Maintaining the purity of music
The highlight of Thamarakkad Govindan Namboodiri's concert was the slow kalapramanam that gave it an elegant touch.
Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
Melodious and harmonious: Thamarakkad Govindan Namboodiri enchanted the audience without playing to the gallery.
Thamarakkad Govindan Namboodiri's vocal concert was scintillating because his music was ordered, rhythmic, melodious and harmonic. It was held under the auspices of Swathi Music Dias-Kozhikode.
Govindan Namboodiri laid the foundation for a slow and elegant kalapramanam right from the Bhairavi Varnam, `Viribhoni...' and strictly adhered to it till the final piece. It was followed by Dikshitar's famous kriti, `Vathapi Ganapathim' in raga Hamsadhwani. `Evarani' of Thyagraja in Devamruthavarshini was awesome for the slow kalapramanam chosen. After a brilliant portrayal of Suruti, the singer made a remark on the absence of this ragam in contemporary concert platforms. The grand kriti of Diskhitar, `Sri Venkatagirishamalokaye' was sung with good bhavam.
Then came up the brisk `Ninnu vinaga' in Poorvikalyani, and set in Misra chapu (14 beats/cycle), starting after six beats; a kriti clearly depicting Syama Sastri's brilliance in layam. He rendered the Asaveri Navagraha kirti of Dikshitar, `Chandram Bhaja Manasa' on the request of the audience. Like `Evarani', this one also shone owing to the elegant slow tempo. His choice of Kharaharapriya for the main alapana was decidedly appropriate as the concert venue was directly facing the Lord Siva temple of Thali. (The etymology of Kharaharapriya is actually Khara plus Harapriya, the Khara origination from the Katyapadi system of naming the ragas. So the raga essentially is the favourite of Lord Shiva). The ragalapana was a pleasure to listen to. `Rama nee samana' of Thyagaraja was sung with ease. Following the neraval and swaraprasthara was the thani, which was a real challenge for the artiste on the mridangam on account of the extremely slow kalapramanam.
Following a kriti of Arunagirinathar was a rendition of a Kathakali padam in Sri, `Ajitha Hare Krishna,' that mesmerised the audience. It was undoubtedly the finest part of the concert. Bhavyalakshmi accompanied on the violin. Her kharaharapriya rendition was good. Vaikom Prasad did an honest job on the mridangom, the challenge of the thani for the slow Rupaka thalam was well taken .
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