A mini marathon
O. S. THYAGARAJAN appears to have standardised his recitals so well that he seldom does he let down his rasikas. And he did not fail them at the first anniversary of Naadhabrahmam Music Journal at Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan. Thyagarajan sings in the easiest way, using such syllables and idioms that give scope to his saariram to produce a sweet array of prayogas. In the 90-minute programme all the ingredients were present in full measure giving complete satisfaction to an overflowing audience.
An added attraction was the accompaniment of the mridangam maestro Karaikkudi R. Mani with his formidable percussive support which in turn inspired the top flight B. S. Purushotham on the kanjira. Nagai R. Muralidharan, violinist, stood up to this reputation and the rare idioms he generated with a twist here and turn there earned repeated nods from the vocalist. Altogether it was a wholesome concert.
Sankarabharanam is a very popular raga and Thyagarajan covered the entire canopy with a sweet and scholarly alapana for Tyagaraja's "Emineramo." He had a whole set of sancharas at both the pallavi and anupallavi. He then plunged into a tornado of swaras at the anupallavi, "Samajaraja" and this mini marathon with the violinist and the percussionists gave an exciting fare and resourcefully enough he changed gears to usher in a spiritual halo with Sadasivabrahmendra's "Bhajare Yadunatham" (Peelu) and Vedanayakam Pillai's "Nale Nalla Naal" (Kapi) tuned by T. M. Thiagarajan and as he often does concluded the concert with a plain recital of Tyagaraja's "Nadupai Balikeru" (Madhyamavathi).
Pallavi Sesha Aiyar's "Entanevina" (Urmika) and Tyagaraja's "Neepadapankaja" (Begada) were other noteworthy songs rendered in the earlier session of the concert, which was begun with Karur Devudu Iyer's Sri Raga Varnam, "Sami Ninnekori."
Interesting swara duels
For all the hard work in the form of brighas and gamakas in the Simhendramadhyama alapana, Uma (Chinmaya Sisters) could not get to the core of the raga. This was in contrast to her earlier exercise in Kalyani where the swarupa was more easily captured. Radhika's Dhanyasi alapana though brief was striking.
Thiruvallur Parthasarathy (violinist) brought to the fore the essence of the raga even with a few initial strokes. But in developing it further he fell short of the objective. His overall support to the sisters was most commendable. Thanjavur Kumar (mridangam) and Pudukottai N. Ramachandran (ghatam) played their roles well, Kumar's teermanams reflected not only vidwat but subtlety.
The Simhendramadhyamam kriti "Rama Rama Rama Gunaseela" penned by Swati Tirunal is a charmer and duo sang with a lot of verve. The neraval and the swara duel, as usual worked up great interest and climaxed into a frenzy with the tala buffs not sparing themselves with beats. And surely this brought a rain of cheers.
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