On the 28th of July, Sri Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, Mysuru, offered a musical tribute to the late king Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar to commemorate the Wadiyar’s birth centenary. City’s well-known musician Dr. R.N. Srilatha presented a musical feature with her senior disciples on the occasion.
Srilatha is sincere in doing the work she is assigned, be it a concert, a lecture-demonstration or a musical feature. The evening was well-organised with not only the Maharaja’s compositions but also the compositions of other Vaggeyakaras who were in the court of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. Some never-before-heard compositions were presented neatly.
The performance was opened with a praise on the Wadiyar composed by B.K. Padmanabha Rao followed by the well-known varna of Mysore Vasudevachar in Nalinakanti. Muttiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Manonmani mandahasini’ in Shubha Pantuvarali was preceded by an Alapana by Sheela Ganesh and Chaitrika. While the composition was sung by all, neraval at ‘Sanakadi mauni vinuta pade’ and Kalpana Swaras were again presented by the two. Sheela requires more practice, which will boost her confidence. Chaitrika has an incredibly rich voice that does not go with her slim structure.
Chennakeshaviah was an Asthana Vidwan in the Mysuru court. He was a musician and a composer, who composed about 20-25 compositions. He also helped Wadiyar in his composition work. One of Chennakeshaviah’s compositions ‘Sharade paripaahi maam shubhamkari’ in Saveri set to Mishra Chapu taLa was chosen for the evening. This composition is similar to Swati Tirunal’s ‘Devi paavani’ in its structure.
Kokila Bhashini is another raga of Wadiyar, which is tricky excluding the dhaivata in Shankarabharana in its avarohana. ‘Shree vidya mohini’ in this raga was enjoyable. Yet another rare raga of Wadiyar Vishwambhari was taken up for detail rendition. The raga was sung by Srilatha as expected. A vivadi raga, Vishwambhari is not easy to present and can easily mislead to Poorvi Kalyani if not alert. Srilatha’s presentation of the raga was scholarly, and was followed by ‘Vijayataam Shree Raja Rajeshwari Vishwambhari,’ a composition which also bears the name of the raga in its pallavi.
A Devi composition ‘Jagadambike Lalitambike’ in another rare raga Lalitapriya is a lively composition of Veena Venkatagiriyappa, who was the Guru of Wadiyar. He was also the director of the English Band and the inventor of the form ‘Nagma’ made for veena.
The main attraction of the evening was the RTP for which T. Chowdiah’s ‘Sri Venugopala’ in Kambhoji was chosen. While Smitha Srikiran and Shylaja rendered the raga, tana and the composition and also neraval for the pallavi and kalpana swaras were presented by all.
The RTP which is appropriate for the pallavi presentation was interestingly rendered by all and it was good to note that Smitha is also a good vocalist and surprisingly there was no influence of flute in any of the sangatis she rendered.
Veena Suresh was melodic and supportive all along and Radhesh and Manjunath offered a lively taniyavartanam in addition to a complementary support not only to each other but also to the vocalists.
The tail pieces included Vasudevachar’s Javali in Kanada and a tillana in Charukeshi.
By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan