FRIDAY REVIEW

Spotlight on bani

Music to the ears:(clockwise from top left)T.N. Seshagopalan; Trichy Sivakumar;M.A. Sundareswaran and his sonM.S. Ananthakrishnan; Trichur V. Ramachandran.  

Afive-day long National Music and Dance Festival at Chembai Memorial Music College, Palakkad, featured performances by stalwarts belonging to different schools in Carnatic music. The fete began with a scintillating concert by versatile performer T.N. Seshagopalan. He was ably accompanied by Thiruvananthapuram Sampath (violin), Palakkad Maheshkumar (mridangam) and E.M. Dipu (ghatam).

A lively Navaragamalika varnam was tagged to Navaragamalika kalpana swaras. A sparkling raga alapana of Poornachandrika was followed by Dikshitar’s rare composition ‘Sankha Chakra Gada Panim’. The composition was embellished with niraval and kalpana swaras at ‘Bhaje Poornachandrikam…’

His erudite ragalapana of Pooorvikalyani (‘Meenakshi memudam’), Varali (‘Eti Janmamidi’), Nayaki (‘Ranganayakam’), and Ahiri (‘Mayamma’) was testimony to his musical prowess. Interesting ragam-tanam-pallavi in Hindolam and Varamu had dexterous ragalapanas that illustrated the differences in moods created by the change in the notes at Sudha dhaivatham (Hindolam) and Chathusruthi dhaivatham (Varamu). A well-structured tanam showcased his proficiency on the veena.

Swarakshara pallavi ‘Thamadama sada sagasama….’, set to Khandhajathi thriputa tala and ragamalika manodharmaswara, was mesmerising.

Violin duo M.A. Sundareswaran and his son M.S. Ananthakrishnan, exponents of the ‘Parur bani’, charmed the audience with their ‘gayaki’ style. Thiruvananthapuram Raveendran (mridangam) and Karthikeyan (ghatam) provided excellent support. The violin duo began their concert with ‘Sarasuda’, an Adi tala varnam in Saveri.

A melting Mohanakalyani and Muthiah Bhagavathar’s ‘Sidhivinayakam’ led to a soothing Malayamarutham followed by G.N. Balasubramaniam’s ‘Niravadhi sukhada yaki’. Syama Sastri’s ‘Sarojadalanetri’ was decorated with a well-articulated niraval. An excellent manodharmaswara exchange between the two paved the way to a brilliant tani.

Veteran vocalist Trichur V. Ramachandran, prime disciple of G.N. Balasubramaniam, provided a memorable treat. Edappally Ajith (violin), Vypeen Satheesan (mridangam) and Thrikkakkara Shantharam (ganjira) provided percussion support right from the opening number – ‘Sarasijanabha’, an Adi tala varnam in Khamboji.

Following a Panthuvarali for the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Siva siva siva’, came Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s brisk ‘Paridanamichite’ in Bilahari, which was embellished with artistic niraval and lively kalpanaswara at ‘Rokkameechsudakune…’ A complex ragam-thanam-pallavi in Kalyani ‘Chandrachooda sivasankara…’, set to Thisrajathithriputa tala in Khandha nata, was spellbinding.

The festival concluded with a veena concert by Trichy Sivakumar. He was supported on the veena by his disciple Priyadarsini, Rajeshnadh (mridangam) and Ennakkad Maheswaran (ghatam). Sivakumar’s recital had melodic clarity. It gave prominence to sahithyabhava with apt gamakas.

He began the concert with ‘Samininne’, an Adi tala varnam in Sree raga, and followed it with ‘Saraseeruhasanapriye’ in Natta. The high points of the concert were a captivating Kalyani, and Dikshithar’s ‘Kamalambam Bhajare’. Alternative creative ragamalikaswara singing by the vainikas proved to be captivating.