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O.S.Thyagarajan: Delightful musical treat
Bengaluru, Sunday, October 19, 2008: Listening to Vidwan O.S. Thyagarajan (OST) effortlessly display his well-cultured and melodious musical skills were in itself a rewarding experience. If that comes on top of sheer commitment to the art form portraying vignettes of tradition, happily combined with the ability to infuse modernism suiting the ambience, then it becomes a delightful evening to savour at leisure.

OST, at his concert at Bengaluru, on Saturday evening at the Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama and Karya Siddhi Anjaneyar temple precincts in Girinagar, held sway with a remarkably eclectic concert, proving his intrinsic qualities to reach out to the audience. He began with the brisk Bhairavi varnam "Viribhoni" singing with effortless ease and compelling attention. His voice has this unique quality of both timbre and melody that arduous practice has made very pliable. This was evident in the Guruvandana piece, in raga Gowrimanohari, in the composition of "Guruleka yatu vandiku beki teliyaka bo" of Saint Thyagaraja.

He took this ebullient mood further singing a short but sweet exposition of raga Atana marking it with the Sachchidananda Swamiji composition "Prasannu Devi Hridi Lalitha" and then another delightful exposition of St. Thyagaraja's pancharatna kriti in raga Arabhi with the song "Sadinchine". Each sangati in these two kritis emerged as true blue chiseled jewels. One could only wonder at the finesse and charm that OST imparted to these compositions, imbued as they were with devotional fervour.

Not surprisingly, OST continued with a brisk rendering of raga Hindolam and chose Mysore Vasudevacharyar's beautiful composition "Mamavatu Sri Saraswathi". Both the raga and the kriti were sung with great feeling and creative approach that emerged as sweet melodies. I however felt that OST could have developed the raga leisurely with a little more poise and depth so that the full beauty of the haunting melody would have fully emerged. Probably, the artiste had time constraints to reckon with.

However, OST took one's breath away with a superb rendition of Thodi as the main concert raga. There were weighty sangathis, there were innovations, there was perfect tonal alignment, and a well-conceived structural finesse to the whole creation, including some "nadaswaram pidigals" and resonance in the "mandara sthayi" sancharas. All in all, it was an excellent and memorable Thodi raga. He sang Swamiji's composition "Kamakshi karuna sagara ekam", comparing it as a parallel to some of St. Muthuswami Dikshitar's own creations. The kriti was indeed beautiful and an ode to Goddess Kamakshi and OST reveled in singing her glory with unmatched joy.

M.S. Govindaswami, on the violin, accompanied OST with a fine feel for the idioms and pleasing touches. The tonal quality of his violin was excellent. Vidwan Ramesh, on the mridangam, Sri Rangantha Chakravarthy, on the Ghatam, and young N. Amruth, on the Kanjira, gave good percussion accompaniment, including a rousing Thani which won a round of applause from the audience.

OST, we would like to hear you more often in Bengaluru, because you bring wholesome music. A superb effort all in all and it was a memorable evening for rasikas of Girinagar in Bengaluru.
Comments
Sangeetha Shyam
Love the phrase "Nadaswara pidigal" :)