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Book Review

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TAMIL

Carnatic legends

CHARUKESI

EZHU SWARANGALUKKUL ETHANAI RAGAM: Bombay Jayashri, T.M. Krishna; Translated by ‘Veeyesvee'; Vikatan Prasuram, 757, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002. Rs. 165.

THIS IS a translation of the high-priced coffee-table book Voices Within, authored by two renowned young musicians. If the text makes fascinating reading, the rare black-and-white photographs provide a visual treat.

Sourced from various journals, books, and personal interviews, the book carries the biographical sketches of seven legends in the world of Carnatic music: Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, T.N. Rajaratnam Pillai, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, GNB, Palakkad Mani Iyer M.S. Subbulakshmi, and ‘Mali' T.R. Mahalingam.

Some interesting nuggets from the book — which the authors say is “not just to praise these legends, but is our way of paying homage to them”: TNR was asked to play for ten minutes on the Independence Day but he played for an hour; it was Ariyakudi who advised GNB not to control his style; Palakkad Mani Iyer was fastidious abut the upkeep of his mridangam and treated it as his child; and Mali's remark that he had never been a serious musician.

A collector's item, the book is sure to be of interest to the lovers of Carnatic music.

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