Music

Tribute to maestros

Vocalist Balakrishna Sastry’s rendition of tarangams marked the birthday celebrations of both Balamurali and Narayana Teertha.

It is interesting to know that Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna was born on the same tithi (day) that Narayana Teertha was born three centuries ago and that is why Carnatic vocalist K.S.R. Balakrishna Sastry of ‘Saptaswara Samkritika Samstha’ (SSSS) synchronised Balamurali’s birthday event with ‘Narayana Teertha taranga ganam’, which was held at Thygaraya Ganasabha’s mini hall, last week.

From times immemorial these ‘tarangams’ of Narayana Teertha were household treasure, especially of womenfolk who invariably sang them during their daily chores. Narayana Teertha, even as a child, imagined he was Krishna and gopikas were around him and a dance song in praise of the Lord emerged. Thus tarangams flowed out of him like waves in a river.

Today, they are a big fodder for Bhaktas and material for the dancers, especially of Kuchipudi. He was born in the heart of Andhra Pradesh in Kaja, near Managalagiri, Guntur district into scholarly Tallavajjhula family.

Tanjore to Kasi

Narayana Teertha faced mysterious situations and after he grew up he was said to have moved to Tanjore and then to Kasi and began writing tarangams mostly influenced by Tenth Skandha (chapter) of Vedavyasa’s Bhagavata where child Krishna’s activities were at peak. ‘Srikrishna Leelatarangini’ was its major result. In fact this is a celebration of his 362nd Jayanthi.

With a brief introduction, Balakrishna Sastry got down to render the items in his repertoire he made for the evening in the company of Kolanka Saikumar on violin, S. Ramana on flute, Karra Srinivasa Rao on mridangam and Chandrakanth on ghatam.

Percussion played important part as some of the tarangams are rhythm oriented and the mridangam player excelled in playing them creating a spell of an imaginary dance.

Balakrishna Sastry opened with a couple of songs penned by Balamurali Krishna, Ganasudharasa paana Nirata in Nata and Nee Namamu Naa Jeevamu in Mohanangi and then set out on a journey of Narayanateertha and his tarangams like Saranambhava Karunamayi in Devagandhari, Yehi Mudamdehi Gopalabala Krishna in Yadukula Kambhoji, Madhava Mamava in Neelambari, Jaya Jaya Vaishnavi Durge Amba in Arabhi, Jaya Jaya Ramaa natha in Sakarabharanam, Balagopalamamudhara Krishna in Mohana in which he did nereval type vinyasam at popular line Indira Mandira Bhakta replica of the meter set by Bharata in Natya Sastra in dance element.

He treated this as his main number and it was here the mridangam player reproduced well the rhythmic syllables that the vocalist spelled in an array.Sundaram. It was an evening worth remembering.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 12:21:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/tribute-to-maestros/article3631263.ece

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