134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024: Singing with finesse
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134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024: Singing with finesse

April 24, 2024

They are accompanied by Vid. Janardhan Srinath on violin, Vid. Adamya on mridanga and Vid. Shamit Gowda on ghata.

On the fifth day of the concert series at at Smt. Alammana Choultry in Srirampet, popular singers Vidu. Lakshmi Nagaraj & Vidu. Indu Nagaraj gave a vocal concert. They were accompanied by Vid. Janardhan Srinath on violin, Vid. Adamya on mridanga and Vid. Shamit Gowda on ghata.

Born into a family of strong music background, the duo has made quite a name in the Kannada film industry. While most of the playback singers do not much bother to learn, sing or practice classical music, it is a solace to see these two sisters, more popularly known by the name ‘Chilkunda Sisters’ practice and perform Karnatak classical music.

The sisters started the concert with the Shahana Varna ‘Karunimpa’ set to Adi tala composed by Tiruvottiyur Tyagayyar.’ Gajavadana’ in Nata was an interesting and rare composition by their Guru Venkata Narayana Shastri. ‘Evarani’ in DevAmrutavarshini by Tyagaraja was a good filler before Latangi, one of the main items of the evening. The ragalapana of Latangi and the other two ragas — Kharaharapriya and Kambhoji — was shared by both the sisters, though majority of it was sung by Lakshmi.

‘Marivere dikkevarayya RAma’ by Patnam  Subramanya Iyer was well-elaborated with a good neraval at ‘DharalOna nee sATi’ and swaras. Lakshmi added more beauty to Kharaharapriya raga with her usage at higher notes. Another composition of Tyagaraja ‘Pakkala nilabaDi’ set to Mishra Chapu tala also saw neraval at the beginning of the charana ‘Tanuvuche bandhana’, also followed by swarakalpana wherein Lakshmi missed the muktaya swaras more than twice. Musicians need not worry so much about muktayas, especially the complicated ones.

Chilkunda Sisters (Vidu. Lakshmi Nagaraj & Vidu. Indu Nagaraj) presenting a Classical Music at Smt. Alammana Choultry in Srirampet on Apr. 21 as part of the 134th Sri Ramothsava Sangeethothsava-2024 organised by Sri Ramabhyudhaya Sabha Public Charitable Trust, Mysuru.

Remember M.S. Subbulakshmi, DKP or DKJ never bothered too much about these muktaya swaras and yet their music was, is and will always be considered heavenly. It is the quality of music that matters and there are so many other factors in a concert that can really make it great and memorable.  Singing out swaras from a chit or an electronic device is embarrassing. Lakshmi with her high caliber can definitely avoid this. Indu can concentrate more on the landing notes especially at pauses in neravals.

A rarely heard, beautiful composition ‘Marakatamanimaya chela Krishna’ in Arabhi by Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaiyer decorated with jatis followed before the RTP in Kambhoji. The ragalapana of Kambhoji was embellished with characteristic curves and the tanam was lively, mostly sung by Lakshmi. The sahitya of the pallavi  is well-known. ‘Parimala Rangapate’ of Madhurai Mani Iyer fame set to Khanda Triputa tala was well-expanded with a neraval and kalpana swaras in ragamalika, the ragas being Behag, Hamsanandi, Hindola, Audava Bagesri and Sindhubhairavi.

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Indu’s enjoyable version of Hamsanandi and Sindhubhairavi won her huge applause. After a grand taniyavartanam by Adamya and Shamit Gowda,  came a lively set of songs — ‘Baro Krishnayya’ by Kanakadasaru, vachana ‘EttaNa mAmara ettaNa kOgile’ by Allamaprabhu and an awesome tillana of Balamurali Krishna in Kadanakutuhala.

It was a joy to watch their father C.A. Nagaraj, who himself is a musician, sitting in the front row, encouraging the girls. With practice and steadfastness, the sisters can definitely achieve a higher plane in classical music.  

— Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

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