134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024: Deep understanding of music and sahitya
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134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024: Deep understanding of music and sahitya

April 20, 2024

On the second day of the music series at Smt. Alammana Choultry in Srirampet, Akkarai Sisters — Vidu. Subhalakshmi and Vidu. Sornalatha — gave a vocal concert with Vid. Gokul on violin, Vid. Delhi Sairam on mridanga and Vid. Krishna on ghata. The concert was marked for maturity with their vast concert experience, filled with fine nuances and creative artistry.

While it is rare and hard to excel in two different fields of music, it is amazing how their violin playing does not affect the style of singing of these wonder sisters. Whatsmore, the sisters have worked on the sahitya part of each composition, which is not very common in instrumentalists. It was gratifying to see them sing confidently with no piece of paper for reference.

The concert opened with Tyagaraja’s pancharatna ‘Dudukugala nanne dora’ in Gowla. Another composition of Tyagaraja ‘Makelara’ in Ravichandrika set to Adi tala came with a brisk speed and the swaras in the melkalam were fluent and effortless but with clarity. Sornalatha then presented Kamavardhini for elaboration. The alapana was captivating and won appreciation even from the senior mridangist on the dais. Tyagaraja’s ’ApparAma Bhakti ento’ was presented with precision and the neraval for elaboration was chosen at ‘TripaThalanu deerchi’. Sornalatha stopped here to explain the importance of the line chosen for neraval. She explained how the mind is not constant but how RAmabhakthi puts an end to the roaming mind. Both the neraval and the kalpana swaras were lively.

‘MAmava pattAbhirAma’ in Manirangu by Deekshitar throws a magical spell on the listener whenever heard. Sornalatha explained the meaning of the entire charana before singing the part which not only helped the listeners listen to the

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composition carefully understanding the meaning of the lines but also picturise RAma seated majestically in the throne served by his brothers, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Vibheeshana and others. ‘Seethamma MAyamma’ in Vasanta was a good contrast after the previous composition and the swarakalpana was energetic.

Subhalakshmi then took up Shankarabharana for detailed elaboration. The ragalapana was satisfying with all the expected sancharas of the raga materialising. Her concert experience both as a main artiste and as an accompanist has helped her go a long way with knowing the nuances and delicacies of the raga. Tyagaraja’s ‘Enduku Paddala’ by Tygaraja was the composition chosen. The kriti was presented in the right speed and the first line of charana ‘Veda Shastra tatvArthamu’ chosen for neraval was explained again prior to the part. The sisters created space for taniyavartanam after a spell of vibrant korvai in their kalpana swara segment. Taniyavartanam by Delhi Sairam and Krishna witnessed an enjoyable exchange of rhythmic syllables.

The post-tani part too was interesting. Each composition that the sisters presented in this part was seriously sung with no compromise and every one of these compositions was enjoyed by the audience and kept them glued to their seats even after 10 pm.

Devaranama ‘Barayaa Venkataramana’ set to tune by the Hyderabad sisters was prefixed by a ugaboga ‘Baliya Manege vAmana bandante’ by Purandaradasaru in ragamalika in ragas Hamsanandi, Hameer Kalyani & Lalith. ‘Tungateera virajam’ by kamalesha Vitthala Dasaru, ‘Ranga BAro panduranga bAro’ in Sindhubhairavi  by Purandaradasaru and ‘Nambi kettavarevarayya’ were concluding compositions of the concert.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

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