Reverberating with bhakti

MELODIC: U. Shrinivas.

MELODIC: U. Shrinivas.   | Photo Credit: Photos: S. Siva Saravanan


The rasikas in Coimbatore enjoyed a rich aural treat as eminent musicians performed during the Sri Ramanavami celebrations.

The 66th Sri Ramanavami festival at Lalitha Niwas, Ponnurangam Road, Coimbatore, was celebrated recently, strictly adhering to tradition, with Veda parayanam, upanyasam and concerts. This year’s ‘Ramayana Upanyasam’ was presented by V. Yajnarama Sharma, disciple of Paranur Krishna Premi who presented it as ‘navaaham’ (conducted for nine days), beginning on Yugadi day and concluding with Sri Rama Pattabhishekam on the day of Sri Ramanavami.

The first musical concert was that of Trichur V. Ramachandran whose performance was full of energy. Abhishek Raghuram was quite impressive on the second day and Shreyas Narayanan made a favourable impact on the listeners the following day.

Soft and sensitive

U.Shrinivas’s scintillating mandolin recital reverberated with unfading tempo throughout his concert. He began with the varnam ‘Karunimpa’ in Sahana by Tiruvottriyur Thyagayya and concluded it with brisk kalpanaswaras, rising to a crescendo and winning a thunderous applause. ‘Mokshamu Galada’ in Saramathi by Tyagaraja was soft and sensitive. Most of the songs he presented were the usual favourites including the centre piece, ‘Etavunara’ in Kalyani.

Harikhambhodi, Vasantha, Abheri, Sama and Jayantashree were the ragas he chose in the earlier session of his concert and the lighter session was ruled by listeners’ request.

Violin by Mullaivasal Chandramouli was both lively and sensitive. Mridangam by Bangalore Praveen was full of spirit but was a bit too loud. Ghatam by E.M. Subramanian was perfect.

Wholesome music

G. Ravikiran, well-known to the fans of Shruti, the Carnatic music channel of Worldspace Satellite Radio, gave a gratifying vocal concert the next day. A die-hard traditionalist, this young artist has honed his skills under the guidance of veteran musician R.K. Srikantan.

T.M. Krishna, who is his present guru, has added power and vibrancy to Ravikiran’s earlier strong foundation. As a result his wholesome music pleased both the common rasikas and the connoisseurs alike. He made a lively beginning with ‘Manavyalakinchara’ in Nalinakanti by Tyagaraja. Purvikalyani was his main raga and he presented it as a grand edifice of many storeys. This was followed by ‘Parama Paavana Raama’ by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar. His niraval for ‘Kanakaambaradhara’ and the swarakalpanas that followed had clear traces of T.M. Krishna’s influence. His clear diction and emotional rendition brought the kritis alive.

‘Eti Janmamithi Haa’ in Varali, by Tyagaraja stood out for its karuna rasa.

The RTP in Ritigowla with the pallavi ‘Dasaratha Baala Raama Chandrayya, Dayaanidhe, Maam Paahi’ with ragamalika swaras was enjoyable and earned critical acclaim. Ravikiran hardly had time for the thukkada session though he sang ‘Gayathi Vanamaali,’ ‘Saa Pashyat Kausalya’ and ‘Sriraama Jayaraama.’

Palghat R. Swaminathan on the violin, B. Sivaraman on the mridangam and E.M. Deepu on the ghatam comprised the supportive and effective orchestra.

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