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Rich aural treats


A Navaratri music festival at Moozhikulam celebrated the sapta swaras in all its glory.

Ragas galore: (clockwise from top left) Vaikom Jayachandran, Abhiskek Raghuram, Prasanna Venkitaraman, Renjini Hebbar and Malladi brothers, Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar, were some of the singers who participated in the nine-day festival at Moozhikulam.

Music aficionados of Moozhikulam were treated to 10 days of pure classical music at the Navaratri festival organised by Nammazhvar Sangeetha Sabha at the Nepathya koothambalam. The Sabha is named after the Tamil Bhakti poet who visited Moozhikulam ab out 1,200 years ago and even composed a few verses about the place.

In the curtain-raiser concert by Kalathimekkad brothers, Sandeep and Suhas, the Swati Tirunal composition ‘Pahi Jagat Janani’ in Vachaspathi was chosen as the main item. Edappally Ajith (violin), Cherthala Krishnakumar (mridangam) and Mangad K.V. Pramod (ghatam) provided accompaniment.

Fine Sankarabharanam

Renjini Hebbar from Bangalore gave a fine exposition of Sankarabharanam. She chose the kriti ‘Devi Jagat Janani.’ Thiruvizha Viju S. Anand (violin), Thrissur Jayakrishnan (mridangam) and Vellattanjoor Sreejith (ghatam) provided good back-up.

Vechur Sankaran took the audience on a spiritual flight with ‘Annapoorne Vishalakshi’ in raga Saama. ‘Pahimam Sree Vageshwari’ in Kalyani was well rendered. Thrissur C. Rajendran (violin), Alappuzha G. Chandrasekharan Nair (mridangam) and Thrikkakara Y. N. Shantaram (ganjira) were the accompanists.

The festival reached classical fineness on the third day with a mellifluous concert by Abhishek Raghuram. From the very start, with ‘Sree Vathapi Ganapathiye’ in Sahana, he showed his innate talent in rendering invigorating manodharma swaras.

Vasanthabhairavi, a raga that even experienced singers rarely attempt, was well presented. ‘Nee Dayarada’ in the same raga was embellished with kalpana swaras. ‘Devi Pavane’ in Saveri was the main item of the day. Avaneeshwaram Vinu (violin), Cherthala Dinesh (mridangam), and Udupi Sreekanth (ganjira) provided accompaniment.

Madurai Balamani Easwar presented a different style, with pleasing renditions of Poorvikalyani and Thodi. A verse of Nammazhvar set nicely to Nattakurinji was presented as a tribute to the Tamil poet. The main item of the day was ‘Bharathi Mamava’ (Thodi) which was rendered with verve. The pleasing alapana of the raga was followed by a powerful thanam. Vazhamuttam Suresh (violin), Balakrishna Kamath (mridangam) and Manjoor Unnikrishnan (ghatam) provided support. The concert by Malladi Brothers, Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar, was an aural treat. It started off with ‘Neranammithi’ (Kaanada ada tala varnam). Ravikumar rendered a rarely performed raga, Kanthamani effortlessly. The ragalapana was followed by the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Palinthuvo.’ The other highlight of the day was ‘Janani Mamava’ (Bhairavi) with a detailed alapana of the raga with traditional sancharas.

Edappally Ajith (violin), Trivandrum Balaji (mridangam) and Vellattanjoor Sreejith (ghatam) provided adequate support.

Competent rendering

Mathangi Sathyamurthi’s performance was noted for her ability to render efficient manodharma swaras. It was visible in the main composition of the day ‘Saroruhasana’ (Panthuvarali). Manjoor Ranjith, Palakkad K.S. Maheshkumar and Thrikkakara Y.N. Shantharam provided dutiful accompaniment on the violin, the mridangam and the ganjira respectively.

Poornima Krishnan handled the difficult Suddha Saveri effortlessly. She also showed promise in the precise rendering of ‘Janani Pahi.’ Cherthala V. Sindhu on the violin, Vadakara Anil on the mridangam and Kalamandalam Shaiju on the morsing provided accompaniment.

Another artiste who performed well was Prasanna Venkitaraman. ‘Pahimam Bruhannayike’ in Useni was noteworthy. The main item of the day, ‘Pahi Janani’ in Nattakurinji was well rendered, although there was no niraval.

Accent on sahitya

The way in which the young artiste gave importance to the sahithyas of the kritis was commendable. He ended his concert with ‘Kanaka Shaila Viharini’ (Punnagavarali). Thiruvananthapuram A. Sambath Kumar (violin), Kallekulangara Unnikrishnan (mridangam) and Payyannur Govindaprasad (morsing) gave admirable support.

The festival concluded with a concert by Vaikom Jayachandran. The main item ‘Pahi Parvatha Nandini’ (Arabhi) was delightfully delivered. A rare raga Vitapi was also presented. Sambath Kumar (violin), Balakrishna Kamath (mridangam) and Mangad K.V. Pramod (ghatam) accompanied.

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