Thyagaraja Aaradhana Bantureethi: Tribute in true sense

The Thyagaraja Aaradhana at Shivam is noteworthy for its efforts in giving time and attention to the nadaswaram artistes. Otherewise, they genrally serve to fill in the time as the audience streams in and walks around finding seats.

Unchchavritthi by Kota Sivakumar and musicians Aruna Chandaraju

Unchchavritthi by Kota Sivakumar and musicians Aruna Chandaraju
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Titled ‘Bantureethi’, the event began with the mandatory invocation to Ganesha, followed by Unchchavrutthi. Musician Kota Sivakumar donned the role of Thyagaraja. Accompanying Sivakumar was a nadaswaram team who played Thyagaraja kritis like Ramabhakthi Samrajyamu (Bangala ragam), Marugelara O Raghava (Jayanthasri), and other numbers. Later, the nadaswaram team led by A Purushottam took to the stage and rendered the popular Thyagaraja kriti Samajavara gamana (Hindolam) in a detailed way and it was a melodious presentation.

A veena programme by Veluri Lakshmi Geetha saw her present Bantureethi Koluveeyavayya Rama (Hamsanadam) with alapana and swaras. It was a crisp and fairly melodious rendition. This was followed by a fast-paced bhajan Vanamali Vasudeva. She was accompanied by P Durgakumar on mridangam. A group of well-known artistes took to the stage for the goshti gaanam of the Pancharatna kritis — Jagadanandakaraka (Nata), Dudukugala (Gowla), Sadhinchene (Arabhi), Kanakanaruchira (Varali) and Yendaro Mahanubhavulu (Sri). The artistes included Komanduri Seshadri, Seshulatha Viswanath, Y Ramaprabha, Gyanambal, N Ramamurthy, K Varalakshmi, TV Vijayalakshmi, Komanduri Sowrirajan, S Chandrashekhar, SK Charyulu and K Yugandhar. The accompanying artistes were P Durgakumar on mridangam, SV Ramanamurthy on violin and Gurajada Sivaram on flute.

In the middle of the programme Komanduri Seshadri announced that the musicians had to repeat Sadhinchene in the third pancharathna kriti. These announcements have become necessary in Thyagaraja Pancharathna group renditions nowadays given that two schools of thought now prevail, each of which insists that the charanams should end with a repeat of Sadhinchene or Samayaniki respectively.

The Aaradhana ended with the customary Mangalam. Instead of the Pavamana suthudu which is quite common, the audience heard a composition of Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavathar who was the chief disciple of Thyagaraja, and carried the lineage diligently and was also a composer in his own right. This Walajapet composition euologises his guru Thyagaraja — Kakarla Vamsa Sambhootha (Surati). Seshulatha and Ramaprabha rendered, in unison, the compostion tuned by Nedunuri Krishnamurthy.

The programme was attended by a small but disciplined crowd and it was a delight to see percussionists, violinists and vocalists abound in the audience who enthusiastically participated in the brinda gaanam. The event emceed by PV Sastry was organised by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Koti Samithi, Hyderabad.

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