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Rich music fare on the cards

IT IS a matter of delight for music-lovers, especially those who have a fascination for the compositions of Swathi Tirunal. The stage has been set for the week-long annual Swathi music festival at `Kuthiramalika' at the imposing Fort Palace complex in the city. The festival, beginning on Thursday, will provide a rich musical fare till January 12.

The Swathi music festival, being conducted at the initiative of the ruling family of erstwhile Travancore and a host of music buffs, is not just another music fiesta. It is an earnest endeavour to keep alive the rich music legacy of the royal composer. The festival is a confluence of the diverse music traditions of the country and this is one of its unique features too. Vocalists from different parts of the country including Carnatic and Hindustani are invited every year and they religiously render the compositions of Swathi Tirunal alone.

Though the composer has a rich repertoire of Hindustani and Carnatic compositions to his credit, the organisers painstakingly try to avoid repetition of compositions by interacting with the singers. For almost all his compositions are a singer's delight and they long to present them at the festival.

Every day the concert begins offering `pranams' to Sree Padmanabha. The milieu too is different from other similar programmes. The dais and its precincts are decked up with the oil lamps and electric lights are sparingly used. This adds to the charm of the festival. A host of prominent young and old singers have attended the festival and this year too many prominent singers have been invited.

The festival, named as `Swathi Smruthi' this year, opens with a flute recital of the noted flautist Kudamaloor Janardhanan. This will be followed by a veena recital by Aswati Tirunal Rama Varma, vocal concerts by Kiranavali Vidyasankar from California, Pantula Rama from Visakhapatnam, V. Vamanan, Mumbai, Venkateshkumar from Dharwad and T. M. Krishna in the succeeding days. The highlight of the festival this year is a seminar on music at the Rangavilasom Palace at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday. Eminent musicologists including Gauri Kuppuswamy and Nandini Ramani are expected to attend the seminar.

Classical music concerts

Jan. 6: Kudamaloor Janardhanan

Jan. 7: Aswathi Tirunal Rama Varma

Jan. 8: Kiranavali Vidyashankar

Jan. 9: Pantula Rama

Jan. 10: V.Vamanan

Jan. 11: Venkateshkumar

Jan. 12: T.M.Krishna

By N. J. Nair

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