Misra Chapu to Rupakam.

Two talented youngsters Aswini Srinivasan and Akshay Ram played the mridangam, alternating and joining with impeccable timing. Anantha Shree kept the rhythm.

Heartwarming response

In his concluding remarks, Kannan expressed happiness that the concert, a divine offering, proved wrong statements such as veena becoming obsolete and veena recitals having no takers. He said the participants at ‘Naadaanjali’ belong to five generations — veterans, regular performers and students. So one could see on stage R.S. Jayalakshmi, B. Kannan, P. Vasanth Kumar, Jayshree and Jeyaraj Krishnan, S.P. Ramh, V. Balasubramaniam and Charulatha Chandrasekar apart from a host of teachers and students .

Hari Krishnan, secretary, Narada Gana Sabha, expressed his desire to make this an annual event.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:37:52 AM |

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