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Eleven gems of the saint-poet

Inreco IP 5103 Compact Disc - Carnatic Classical - Tyagaraja Hrudayam - Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan — Rs. 200.

"THYAGARAJA HRUDAYAM," released by INRECO, comprises 11 songs of Tyagaraja sung by Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan with S. Varadarajan (violin), K. Arun Prakash (mridangam) and S. Karthick (ghatam) as accompanists. "Giri Raja Sutha" in Bangala with kalpanaswaras is a spirited opener.

"Marugelara" in Jayanthasri is a pleasant rendering. Yet, the customary beginning of the charanam sung by most musicians with the solfa phrase, "P P P; P m P M" is likely to offend the lakshana sense of the rasika, since the whole line sounds like Suddhadhanyasi and not Jayantasree.

Lalgudi Jayaraman's version, "D D D; D m P M," is an outstanding example of how the disciplined tenets of grammar could be synthesised effectively with aesthetic sensitivity. "Hecharikaga Ra Ra" announcing the arrival of Lord Rama at the marriage hall, is beautifully tuned in Yadhukulakambhoji, and the singer's interpretation is flooded with rich `bhava.'

"Nidhi Chala Sukhama" in Kalyani, in which Tyagaraja asserts that it is only the Lord's darshana that will give unalloyed bliss and not material wealth, connects with the listener spontaneously.

The Todi kriti, "Ninnuvina," "Sujana Jeevana" in Khamas and "Inta Sowkhya" in Kapi sung with creditable involvement and composure address the mind and heart in a positive fashion.

"Haridasulu" in Yamuna Kalyani brings golden memories of Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer's exquisite rendition that invariably led one into a state of ecstasy. "Vinayakuni" on Devi Kamakshi in Madhyamavati, and "Tulasidala" in Mayamalavagowlai complete the album, with grace and melody.

The last song could have been more appropriately fitted in the first section of the programme. The errors in the inlay card are far too many to be listed. — S.P.

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