Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival: Godly music by Dr. Vidyabhushana
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Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival: Godly music by Dr. Vidyabhushana

May 11, 2024

On the 6th day of ‘Bhagini Ramotsava – Music Festival’ at BSS Vidyodaya in Krishnamurthypuram, Mysuru, on May 10, Dr. Vidyabhushana sang with Vid. Pradesh Achar on violin, Vid. H.L. Shivashankar Swamy on mridanga and Vid. B.S. Raghunandan on ghata.

Vidyabhushana is a household name in devotional music. There is no musician who does not know about ‘Nammamma Sharade’ for which Vidyabhushana is famous. Even children sing and dance to his ‘Pillangoviya cheluva.’ What made him so famous?

Though devotional music is completely text-led, underpinned by the words rather than by any specific music style, Vidyabhushana has successfully made use of Karnatak music to sing innumerable number of devotional songs with his amazing and captivating voice, giving the listeners a gratifying feeling.

In the present concert, he chose to sing mostly classical kritis. Starting with a ugaboga ‘KaDukaruNi neenendaritu’ by Jagannatha Dasaru in Kambhoji, he presented ‘Lambodaramavalambe ambasutam’ by Mysore Vasudevachar, garnishing it with light swaras.

Harikesha Nellur Muthiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Needu Mahima pogaDa na tarama’ in Hamsanandi is hardly heard in concerts these days. This composition on Rama suiting the occasion was well rendered.

‘GangAdi teerthangaLigadhika Sri hariya nAma’ in Arabhi by Purandaradasaru, which is loaded with meaning was rendered with crystal clear diction, making the composition meaningful. Raga Charukeshi was elaborated in all octaves leading to a rare composition ‘Vadarasane Sri rAmEti’ by Huligi Srikanthacharya set to Adi tala. ‘Rani Bharathi’ in Kalyani by Vyasarajaru was appealing.

It seems to be the season for Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Bhajare Manasa Sri Raghuveeram.’ Almost every musician coming to Mysore wants to sing this composition and Tyagaraja’s ‘Nagumomu’ is almost forgotten.

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Vidyabhushana interestingly chose the line ‘Rajakumaram RAmam’ for neraval, allowing taniyavartanam for Shivashankar Swamy and Raghunandan, who presented a short but sweet taniyavartanam.

The end pieces of the concert included the popular ‘Innu daya bArade dAsana mele’ by Purandaradasaru in Kalyana vasanta with an unheard charana included ‘kamAdi shaDvarga,’ which was interesting, ‘BandanEne sundara Sri RAmachandira’ by Sri Bagapalli Sheshadasaru, ‘Kanakadasaru’s ‘Istu dina Ee VaikanTa’ in Shuddha Dhanyasi on request and ‘KaruNadi enna poreye,’ a song on Goddess Lakshmi by Jagannathadasaru.

Interestingly ‘Bandanene sundara RAmachandira’ is in a raga invented by Pu.Ti.Na. This raga resembling Andolika is called Sudha and Pu.Ti.Na. has composed ‘Sudha shubhre Saraswati’ in this raga.

Pradesh Achar’s immense concert experience with Vidyabhushana has enriched his accompaniment and Shivashankar Swamy’s energetic playing brought spirit to the concert.

The concert concluded with ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi bAramma nammamma’ in Sri Raga also by Purandaradasaru.

—Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan


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