By Dr. Rama V. Bennur
To commemorate the inauguration of Veene Seshanna Bhavana that was constructed 33 years ago, Ganabharathi of Mysuru had arranged a fine veena recital on Oct. 26.
Vidu. Bhagyalakshmi Chandrashekhar, who presented the recital, is a rare veena player, who believes in preserving the purity and divinity of this ancient instrument. She is committed to the cause of spreading the grandeur or magnificence of veena in its original form.
Hence, her playing shuns any acrobatics or gimmicks. Pure and deep gamakas, phrases studded with subtle nuances of the raga as a result of a rich manodharma mark her playing.
Bhagyalakshmi Chandrashekhar was accompanied on mridanga by Vidwan A. Radhesh and on ghata by Vidwan S. Manjunath.
As it was Veene Seshanna Bhavana Day, number of Seshanna’s compositions occupied front seat. The opening Varna ‘Sarasijakshi,’ composed by Veene Seshanna in the Raga Kedara, set to Khanda Jathi Atta Taala, was perfectly presented in an appropriate speed. Her obeisance to Lord Ganapathi came in the form of a rare kruti of Muthuswami Dikshitar ‘Shwetha Ganapathim’ in a very rare raga ‘Ragachudamani.’
We hardly get to hear any compositions in this vakra raga. She gave a brief sketch of this raga in the alapana and also exhibited the possible permutation and combinations in the Kalpana Swaras. After presenting a swarajathi in Kharaharapriya, a neat delineation of the Raga Gowri pleased the listeners.
‘Gangadhara Gowrivara,’ another Seshanna’s composition, was filled with devotion to Lord Shiva. Bhagyalakshmi is capable of breathing the raga rasa in a short alapana too. She illustrated this in Yadukulakambodhi. Tyagaraja’s ‘Nee dayache Rama’ was flawless.
The main raga of the day was Rishabhapriya. It was a real treat. She handled it in an unhurried pace that captured every listener’s heart. The Daatuprayogas with straight notes added pep to it. The majestic Taana followed along with ghanaragamalike.
Seshanna has poured his heart and soul into the kruti ‘Intha shodhanamulaku.’ Bhagyalakshmi was successful in bringing out the feelings of the composer. A cascade of Kalpana Swaras enriched the beauty of the composition.
Vidwan Radhesh and Vidwan Manjunath contributed immensely with their soft strokes and attractive thaniavarthana.
A melodious alapana in the raga Darbarikaanada was followed by Seshanna’s popular Thillana. A composition from the opera ‘Prahlada Bhakthi Vijaya’ of Tyagaraja ‘Karunajaladhe’ in the raga Nadanamakriya was indeed a welcome.
Melodious Manthra pushpa brought the curtains down along with a Mangalam by Bhadrachala Ramadasa. On the outset, it was a memorable evening for the rasikas of Mysuru.