Bouquet of Swati Tirunal creations
SWATHI TIRUNAL, a poet among rulers and a ruler among poets, was left behind a rich legacy of songs in many languages to adorn the repertoire of Carnatic Music. He has sung in praise of his Ishta Devata, Sri Padmanabha, and also extolling other deities of the Hindu Pantheon.
He was a phenomenal composer considering his premature passing away at the age of 32.
Bhakthi Kusuma Manjari, comprising vidwan V. Subramaniam and 10 of his disciples including two male singers, presented a very interesting, enjoyable programme on Swathi Tirunal's creations ranging from the varnam to the tillana at the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha recently.
It is comparatively easy to give a solo performance but a group presentation with 11 vocalists singing in tandem with meticulous synchronisation and harmony speaks volumes for the hard work and the number of rehearsals that have made this effort a success.
V. Subramaniam, a senior disciple of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, has been a corporate executive by profession and musician by preference.
His disciplined adherence to his mentor's bani is so absolutely total that his voice and musical expression seem Xerox copies of the master. Eighteen compositions including an ata tala varnam in Kamboji, three kritis in Mayamalavagowlai, Bhooshavali and Charukesi, "Vande Deva Deva" in Begada depicting one of the forms of Nava vidha bhakti Vandanam, a chatur ragamalika, "Pankaja Lochana" in Kalyani, the Navaratri kriti in Todi, a composition in Khamas in praise of Lord Sri Kantesa, the popular Ramayana ragamalika "Bhavayami", "Aanjaneya" in Saveri, "Bhogeendra Sayeenam" in Kuntalavarali, "Bhakta Parayana" in Sankarabharanam, a Hamsanandi song on Lord Sankara, a Malayalam piece in raga Huseni, "Jaya Jagadeesha" in Yamuna Kalyani, a familiar tillana in Dhanyasi, and a mangalam in Yadhukula Kamboji made up the agenda.
The brief raga interludes by V. Subramaniam were engaging. A padam and a javali would have also been welcome additions.
Charumathi Raguraman, the young violinist who is creating impressive ripple and Tanjore Ramdoss on the mridangam provided able support to an evening of mellifluous music.
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