In praise of Tiruvaiyaru Goddess

THE MIKE has become such a dominant feature that its absence appears seemingly to affect his/her music. Even chamber concerts, are not an exception. In this context, it was refreshing to see the Malladi Brothers (Sriram and Ravikumar) undeterred by mike-related problems. It speaks of their resolution and commitment to the art reflected by their concert for Hamsadhwani. However, it was not until the pair figured in a shared Todi alapana (in the manner of the Hindustani duos) that the concert got enlivened.

Earlier Ravikumar rendered a solo alapana in Simhendramadhyamam and the pair sang Mysore Vasudevachar's "Ninne nammithi" with neraval and swaras at Pannagendrasayana.

Tyagaraja's Todi song "Karunajoodavamma" in praise of Dharmasamvardhini, Goddess at Panchanada kshetra in Tiruvaiyaru has a certain significance. It is believed that the Saint composed it to dispel notions that he sang only on Lord Rama. In three long and meaningful charanams, Tyagaraja brings to the fore the divine traits of Dharmasamvardhini.

The Malladi Brothers sang with full fervour and the neraval at "Parashakti Naa yokachittamu... " followed by artistic swaras which got added beauty by violinist B. Raghavendra Rao's appropriate answers — received repeated applause. And the fact that this occurs in the last charanam containing the Tyagaraja mudra must have pleased in particular a coterie of devout Tyagaraja bhaktas, who campaign for the singing of the Mudracharanam.

Tiruvotriyur Tyagayya's Darbar varnam "Chalamela" gave a rousing start to the concert.

Mysore Vasudevachar's "Lambodara" (Khamboji), Tyagaraja's "Ramaneepai" (Kedaram), the enticing Kamas kriti "Ramajogi" by Bhadrachala Ramadas lifted the concert and prepared for the Todi feature.

Other noteworthy songs were Sadasiva Brahmendra's "Nahire" (Hindustani Kalavati), Papanasam Sivan's "Radhamukha" (Hindustani Kapi), Annamacharya's "Yeduta Unnadu" tuned in Bujangini by the singers' guru Nedanuri Krishnamurthi and "Chhallare Ramachandrunipi" (Tyagaraja — Ahiri) were sketched well. Tyagaraja's "Patiki Haratire" in Surati provided a fitting finale to a glittering concert. Mannargudi Easwaran's teermanams varying from the gentle to the vigorous with ghatam support by E. M. Subramaniam emphasised how percussive instruments can help and not mar the concert, depending on the handlers.


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