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Ode to Annamayya

Annamacharya Jayanthi was marked by maestro Nedunuri Krishnamurthy's vocal concert.

The Department of Culture and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam jointly organised the 600th Annamacharya Jayanthi at Ravindra Bharathi.

Singer Sobharaju, who has made the propagation of these kirtanas her life's mission, appealed to the government to celebrate the occasion every year. In the morning session, she rendered some compositions of Annamayya.

The highlight of the entire event was rendition of Annamacharya compositions by Sangeeta Kalanidhi Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. He takes credit for setting to tune more than 100 Annamacharya compositions. In fact, some of them have become so popular that they went into concert circles while others were adopted by dancers for their abhinaya.

For the occasion, Nedunuri had the vocal support of his disciple Malladi Ravi Kumar with Peri Srirama Murthy on violin, V. Venkataramana on mridangam, Nemani Somayajulu on ghatam and Ghantasala Satyasai on morsing. Nedunuri rendered all the songs with excellent ragas, using the concert technique for some renditions. The compositions he chose were all new, except one that started with - Bhavamulona in Suddhadhanyasi. Avadharu Raghupati in Khamas that followed was a pleasant composition. Rama Rama Ramakrishna in Kalyani was enriched with a fine nereval, and brisk swaraprasthara.

Palumaru in Mayamalavagowla described the atmosphere of Sri Krishna Jayanthi. Nedunuri chose Mohana as his major raga effort and aptly selected Ade Choodare Mohanaroopam to present in this enchanting raga. Nereval and swaras in the kriti part enhanced the appeal of the raga and sahitya too. He presented swaras in inimitable style in rhythmic single cycles of Adi talam.

Malladi Ravi also shared some part of swaraprasthara. Peri's violin support and his versions of Mohana and the responses for swaras went a long way in rendering the concert a memorable experience. The thani by percussionists was interesting.

The day-long event was the outcome of a promise made by the Minister for Tourism Dr. J. Geetha Reddy to name the old city music college of the State government after Tallapaka Annamacharya, after consulting with the Chief Minister. She assured that they would convert Tallapaka in Kadapa district into a spiritual centre in honour of Annamacharya. Competitions in rendition of Annamacharya compositions were held for senior, junior and sub-junior singers. Awards for the winners were given away by the Department of Culture.

G.S.

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