Music reviews

Music reviews

Tributes to Trinity

The Bangalore Lalitha Kala Parishat presented a vocal concert, as part of its monthly programme (818) on Friday at the H N Kalakshetra, Jayanagara.

Artiste of the day, Dr Prameela Gurumurthy, is a senior vocalist who has been trained by veteran musicians of the Carnatic music. She is fortunate to have been trained by stalwarts like Musri Subramanya Iyer, T K Govinda Rao and Rajam Iyer.

She has obtained a doctorate for her thesis on “Harikatha – Tanjore Tradition”. She is serving the University of Chennai as professor and head of the De­p­a­r­t­ment of Music and has authored a few books.

Prof Prameela Gurumurthy presented compositions of Trinity (Tyagaraja, Mut­hu­s­w­a­m­y Dikshitar and Syama Sastry), opening her concert with an invocatory song on Ganesha, customarily. “Sri Ganapathini Sevincharare” is in the raga Saurashtra and Adi Thala.

Tyagaraja says: “Let us pay our obeisance to Lord Ganapathi, who is dancing prettily… is coming thoroughly dancing in a variety of rhythms”. She sang “Sri Narada Nada Saraseeruha” with swara briefly. Both “Anandamrita Karshini” of Dikshitar and “Anupama Gunambudhi” (Athana) of Tyagaraja were popular compositions during yester years.

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar popularised the composition “Anupama Gunambudhi”. Lalita is a very popular raga from centuries. It is a ‘Pa’ Varjya, Shadava raga and all the three composers (Trinity) have composed in this raga. Dr Prameela chose “Nannubrovu Lalitha” of Syama Sastry and sang with good feeling. The alap of Shankarabharana was evocative with the ragabhava encircling Tyagaraja’s well known kriti “Enduku Peddala”.

The imploring mood of the lyric was brought out successfully, though the nerval (Veda sastra Tatwarthamulu) was rather brief. Raga Chintamani is known to connoisseurs through the composition of Syama Sastry’s “Devibrova Samayamide”. It was a “Ubhaya Vakra Shadava” raga and was very pleasing. It was a scholarly concert sung with good “Bhava”. Nalina Mohan on violin, M T Rajakesari on mridanga and N S Krishnaprasad on ‘ghata’, supported with good understanding.

Gotuvadya concert

Gotuvadya, one of the stringed instruments of Carnatic music, looks just like a veena, from a distance. Gotuvadya is just the veena minus the frets and the waxy ledge. It is believed to be four-centuries old and is mentioned in the Telugu book “Sringara Savitri” of Raghunatha Naik and the instrument is also known as “Maha Nataka Veena” and was a popular accompaniment in ‘Geya Natakas’ (Operas). It is both a ‘Gaana Vadya’ and a ‘Pradarshina Vadya’ and the cylindrical stick to be held in the left hand is made to glide over the strings and is plucked from the right hand. Though it is not a rare instrument, there are not many Gotuvadya players.

There was a Gotuvadya recital at “Swathi”, Basaveshwaranagara, on Saturday evening, by Dr Gayathri Rajapur Kassembaum. She is a disciple of Budulur Krishnamurthy Sastry, the legendary Gotuvadya player. Gayathri is an ethnomusicologist and has received PhD from the University of Washington and has also served the Hawai University as a lecturer.
The Pantuvarali varna gave her a bright start and she saluted to invocatory God through

“Sri Gananatham Bhajare”. Swara for “Saraseeruhasana Priye” was full of “Bhava”.
“Rama Ninnu” of Veena Seshanna in the raga ‘Anandabhairavi’, with swara prasthara, was neatly executed. The Sri raga was well expressed through the dignified composition “Sri Varalakshmi Namastubhyam”. “Mamava Meenakshi” of Dikshitar was presented in the familiar mode. Without overdoing anything and singing here and there (for audience to understand the lyrics) Dr Gayathri played in a simple but pleasing manner. Two seasoned percussionists – M Vasudeva Rao (mridanga) and B Rajasekhar (morching) – accompanied with aplomb.

Mysore V Subramanya

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