The annual Kalpathy Sangeetholsavam started with a wonderful vocal recital by Mathangi Satyamoorthy. The vibrant varnam ‘Saresijanabha’ (Kamboji, Swati Tirunal) and ‘Vataapi Ganapathim’ (Hamsadhwani, Dikshitar) which was ornamented with a niraval and elongated swara korvais, were indicative of the rich fare that was to follow. As it was Purandaradasa day, the choice of her kriti ‘Yaadavane’ was apt. It was crowned with a spirited portrayal of Tyagaraja’s ‘Kalikiyunte’. The sprightly niraval and animated swaraprastharas were sheer magic. Violinist V.V. Ravi presented sparkling raga sketches and swaraprastharas. Palakkad Mahesh Kumar’s (mridangam) and Sukanya Ramgopal (ghatam) supported brilliantly.
The second day was Saint Tyagaraja Day and a group of vidwans and vidushis presented his Pancharatna kritis. In the evening, Sandeep Narayan enthralled the audience. A disciple of Sanjay Subramanyan, Sandeep has mastered his guru’s style. His essay of Andolika suffixed with the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Ragasudharasa’ exhibited the raga swaroopa in full. The alapana of Kalyani, the niraval and the swara permutations in the kriti of Tyagaraja’s ‘Ammaraavamma’ earned appreciation. The emotive sloka ‘Maata Rama’ was rendered as a ragamalika. Sreemushnam Raja Rao’s provided ideal mridangam accompaniment. S. Purushotham (ganjira) provided brilliant support.
Husband and wife duo, U.P. Raju and Nagamani Raju, excelled in their mandolin concert on the third day, which was dedicated to Syama Sastri (SS). They began with the Kaanada Varnam ‘Nera Namminithi Nayya’ followed by a robust ‘Vinayaka ninnu vina’ (Hamsadwani – Veena Kuppayyar). Nagamani’s delineation of Poorvikalyani, marked by chaste classicism, was also reflected in the kriti of Neelakanta Sivan, ‘Ananda Natamatuvar’. The improvisations by Raju in the treatment of Mohanam revealed his creativity.
In the Papanasam Sivan kriti ‘Kaapaali’, the duo produced a variety of swara patterns. Regrettably they did not do justice to SS as they rendered only one kriti of the composer. M.R. Gopinath displayed maturity in his violin support. K.V. Prasad’s mridangam accompaniment coupled with Tripunithura Radhakrishnan’s show on the ghatam enhanced the impact of the concert.
On the fourth day, (Annamacharya Day) Malladi brothers, Sriram Prasad and Ravikumar, mesmerised the listeners with their renditions of both popular and rare kritis of the famous composer. The alapanas of Sudhadhanyasi and Jayamanohari showcased the raga lakshanas. After the bhava rich ‘Kommaro’ (Mohanam), the duo chose Thodi for in depth elucidation. The interpretation of Tyagaraja’s ‘Koluvamaragadha’, suffixed with a niraval and kalpanaswaras, was exhaustive.
Vittal Ramamurthy won laurels, with his competent violin accompaniment. The seasoned mridangam artiste Mannargudi Eswaran and Karthik (ghatam) were at their best.
Sikkil C. Gurucharan’s style was in evidence in his vocal recital on the fifth day, dedicated to Muthuswamy Dikshitar. The Kalyani varnam ‘Vanajaakshi’ and Dikshitar’s ‘Gananayakam’ (Rudrapriya) laid a strong edifice. The beauty of Mohanam was unfolded in the vocalist’s vinyasa of the raga. Novel techniques were used in the varied swaraprastharas in the kriti ‘Bhuvanatraya’ (GNB). The portrayal of ‘Sree Maatrubhootham’ proved his sahitya bhava. The tuneful tanam was a bonanza. Reflecting the style of the vocalist, Nagai Muralidharan produced rich tonal effects. Though Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam (mridangam) showed his expertise in his able accompaniment, he was aggressive at times. V. Suresh's (ghatam) support was valuable.
S. Mahathi performed with gusto in her concert on the concluding Swati Tirunal day. The musical and rhythmmic exchanges among the artistes were pleasing. The strong swara korvais in ‘Vatapi Ganapathim’ and the soulful ‘Entaro Mahanubhavulu’ captured the imagination of the audience. The stage by stage development of Vasantha deserved ‘AAA’ rating. ‘Hariharaputhram’ (Dikshitar) was suffixed with swaraprastharas. Mahathi proved her mettle in her delineation of Bhairavi. The absence of niraval in an otherwise wonderful concert was a lacuna. Pathri Satheeshkumar’s (mridangam) accompaniment was marked by dexterous touches. K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira) made his presence felt with his competent support.
Students of Chembai Memorial Government Music College and Government College, Chittur, presented impressive concerts. Kottakkal Ranjith Varier and Priyanka Prakash excelled in their vocal recitals. The music festival was organised by the District Tourism Promotion Council, Palakkad.