Remembering a true maestro
In his honour, a memorial performance was conducted to emphasise the timeless beauty of Carnatic music.
HYDERABAD: Several luminaries have graced the world of music, but few have shone as brightly as Dr Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar. His legacy as a musician, musicologist, composer and a man of many talents lives on through the efforts of the South Indian Cultural Association along with Vinjamuri Govindarajan Memorial Trust. The Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar Memorial Concert, featuring a stunning Carnatic vocal duo, the Vishnubhotla Sisters, was recently held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Hall.
Dr V Varadaraja Iyengar’s contributions to the world of music have been recognised by music legends such as Ariakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar and GN Balasubramaniam, establishing his status as a revered figure in the music world. In his honour, a memorial performance was conducted to emphasise the timeless beauty of Carnatic music.
Before the concert commenced, Mahidhara Seetharama Sarma, a renowned music critic, enthralled the audience with a captivating biography of the legendary Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar. Vinjamuri Sandhya, daughter of Varadaraja Iyengar, graced the stage to honour the talented artists who had brought her father’s music to life once more.
The magical evening began with a devoted performance of Ganesha stuthi, setting the tone for a night of musical splendour. The Vishnubhotla Sisters then weave their magic with Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya’s Sahana Varnam named Karunimpa set in Adi tala. The crowd was captivated as the duo performed Girijaramana Natha Jana Sarana in Gambhirananda, a composition by Mysore Vasudevacharya, which was ended by a lovely swarakalpana.
The musical journey continued with an alapana in Asaveri, leading to a captivating performance of Tyagaraja’s kruthi, Eae Paniko Janminchithina, set to Adi tala. The audience was transported to another realm as the sisters explored Chalamelara Saketha Rama, a margahindola kruthi by Thagaraja. The Aarabhi raga alapana was followed by Narasimha Mamava, a Swathi Thirunal kruthi set in a Jhpe tala with a beautiful swarakalpana. Yoga Narasimha Swamy’s composition Marachithivo Ma Ramana in Lathanthapriya raga added to the musical tapestry.
The evening culminated in a Ragam, Tanam, and Pallavi (RTP) in Shanmukhapriya set in Khanda Triputa tala. The sisters performed an excellent performance with the pallavi Sada Ninu Sada Hari Ninu Sada Nammithi, with mesmerising raga alapana and beautiful swaras. R Dinakar on violin added another dimension of brilliance to the performance, the concert reached new heights. The evening’s percussion section was equally enthralling, courtesy of the talents of experienced vidwans P Jaya Bhaskar on mridangam and Nemani Somayarajulu on ghatam. Their grasp of rhythm captivated the audience and brought a dynamic aspect to the concert.
Following the main performance, the Vishnubhotla Sisters sang a Surati raga Javali composed by Poochi Srinivasa Iyer, followed by a thillana in Behag, which captivated the crowd. The concert was brought to a close with a rousing performance of Dasara Ninnise, a Purandaradasa kruthi in Thilang.
“As established singers we have performed on various stages but we feel blessed to perform here on this stage today,” says Krishnaveni, one of the Vishnubhotla Sisters. In this celebration of music and memory, the Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar Memorial Concert was a testament to the enduring power of Carnatic music.