Nadabharathi's annual festival, on for a week, was a downpour of music recitals,
with both young and upcoming musicians participating with a melodic spirit! Among
the many serenades, N M Krishna's vocal concert was remarkable for a mellowed
grace, dignity and a unique mystifying power. Not only his rendering style, even
his selections of melodies and compositions have a variety.
Muthuswami Dikshitar's intense songs like "Ekanadhaya Namastute" in Murari raga,
and another, "Ambe Neelai Takshi" in Neelambari raga, attributed to the compelling
images of Siva and Shakti, were sung by Krishna with equal effect and passion.
And the following compositions of Thyagaraja set to Thodi - "Kaddanuvariki" and
"Amba Paradevate" in Rudra Priya, had extreme elaborations, which almost sketched
the images and the deeds of the attributed gods. Krishna was accompanied by Charulatha
Ramanujam on the violin and P V Kamaraju on the percussion.
P Srinivasa Gopalan, founder and managing trustee of Nada Bharathi, accompanied
on the morsing. Yet another recital by a promising young artist, Sandhyasri, enthralled
the audience. She chose Abhogi Varnam, Thyagaraja's Nata "Maha Ganapatim", apart
from Dikshitar's celebrated "Meenakshi Memudam Dehi". Violinist Ramesh Pai and
percussionist Janardhan supported the artist. Earlier during the festival, a veteran
music scholar and composer Kellegal Subramanyam was honoured for his services
in the field of classical music and compositions.
In full swing, the festoon of classical music concerts, both instrumental
and vocal, continued as part of the Nada Bharathi Music Festival. Every participating
artist seemed to be at his performing best, and each artist seemed inspired by
the zeal of the other, bestowing impressive recitals.
The much-awaited recital of the Hyderabad Brothers Raghavachari and Sheshachari,
in their established mode of rendering - with devotion and bliss -, was yet another
such serenade. The recitation commenced with a mood creating Arabhi - Thyagaraja's
"Nada Sudhaasam" with ornate notes, and "Yetti Janmamidi" set to an apt Varali
melody, narrating an emotional monologue of the young Prahlada (where the poet
puts himself in Prahlada's place) who desires to have a glimpse of his Lord Vishnu.
Like always, the recital put emphasis on the mood and the passion of the poet,
and they replicated the same with equal involvement and grace. With songs like
"Lavanyarama" describing the beauty of Rama in beautiful poetic words and melodies,
"Annapurna" in Todi attributed to the Goddess, and the central Todi, the recital
was heavy with embellished 'swaras', 'gamakas' and also those devotional moods.
Yet it seemed to have extended bliss and a feeling of contentment.
Peri Srirama Murthy on the violin, percussionist M L N Raju, ghatam artist Somayajulu,
Kanjeera player Shyam Kumar and morsing player Srinivasa Gopalan provided an elaborate
orchestral support for the Hyderabad Brothers.
The festival also included an interesting instrumental trio by violinists M V
N Prasad, Ramesh Pai and Uma Shankar. All the three artists have individualistic
modes of rendering, and when they joined together to make a trio, it seemed like
three different streams from different directions joining in for a harmonious
and swelling river of music! Perfectly blending the music of the strings, the
Darbar Varnam, Goula "Pranamamyaham", "Bhuvaneshvari" in Mohana Kalyani and some
purer melodies like Bhairavi and Misra Maand followed. The concert commenced in
a leisurely pace and gradually rose in pitch to a well-designed frame of melodies,
especially the concluding intensifying Misra Mand.