Music and dance reviews

Music and dance reviews

Bhagavathar’s compositions

Hari Keshanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar (1877-1945) is one among the important composers of the post-trinity period. He was honoured by many Maharajas including the Mysore Maharaja and has also received a doctorate from the Travancore University. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar has conferred the “Gayaka Shikhamani” title on Bhagavathar. He has also authored a few books and has composed a number of compositions in several languages including Kannada, Tamil and Telegu with the “Ankitha” of “Harikesha”.

Nine young vocalists sang few selected compositions of Muthaiah Bhagavathar on Thursday under the auspices of the Vanamala Centre for Art and Culture.

They opened the programme with a Daru Varna in the raga Kaapi, which was composed on the occasion of the coronation of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. Raga Niroshta, Janya of Shankarabharana, has been composed by Bhagavatar in such a way that the lips do not come in contact both in raga and “Kruthi” (Swara and Sahitya) - “Raja Raja Radhite”. 

Thus, raga nirosta stands different from other ragas and chitteswara is also attractive. Out of three ragamalika kruthees of Bhagavathar, the group had selected the Saptha Ragamalika, in 7 different ragas. Muthaiah Bhagavathar brought to light many ragas, which were till then only mentioned in old books. He discovered the raga Karnaranjini and composed the Kruthi “Sthanumbhajamyaham”, which the group sang neatly. “Andavan Darushaname”, the Tamil Kruthi was composed and the concluding Nottu Swara had western music influenced swaras.

It was presented to the accompaniment of veena, violin, mridanga and khanjari under the direction of Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh. Earlier a book in English titled “Harikeshanallur Dr L Muthaiah Bhagavathar- A Biography” by Dr Meera Rajaram Pranesh was released by Dr L Subramaniam, an internationally acclaimed violinist.

Journey in
harmony

Last week, a different kind of music programme called “Journey in Harmony” was held in the City. It was organised by the Bijapure Harmonium Foundation in collaboration with Ms Kamath and Kamath and the Academy of Music.

Pandith Rambhau Bijapure (1917- 2010) was a veteran harmonium player and a great teacher. In his memory, an institute was established in the year 2003, which conducts several programmes including the famous “Harmonium Habba”every year.

They presented a novel programme which was a unique experience for audiences. In the beginning, scholar and composer Dr Ganesh Avadhani gave a brief informative description. Based on Hindusthani classical ragas the ensemble presented nearly ten items. The “Morning Mist” was based on Ahir Bhairavi, which was followed by rag Bheempalas. Kamach, Peelu, Megh, Keeravani, Bihag and it concluded with Bhairavi. It was successful in exploring the various possibilities of harmonium. Some times ‘Naada” with full strength, some other times sangathies with mellow, soft like silk that blended with other instruments in good harmony.

All the way exploring the various possibilities of the harmonium successfully. In total, it was lively and pleasing. The lead harmonium was played by talented maestro Dr Ravindra G Katoti.

The music arrangement was by Mandolin Prasad and Sangeeth Thomos and conducted by Sax Raja. A band of professional instrumentalists comprising violin, viola, cello, ghitar, keyboard and percussionists (thabala, drums) gave inspiring support.

Tribute to
U Srinivas

The Home Town Productions conducted a special music programme to pay tribute to legendary mandolin maestro U Srinivas, who passed away recently.
 It was simply natural and appropriate that the programme started with a mandolin recital of U Rajesh, brother of late U Srinivas. He saluted to invocatory God through a composition on Ganapathi.

Violin (Deepak Pandit), sarangi (Fiyaz Khan) and Mohan veena (Viswa Mohan Bhatt) followed one after the other, accompanied by thabala (Himanshu Mahant) and mridanga (T A S Mani). Music of each of them was refreshing and sparkling with Titillating Layakari. Charukeshi, Vachaspathi had a reverberating lilt in them. Then they all joined together with a variety of phrases of Puryadhanashri bringing in a fine musical atmosphere.
Though audience expected the concert to go for some more time, it was indeed a musical treat.

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