A shower of seasonal tunes

A shower of seasonal tunes

Ramanavami celebrations

A shower of seasonal tunes

The ongoing shower of Carnatic concerts that are currently taking place at Sree Ramaseva Mandali in Fort High School Grounds, Chamarajpet seem like a bout of spring in Bengaluru’s scorching summer. The mandali continues to see a packed ground even as the month ends and the fresh schedule of concerts is being churned out for the week.

On the occasion of Ramanavami celebrations, the 78th musical extravaganza started with a grand opening by Bombay Jayashree and team. She kickstarted the festival with a salutation in raga ‘Arabhi’ and went on to render a mellifluous version of ‘Rama ninnu nammina’ in ‘Mohana’ raga. She kept the atmosphere alive with a spellbinding version of ‘Ninne Nammithinayya’ in ‘Simhendra Madhyama’ and concluded with a ‘thillana’. The concert was reflective of her wisdom in Carnatic music and brought forth her phenomenal repertoire. K J Yesudas’s signature song, ‘Harivarasanam’ was another piece which Bengalureans cherished.

The second day was nothing short of excellence as legend Sanjay Subramanyan brought in a traditional start to the festival, with a Hamsadwani ‘varnam’. His main piece, ‘Enduku dayaradu’, a Thyagaraja kriti in ‘Thodi’, was a testimony to his experience in Carnatic music, as was his ‘thillana’. Breaking the traditional structure and bringing  a new dimension to the series was the outspoken artiste T M Krishna. His concert was a breath of fresh air with renditions of ‘krithis’ in Raga ‘Kaanada’ and ‘Bhairavi.’ Apart from the solo artistes, the ‘jugalbandi’ space shone as well; with Mysuru Manjunath on violin and U Rajesh on mandolin.

And electrifying the concert was Bhaktavatsalam on ‘mrudanga’ and Giridhar Udupa on ‘ghatam’. The violin duet between L Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam was a pleasing treat. Classical lovers also relished a Carnatic and Hindustani ‘jugalbandi’, with Pravin Godkhindi on ‘bansuri’ and Kumaresh Rajagopalan on violin.

S Varadarajan, the secretary of Sree Ramaseva Mandali, says, “It is a big task to organise a festival of this magnitude. We spend the entire year planning the festival. Once the concerts end in May, we will start charting out the schedule for next year by June itself.” Even though availing funds for the concert was a challenge this year, as the government and other institutions reduced their grants, he is positive that the festival will continue to take place over the years. “We plan on celebrating the 80th year of Ramnavami with a global music festival. We want to invite artistes from the West and schedule collaborations with Hindustani and Carnatic artistes.” Vidwan Sakethraman will perform on April 27, 6.30 pm at Sree Ramaseva Mandali. He will be accompanied by Mysore Manjunath on violin, V Praveen on mrudangam and Giridhar Udupa on ghatam. There will be a special violin duet concert by Mysore Nagaraj and Manjunath, accompanied by Umayalpuram K Sivaraman.


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