37th year Art festival 2011
At Kartik Fine arts Fest today, the evening concerts were by two purists of different generations in Carnatic music. The audience, no doubt was a whole lot of knowledgeable rasikas and hard core lovers of traditional forms.
Isai Peroli S Sowmya gave a fresh start to the evening with 'Karunimpa' - Saveri raga varnam.
As always, in line with the expectations in audience, Sowmya showcased a few pearls from her treasure chest of vintage and rare krithis.
She sang 'Kalala nechina....' of Thyagaraja in the ragam Dipakam with short swarams at the end. Then she came up with Hari Kamboji alapana. The pleasant exposition of Sowmya and Dr Naramada, the exquisite Parur styled Violinist who accompanied Sowmya, was all through enjoyable. The Hari Kambodhi krithi was the awesome 'Chani Thodi...' of Thyagaraja.
Dikshithar's 'Chetha Sri Balakrishnam' in Dvijavanthi was appealing.
The main piece started then, with Keeravani raga alapana, she went on to sing Gopalakrishna Bharathi's 'Innamum sandegappadalamo...' set to Misra Chapu talam, with neraval swarams. Percussion accompaniments by Poongulam Subramaniam on the Mridangam and K V Gopalakrishnan on the Kanjira was enchanting. A special visual feast was, how all the artistes on stage had been exchanging pleasantries by eye communication.
A few of Sowmya's girl students seated behind her, had a educative experience and were part of the colourful stage.
The krithis sung at the end were 'Kreetathi vanamali' in Sindhu Bhairavi (Sadasiva Brahmendrar), Mukunda mala sloka Virutham followed by 'Krishna nee begane' in Yaman Kalyani (composer is Vyasarajar), and Kavadicchindu - 'Villinai otha puruvam'.
Next came a bigger treat!
The stalwart 'Tamil Isai Vendhar' T V Sankaranarayanan took to the stage. This prathama sishya of the legendary Madurai Mani Iyer spoke a short note that he dedicated the concert to his Guru, on his birth centenary year.
Earlier, a month ago, T V Sankaranarayanan had symbolically kick started the year long celebrations pertaining to Madurai Mani Iyer's Birth Centenary. It was on an occasion hosted by all the leading sabhas in the Chennai city, including Kartik Fine Arts.
No doubt the krithis he sang today mostly were those popularly sung by his uncle Guru.
By checking out the list of the keerthanams, one could imagine what a vibrant and fabulous concert it had been!
'Vathapi Ganapathim' in Hamsadhwani, was followed by 'Mamava sada janani' in Kanada. 'Sadha nanda Thandavam' in Bahudari and 'Vijayambike' in Vijayanagari were the next krithis.
A krithi in Behag was followed by 'Kavava' in Varali.
'Mohanarama' in Mohanam was the main krithi of T V S's concert. The tani avarthanam that came along - by accompanists, Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam on the Mridangam and Vaikom Gopalakrishnan on the Ghatam needs special mention. It impressed the audience so much that they were elated and the deafening applause at the end of it was testimony.
'Kaliyuga varadhan' in Brindavana Saranga, 'Epo varuvaro' in Jonpuri, and MMI's notes followed; and he completed the concert with Mangalam. His son Mahadevan supported him.
The rasikas were absolutely thrilled. Through the year they are sure to expect numbers from his rich repertoire of Madurai Mani Iyer's populars!