REVIEW FOR THE PARUPALLY RAMAKRISHNAYYA PANTULU SANGEETA SABHA
On the face of it, it may seem that some of the great traditions of this country
have long since been pushed into oblivion. But there are individuals and there
are certain pockets of this country that continue to harbor these. The 'guru-shishya'
tradition may not hold much meaning in an education system that encourages a mechanical
interaction between the student and the teacher. However, the classical arts still
have this tradition at their core.
Susarla Dakshina Murthy perfected Thyagaraja's compositions from Manambuchavadi Venkata Subbayya (a direct disciple of Thyagaraja), and brought his knowledge to Pedakallepally in Krishna district. Here he made a 'Gurukul' out of his huge home and taught his music to hundreds of students by providing them free food, shelter and clothing. He was the first musician to bring the songs of Thyagaraja to the masses of Andhra from Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. His prime disciple Parupally, a legendary musician who lived in the early 20th century, followed his guru's example and taught hundreds of his students both vocal and the violin apart from worldly knowledge in his own home.
The tradition of passing on knowledge stays, and currently Neti Srirama Sarma, a disciple of Parupally, is continuing the same process. This 'Parupally Ramakrishnayya Pantulu Sangeeta Sabha' at the New Nallakunta Ramalayam is his annual festival to mark the birth anniversary of Parupally Ramakrishnayya Pantulu that invites veteran and also young artists to participate. And as Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana rendered his masterful compositions, he attributed his recitals to such musicians (as Parupally) of dedication.
Nookala carried a delightful mood as he commenced his recital with a fine elaboration of the melody of Sri Ranjani, and rendered Thyagaraja's composition "Sogasuga Mrudanga Talamu". His intricate Swara Kalpana was a gripping experience. "Ninnu Vinaga", a composition of Syama Sastry, was a delightful treat for the audience. Veteran percussionist Yella Venkateswara Rao and violinist Kokonda Subramanya Sarma provided an able orchestral support. Earlier disciples of Nookala rendered a few songs attributed to the 'guru' and composed by Dr. Mangalampally Balamurali Krishna. A whole revered 'guru-sishya' affair!