Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

Marathon music session

Sri Academy of Music and Arts conducts a music festival called ‘Saama’ every year, under the direction of Dr R Raghuram. This year, a 12-hour marathon session of music recitals were held with flute, solo violin, instrumental trio and a Jugalbandi of violin and guitar, apart from a percussion ensemble.

H K Venkataram, G Ravikiran and Ashwin Anand were on violin, flute and veena, respectively, accompanied by C Cheluvaraj on mridanga. The familiar varna in the raga Shree, gave them a flying start. Dikshitar’s “Parvathee Pathim Pranami” in the raga Hamsadwani was a welcome change from the routine invocatory pieces.

Gaanamurthi is the third mela karta raga, in which, Tyagaraja’s ‘Gaanamurte’ is quiet popular. The ragalapana was melodiously played by Ravi Kiran and an infrequent kruthi “Sreepathe” of Veena Seshanna was presented neatly. Among the trio, H K Venkatram chose Amrithavarshini and presented it evocatively. Swara for “Anandamritha Varshini” was shared by all the three artistes in turns. Another sought after raga, Reetigowla was the choice of Ashwin Anand, and it was followed by  “Tani” of mridanga by C Cheluvaraj. To make the concert more impactful they also presented a pallavi in Brindavani.
Tuneful veena

C Krishna Murthy was one among the important Veena players of the “Mysore Baani”. He was an able teacher and had trained a number of students. In his memory, his family members sponsor a programme every year, under the aegis of the Adarsha Academy of Indian Culture.

Last week, Prince Rama Varma, a scion of the Trivancore Royal family and a descendant of Raja Ravi Varma, gave this year’s C Krishna Murthy Memorial Concert at the Adarsha Bhavan. He is a well known vocalist and a Veena player.
Venkataraman and K S Narayana Swamy have taught him Veena and Vechur Harihara Subramanya Iyer and Balamurali Krishna have trained him in vocal.

He has travelled widely and has has conducted music workshops in many countries. He has also authored several articles on music.

In the current programme Prince Rama Varma opened his concert with a composition in Mayamalavagowla, which brought a serene atmosphere and prepared the audience for a fine “Kacheri”. Varali was yet another aural luxury and “Bhogendra Shayinam” – also a popular composition. He chose Behag for elaboration and Kaapi and Saveri for thana. While the alapana was rather brief, the thana was quiet elaborate! He chose an unfamiliar Kruthi in Behag and presented it in a simple way.

In total connoisseurs expected at least one raga in depth and detail. Still, the audience heard the tuneful Veena with more respect than excitement. In the concluding session, Prince Rama Varma chose few devotionals, when the audience was expecting a thillana! Seasoned percussionists V Praveen and Ullur Giridhar Udupa accompanied him on mridanga and ghata, with aplomb.

Talented flautist

Shanthala Subramanya, who gave a flute concert for the Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat, belongs to a musician’s family. She was initiated into music by her father M N Subramaniam and has been inspired by her brother Shashank. She took regular training from Vairamangalam Lakshminarayan and is currently being trained by O S Tyagarajan and T V Gopalakrishnan.

Shanthala Subramanya presented a number of popular compositions in her flute. For instance “Raga Sudharasa” of Saint Tyagaraja. It was prefaced with alapana rendered with good feeling and lively swara prasthara. Earlier, Kalyani was elaborated for “Amma Ravamma” – another fine keerthana of Saint Thyagaraja.

The swara was interestingly woven and complemented the composition. ‘Sarasa Samadana’ and ‘Jagadoddarana’ were also presented. It was melodious and sans gimmicks. With some more experience Shanthala Subramaniam will reach great heights. H M Smitha was on violin, Sai Giridhar on mridanga and Phanindra Bhaskar on Ghata, accompanied with good understanding.

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