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Remembering a great composer

P. SURYA RAO

The 106th vardanthi of Patnam Subramanya Iyer saw many artistes rendering his krithis very well.

Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Talented siblings Vishnubhotla sisters, Saraswathi and Krishnaveni.

Patnam Subramanya Iyer, a prasishya of Thyagaraja, was a versatile composer who composed a large number of krithis, varnams, javalis and thillanas. His compositions have become very popular among the musicians. Many of his varnams like Navaragamalika varnam, Jalajakshha (Hamsadhvani), Evaribhodhana (Abhogi), Sarasuda (Saveri) and several other varnams have become part of the initial training in Carnatic Music. His compositions are widely sung in concerts.

The Swarajhari Sabha and Sama Gana Lahari Trust of Vijayawada jointly organised the 106th vardanthi of Patnam at Sri Sivaramakrishna Kshetram. Scholar and president of Swarajhari T.S. Ramachandra Rao spoke about Subramanya Iyer’s life history and his contribution to Carnatic music.

Following his speech there were a number of vocal performances by several artistes who rendered exclusively Patnam’s compositions. Malladi brothers Sriram Prasad and Ravikumar, Modumudi Sudhakar, Vishnubhotla sisters Saraswathi and Krishnaveni, Popuri Gowrinath, Popuri Gayatri, B.V. Durgabhavani, M. Anjana, C.V.P. Sastri and some junior artistes sang Patnam’s krithis, thillanas, Javalis and varnams enthusiastically. Each artiste rendered 3 to 4 items without repetition any where.

Some of the compositions that were heard in these mini concerts were Navaragamalika, varnas in Abogi and Saveri, Garuda Gamana (Nagaswaravali), Palukutache (Phalamanjari), Etunamminavo (Savaeri), Raghuvamsa Sudhambudhi (Kadana Kutuhalam), Enta Nerchina (Saveri), Abhimanamennadu (Begada) and several thillanas and javalis. Malladi Sriram Prasadcompered the programme. Instrumental support for the vocalists was provided by Ampolu Muralikrishna, Durgabhavani and G. Srinivasa Murty on violins and M. Lakshminarayana Raju, B.V.S. Prasad, K. Sadgurucharan, N.S. Kalyanaraman, K. Sai Giridhar, S. Prasad and M. Vijayakumar on the mridangams. Raghuram Hari played morsing.

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