Hymn set to music
SRI MUKUNDAMALA: Set to music by A. Sundaresan; Published by Sri Andal Educational Foundation, Plot No. 5070, 12th Street, `Z' Block, Anna Nagar, Chennai-600040. Available from the Karnatic Music Book Centre, 14, Sripuram First Street, Royapettah, Chennai-600014. Rs. 50.
KULASEKHARA AZHWAR, who was a king in Kerala, was the sixth in the Azhwar hierarchy. He believed in the dictum that no offence must be done to devotees because they retain God in their hearts.
He has summarised the entire Ramayana in 10 verses. One of his famous works is Mukundamala in Sanskrit, extolling Lord Krishna, comprising 40 verses. He is the only Azhwar to have composed a hymn in Sanskrit.
He appealed to the Lord at Tirumalai that he should be the footsteps leading to the sanctum sanctorum, so that he may eternally espy His coral lips.
Prof. A Sundaresan, well-known Carnatic musician and reputed guru, has set music for the 40 slokas in the format of a Ragamalika with 20 Ranjaka ragas and also lilting chittaswarams.
The chittaswarams are intelligently conceived with three avartanams in the same raga as the verse, and the last avartanam in the same chittaswaram is tuned to conform with the melody of the following verse.
The classical ragas employed are Hamsadwani, Gowla, Arabhi, Varali, Sri Ragam, Sri Ranjani, Mohanam, Saraswati, Hindolam, Ranjani, Malayamarutham, Dhanyasi, Hamsanadham, Abhogi, Poorvi Kalyani, Suddha Dhanyasi, Mandari, Revati, Hamsanandi and Madhyamavati.
The foreword by T. M. Tyagarajan commends the song for its Gopucha yati, and recommends it to be sung by vidwans in their public concerts.
The notation is absolutely crystal clear and easy to follow that facilitates learning of the song sans oral instruction.
The cover with a charming picture of the celestial flautist, designed by S. Tyagarajan, is a visual delight.
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