Remembering a maestro

Paying their respects Both Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan (below) and the Rudrapatnam brothers (above) presented beautifully crafted pieces

Paying their respects Both Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan (below) and the Rudrapatnam brothers (above) presented beautifully crafted pieces  

Celebrating the birth centenary of Swaramurthy V.N. Rao, concerts by Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan and Rudrapatnam Brothers chose compositions that were appropriate for the occasion.

Recently, the birth centenary of Swaramurthy V.N.Rao was celebrated by Sree Thyagaraja Gana Sabha Trust, Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha, Naada Jyothi Sree Thyagaraja Swamy Bhajana Sabha, Karnataka Gana Kala Parishat and Sree Vani Vidya Kendra, along with the Directorate of Kannada and Culture, with two concerts: instrumental and vocal.

The inaugural concert, a veena recital by Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan accompanied by Meera Raghu (veena ), K.U.Jayachandra Rao (mridanga) and G.Omkar Rao (ghata), commenced with a lilting varna composed by Swaramurthy V.N.Rao, set to Begada raga and adi thala. Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar’s composition ‘Sri Mahaganapathim’ in Ataana raga and adi thala, which followed, was embellished with a few fluent rounds of kalpana swaras.

The mellow grandeur of Hemavathi was encapsulated in a compact alapana that began with soft strains in the mandra sthayi and progressed upwards with a flurry of sancharas around the madhya sthayi dhaivatha and the shadja and rishabha in the higher octave. The ensuing ragamalika thana, which began with Hemavathi, also incorporated brief but raga bhava imbued passages in Kapi, Saraswathi and Revathi before reverting to the original raga. ‘Ninnu Juchi’, a krithi by Veena Seshanna set to rupaka thala was suffixed with kalpana swaras in the second speed, studded with variegated melodic and rhythmic combinations that culminated in a beautifully proportioned and dexterous thani avarthana. The performance concluded with the ragamalika ‘Thungatheera Virajam’ ‘Hari Chitta’ in Jaunpuri, and Veena Seshanna’s exquisite thillana in Darbari Kaanada.

The second concert of the day was a vocal duet by Rudrapatnam Brothers R.N.Thyagarajan and Dr.R.N.Tharanathan, accompanied by Nalina Mohan (violin), T.A.S. Mani (mridanga), and A.S.N.Swamy (khanjari). Thyagaraja’s ‘Rama Neepai’ in the raga Kedaram and adi thala, the first item, was supplemented with kalpana swaras interwoven with subtle rhythmic patterns. Dharmavathi was then elaborated with absolute fidelity to the dictates of the Carnatic idiom, compact, finely etched and gamaka infused. A crisp rendition of Swaramurthy V.N.Rao’s composition ‘Ninna Nambideno’ in adi thala, adorned with a vibrant chittaswara, led to the main raga of the performance, Malayamarutham.

The alapana was replete with deft touches and delicate nuances, most notable in the plethora of phrases around the dhaivatha, in the multiple shades of the nishada, and in the usages ending in the rishabha. Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer’s ‘Dhanyudevvado’ in adi thala was presented with a succinct yet beautifully crafted neraval at ‘Vara Maddala ’, and a spate of scholarly kalpana swaras that ended with diminishing thala cycles ending at the dhaivatha, with expert violin accompaniment. The tightly knit and intricate thani avarthana was one of the highlights of the concert, which ended with an impeccable rendition of the expansively structured thillana by Veena Seshanna in Begada raga and adi thala.

The programme also included a short lecture on the life and attainments of Swaramurthy V.N.Rao by Prof.Mysore V.Subramanya. The inclusion of compositions by the former and by Veena Seshanna in each of the concerts was entirely appropriate to the occasion and a worthy tribute to the yesteryear stalwart and his antecedents.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 9:38:27 PM |

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