Music

Masterpiece gets wider audience

Vocalist S. Krishnamurthy playing the tambura for his grandfather, Mysore Vasudevacharya.

Vocalist S. Krishnamurthy playing the tambura for his grandfather, Mysore Vasudevacharya.  

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The renowned Carnatic composer Mysore Vasudevacharya’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations this year would get a fitting finale at the Chennai Music season this December when his book of compositions Vasudeva Kirthana Manjari, transliterated into English would be made available as a commemorative gift to the gathering of global musicians.

The book, done in English by the composer’s grandson S. Krishnamurthi, a vocalist who retired from Mysore Akashavani more than two decades ago, has 100 popular compositions of Vasudevacharya bringing out the Swara notations and Sahitya of each kriti in English, juxtaposed with the original Sanskrit version for following the exact pronunciation.

“This has been a long-pending demand from the music community of non-Kannadigas who were longing for an authentic version from the family of Vasudevacharya in English,” said octogenarian S. Krishnamurti at his residence in Bengaluru.

The book has been published by Prism Books, in association with vocalist S. Shankar’s Shankharabharanam Kala Mandira m, and will be released at Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira in Bengaluru on Sunday. Copies would be available at Prism in Chennai, apart from being part of the book showcase at several sabhas during the music season, including the TAG Centre at TTK Road, Alwarpet (December 11-13) at the Special Musical Fest conducted by the Karnataka Fine Arts Council, Bengaluru.

Mr. Shankar, associated with the editing of the English version of Vasudevacharya’s masterpieces, says, “Consider his masterly strokes of compositions in his Ra Ra Rajeeva Lochana Rama (mohana), Broche Varevaru Ra (Kamas) or Bhajare Re Manasa (Abheri); these are examples of the erudite scholar who mainly composed his 200-plus compositions in Telugu and Sanskrit bearing just one in Kannada, his mother tongue.

“While all his works are available in Kannada, we were looking forward to seeing the English transliterations completed by Mr. Krishnamurthi himself, who has lived with his grandfather Vasudevacharya, personally taking down notations of several Kritis directly from the master composer when he was the Asthana Vidwan of the Mysore Royal Court. This is the most authentic version that could benefit musicians looking for a common language of communication.”

Mr. Krishnamurthy said, “The Herculean task is a tribute to my grandfather for his 150th birth anniversary. The rich musical legacy is for musicians across the globe demanding this for years.”Vasudevacharya, born in 1865, has the distinction of flagging off the era of radio in 1935 in Mysore as a 60-year-old. As the Asthana Vidwan of the Mysore Royal Court since Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar’s time, he had more than 200 compositions to his credit.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 3:35:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/vasudeva-kirthana-manjari-now-available-for-english-readers/article7905213.ece

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