The popular Mambalam Sisters impressed the audience at Government Fort High School pandal with their good quality music and concert craft. Very effectively supported by Dr Hemalatha (violin), H S Sudheendra (mridangam) and Ravikumar (ghata), they stuck to the tradition and classicism of Carnatic music and also did well in exploring the matching manodharmas and expertise.
As usual, it was refreshing to hear a number of pure Kannada compositions. They also need to be commended for their successful rendering of these songs with lyrical and emotional intensity. The singers were rightly applauded for including and singing a composition by Mysore Vasudevacharya.
Swati Tirunal’s familiar Mayamalavagowla krithi Deva deva kalayami provided an excellent start to the concert. With a brief Bilahari prelude, Sri Chamundeshwari was sung. Bhairavi was sketched in detail for Thyagaraja’s Koluvaiyunnade. The neraval and swaraprastaras kept a lively tempo. Next came Hindola in its glowing colours. Dikshitar’s Neerajakshi Kamakshi was sung in a leisurely pace highlighting both the raga and sahitya bhavas. In the same tone and pace appeared Arabhi. Thyagaraja’s Nada sudharasambilanu was evocative.
For a welcome change, we heard raga Kannada. As expected Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s Sri Mathrubhutam trishiragiri was rendered in an appealing manner. The central piece of the duet was a raga, tana and pallavi in Poorvi Kalyani raga. The raga elaboration was artistically shared by the sisters. The prati madhyama raga traversed through mandra, madhya and tara sthayis in a proportionate distribution. The tana was scholarly. The pallavi line Kodanda Raamanai Kalyana Raamanai neenai Pattabhi Raamanai was set to a demanding two kalai mishra chapu tala with an eduppu at attetha five aksharasa. The expert sisters demonstrated their refined artistry and immaculate scholarship in negotiating the tala which demands full concentration. More feathers were added to the glory of their manodharma and hold over laya when they attached a ragamalika swara vinyasa to the pallavi. The ragamalika comprised of ragas like Mohana, Bilahari, Reetigowla, Dhanyasi, Nalinakanthi, Hamsanandi, Kadanakutuhala, Behag, Hameer Kalyani and other ragas. An enjoyable tani crowned the raga, tana and pallavi rendition.
Purandaradasa’s Chandrachooda Shiva Shankara Parvathi pathe set to Darbari Kaanda delighted the rasikas. A shloka on Krishna Vasudevasutham devam beautified the Vasanthi krithi Neeraja dala nayana. A Kaanda devaranama Paavana kaaya Raghavendra in Behag and a tillana in Hamsanandi raga added spice to the duet.
Sri Mahaganapathi Sangeetha Sabha in K R Puram held its annual Sri Thyagaraja Aradhanotsava for three days in the Mahaganapathi temple hall last week. The inaugural concert featured a refined, melodious and captivating nagaswara recital by S G Balasubramanyam and party. Subramanyam’s seamless phrasing and superb intonation distinguished his hold over the sacred instrument. Nagaswara is essentially a temple instrument and considered to be an auspicious wind instrument. All the temple rituals are inevitably accompanied by this open air instrument.
Accompanied by his brother S G Nagaraj on the second nagaswara Balasubramanyam was supported by the most experienced tavil vidwans Rajakumar and Venkataswamy. There was textual clarity and the nagaswara play was vocal based. The nagaswara recital began with Sri Mahaganapathe in Athana raga. A brief alapana in Shanmukhapriya raga covered all the facets of the raga and Balasubramanyam presented a well painted raga. Another krithi in praise of Siddhi Vinayakam was timely and at the same time consolidated the musical atmosphere. There were myriad sangathees which authenticated the ragaswaroopa at every stage of the development of the raga. Khamach alapana was succinct. Vasudevacharya’s Brochevarevarura made even a common listener nod in approval. Hindola was taken up for a detailed treatment. The five swara raga was spread over in all the registers. Catchy and classic phrases underscored its appeal. Saamaja varagamana delighted the ears. The swara sequence was shared by both nagaswara players and there was a never-ending creation of phrases in the exposition of the kalpanaswaras. The korrappu they worked out was a treat. The dialogue between the nagaswaras and the tavils opened up a wide spectrum of rhythm.
The students including the tiny tots of Sri Vani Vidya Kendra stunned the packed audience at the open air auditorium of the Kendra in Basavaveshwaranagar with their ensemble singing. The programme was held in connection with the ongoing Sri Rama Navami music festival held under the banner of Sri Vani Vidya Kendra led by Sharada Prasad and others. It was amazing to see the students of different age groups actively taking part in the ensemble.
Trained by Shwetha, the participants sang Thyagaraja’s Sri raga Pancharathna krithi Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Raghuvara (Kamavardhini) and others in unison. The way the young girl Ishwarya delineated Kamavardhini and led the singing of the krithi was simply wonderful. Her vidwath was commendable.
Veteran vocalist Rudrapatnam Thyagarajan had trained the ensemble in singing a Dasara pada Mandamatiyu naanu set to Hamsanaada raga. The participants never faltered in its rendition. Dhanashri tillana was a befitting finale to the group singing. The ensemble was supported by Ganesh Kumar (violin), B Dhuravaraj (mridanga), A S N Swamy (khanjira), B K Chandramowli (mridanga), Bhagyalakshmi Krishna (morsing), Jagadish Kurthukote (tabla) and Bhaskar (dolu).