FRIDAY REVIEW

A well-attended concert

Rendering compositions with proper intonation.

Rendering compositions with proper intonation.  

IT IS not often that the Carnatic music lovers in Kerala get an opportunity to enjoy the vigour and verve of the Andhra `bani.' Panthula Rema, who presented a vocal at the Chakkankulangara temple, Thripunithura recently, built up raga edifices of beauty, rendered the compositions with proper intonation and garnished them with a cascade of swaras.

Although the concert was fast paced throughout, the vocalist from Visakhapattanam was adroit enough in complying with the principles involved in both the prescribed and applied branches of Carnatic music. She is the disciple of Evattoori Vijayeswara Rao and proficient with violin as well as viola, besides being a post-graduate in music from Andhra University. After the Atathaala varnam in Bhairavi, Rema stabilised the concert with `Saranu Sidhi Vinayaka' (chaappu) in Saurashtram by Puradaradasa and kept the same tempo till the last.

`Thathwa Meruga' in Garudadhwani (roopakam) by Thyagaraja being a philosophical one, Rema emphasised each and every word of that small composition. `Swaraprasthaara' done in the sarvalaghu mode augmented the relationship between Maathu (diction) and Dhaathu or the notation. Yadukula Kambhoji had enough repose in it and `Divakarathanujam' (navagraha krithi) by Deekshithar was appreciated by the audience. After bringing to the fore the devotional fervour in Bhogindrasayinam, Rema mapped out Hameer Kalyani, packing it up with excitable passages of melodic grace. `Venkatasaila Vihaara' by Subbaraya Sasthri, was followed by a fluent Panthuvarali in which there were nuances beyond the ordinary. `Siva Siva Siva Yanaraada' is a didactic composition (Upadesa Keerthana) by Tyagabrahmam, reminding one of the mystic significance in uttering the name of the Lord thrice in succession. This came out well when the vocalist appended it with niraval and kalpanaswaram. V.Venkataramana Moorthy catered to the listeners the punch habitual of the Andhra style of mridangam. Adichanallur Anilkumar kept good company with the ghatom.

When U. Srinivas mesmerises the listeners with his gayaki style on the Mandolin his compatriot Uppalapu Peddi Raju of Palakollu from West Godavari ensnares the audience with his pure instrumental style. Both of them were trained by R. Subbaraju, a disciple of Chembai. Raju began with the varnam in Abhogi. After Vathapi he played the Mallaari, which is played only in the Gambhira Naatta, usually on the Nagaswaram. It is a composition that has a string of rhythm syllabus without sahithyam and is believed to have been introduced by Ramaswamy Deekshithar, the father of Muthuswamy Deekshithar, for testing the mettle of upcoming Thavil vidwans. Raju presented mallaari in Khanda jaathi thripuda, thus inviting the left-handed Selam Srinivasan (mridangam) and Thripunithura Radhakrishnan (ghatom) to put up their best efforts. After a juicy Chandrajyothi with Baagaayanayya and Nalinakanthi (Manavinaala), he depicted Saraswathi with its characteristic features in full display. Anuragamuleni (roopakam) followed. In general, there was a preference towards Thyagaraja compositions noted for the `Sangathi' because of the scope they offer for instrumental improvisations. Keeravani was majestic with thaanam and pallavi. C. Rajendran played the violin in a manner that gave an impetus to the Mandolin maestro.

Sanjay Subrahmaniam ushered in the appropriate mood with that graceful Padavarnam (Chalamela) in Nattakurinji by Moolaiveedu Rangaswamy Nattuvanar.

Swaras attached to Merusamaana in Mayamalava Gaula by Thygaraja was typical of his guru Kolkatta Krishnamoorhty, who belonged to the direct sishyaparampara of the saint. `Poorvikalyani' was woven into a rich texture and followed it up with `Sottru Vilakiyirum' by Gopalakrishna Bharathi from Nandanar Charitham with an excellent niraval and swaram. `Ee Vasudha' created on the deity of Sundresa in Kovur by Thyagaraja was pepped up with a sequence of Chittaswaras. `Sankarabharanam' (Akshayalingavibho) and `Madhyamavathi' (Saravanabhava by Papanasam Sivan) were given a bright scenario before taking up `Subhapanthuvarali' for ragam-thanam-pallavi.

T. H. Subrahmaniam provided a competent accompaniment with the violin.

In the junior section, of the vocalists who participated in the festival concerts in the Siva temple of Chakkanhulangara, Thripunithura Sudarsana was the most impressive with her flawless presentation of `Vagadheeswari' (Vanee Vagadheeswari by B.A Chidambaranath), Husseni (Kankamaya by Swati Tirunal from Utsavaprabandham) and Kaappi with Ennathapam by P. Sivan. Mahesh (violin) and Jayakrishnan (mridamgam) were the accompanists.

JAYARAMAN V

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