Tributes to a Vainika
L Raja Rao (1909-1979) was not only a veteran Veena player, but also a teacher, composer and author. In his memory an award has been instituted and this year’s award was conferred on Rajalakshmi Tirunarayanan, veteran Veena player of “Mysore Baani”.
After the award function there was a instrumental trio accompanied by B C Manjunath on mridanga and Narayana Murthy on Ghata.
Suma Sudhindra, Nalina Mohan and L V Mukund – on Veena, violin and flute respectively, regaled the audience. ‘Chalame’ the familiar varna set the pace for the evening. They played safe with familiar krithi and ragas. For instance, “vathapi”, the all too common composition, was their choice as the invocatory piece. “Bhajare” was elaborated with brief alapana and thana in different ragas and they reveled in the swara prasthara.
Flights of fantasy
Both Carnatic and Hindustani and vocal and instrumental music regaled the connoisseurs in “The Flights of Fantasy” festival held under the aegis of the Ganjam Jewellers.
Sanjay Subramanian, who gave the final concert of the festival has been designated with the coveted title “Sangeetha Kalanidhi” as he has been selected as the conference President of the Music Academy, Chennai, this year. His opening “Sharanagatha Vatsala”, a infrequent varna, straightaway made a mark with his accomplishments. The “Karikala Bhava” was also a welcome change from the routine invocatory pieces. “Chalamelara” brought nostalgic memories and again a less known devaranama “Kande Kande Swamiya”. “Marivere Dikkevaraiah” with nerval and swara – rendered with lively phrases, to leave a pleasing impact.
His sparkling presentation added luster even to familiar ragas and satisfied the demands of discriminating listener. Kharaharapriya had an arresting quality, brisk, grace and tempered modulation enriching the delineation, succeeded in highlighting its emotional overtones, and a blissful feeling swept the listeners. The accompanists Varadarajan on violin, Neyveli Venkatesh on mridanga and P L Sudhir on ghata – rose to great heights in their supporting roles.
Buddhaditya Mukherjee, the well-known Sitar player, is not a new person to Bengaluru music lovers. Purya Kalyan gave him a bright start. He painted it on a wide canvas in both vilambit and drut. Without overdoing anything he presented Tilak Kamod also with simple but good sangathies. His style (school) Imdadkhani Gharana surfaced throughout the concert. Shaumen Nandi gave a spirited support on the tabla.
Nadajyothi Sri Thyagarajaswamy Bhajana Sabha conducted the annual Kartheeka Sangeetha Shubha Sandhya with veena, harmonium and sugama sangeeth apart from classical vocal recitals.
Veena Kinhal, a native of Bengaluru, now residing in the US, gave a veena recital. Being the daughter of L Raja Rao, she belongs to a great lineage of veena players and has won several prizes in her young age. She received “Sadas Sanman” from the Karnataka Ganakala Parishat very recently.
In the current veena concert, after opening with a varna, customarily, saluted to Ganapathi, through a Gowla raga keerthana and moved to the “Manasa Etulo” another evocative composition. Though the instrument (Veena) and the sound system was troubling frequently, Veena played with ease and confidence. Her alap for Abheri was noted for its verve and the thaana in different ragas was refreshing.
‘Nagumomu’, the well known composition was rendered with brief swara. Without any gimmicks and over elaboration, it was classical and soulful. After the ‘Thani’ (Mridanga – B C Manjunath and Ghata (B R Ravi Kumar) she also presented few Kannada (Jagadoddarana) and Tamil (Rajaji) devotionals and concluded with a thillana of Veena Seshanna.