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Today is 9/26/2014 , the third day of Navaratri. In the posts I made on day 1 and day 2, I wrote about compositions of Syama Sastry and Muttuswamy Dikshita. Today, I am going to write about a composition of Tyagaraja, who together with the before mentioned two composers is generally referred to as the “Trinity” composers in Karnataka Sangeeta. Incidentally, all these there composers were born in the town of Tiruvaroor, in Tamil Nadu.
Tyagaraja spent most of his lifetime in a town called Tiruvaiyyaru on the banks of river Kaveri. He has composed about 800 compositions. His compositions were popularized by his disciples and his compositions have become the mainstay for any concert in Karnataka sangeetha. Since has a large variety of compositions, it would be quite easy to even have a concert
When Tyagaraja visited other places of pilgrimage, he often sang on the presiding deities in those places. When he visited his student Patnam Subramanya Iyer at Chenna Pattanam (now Chennai), he also visited some famous temples around there. One such was the Tripura Sundari temple at Tiruvottriyur, now in the northern part of the city.In that temple he composed five compositions on that deity, which have come to be known as Tiruvottriyur pancharatna. Among these, the composition Darini Telusukonti in raga Shuddha Saveri is well known for the intricate sangatis.
That was the time British had a strong presence in Chennai. If at all one good thing happened due to the British, it was the introduction of Violin into Indian music. Muttuswamy Dikshita’s family was associated with a wealthy man called Chinnaswamy Mudaliyar, who was a translator to the British at Fort St George. It was there Baluswamy Dikshita, younger brother of Muttuswamy Dikshita witnessed the band performances of British army and thereby tried to use the Violin to play Indian classical music. As they often say the rest is history – Violin has become an integral part of Karnataka sangeeta both as a solo instrument and as an accompaniment.
Although instruments such as Dhaurveena had existed in the past,which resembled the violin in the fact that they were played using a bow, they were not in practice in the 18th century and thus we have to be thankful for the British army musicians who were instrumental in creating the interest among Indian musicians of that age to experiment with this new instrument!
Now to end this post, listen to a rendition of Darini Telusukonti, on the violin by a young artist from Bengaluru, Apoorva Krishna:
Today is Ganesha Chaturthi. On this occasion, I am posting links to some of the less-heard compositions Muttuswamy Dikshita on Ganesha.
First one is “Sri Ganeshaatparam” in raga Ardra dEshi, sung by G Ravikiran -A composition of Muttuswamy Deekshita. There is a soochita ragamudre in the charaNa, in the line “umA rudra darshita”
Next one is “Hasti Vadanaaya Namastubhyam” in rAga navarOj, played on the Veena by Kalpakam Swaminathan. The rAga mudre occurs in charaNa – “guruguha samAnavarOjasE mahasE”
The third composition is “Mahaganapate Palayaashumam” in Nata Narayani. The ragamudre occurs in the anupallavi line – mahA naTanArAyanI nandana pAlita dEva dEVakI nandana. The artist is Aravind Bhargav.
Now listen to “Gananaayakam Bhaje”, played on the mandolin by U Srinivas.. Although it was composed in the rAga Rudrapriya, it has morphed into another raga Poornashadja by some musical lineages.
The last composition is the magnificent “Panchamaatanga mukha ganapatinA” played on the Veena by R K Suryanarayana. This composition also has the raga indicated in the last line as “kali malaharNa kaENa”.
My first book “Hamsanada”, a collection of Samskrta subhashitas translated into Kannada was released in Bengaluru on July 16th, 2011.’
You can buy a copy of the book at Aakruti Books, Bengaluru (www.aakrutibooks.com) and some other bookstores in the city as well. If you want to buy the book online, please go to http://saarangamedia.com/book/hamsanada.
If you are outside India and wish to buy a copy of the book, please leave a comment here, or write an e-mail to hamsanandi at gmail dot com requesting a copy.
Why am I making this post? No good reason, except that I clicked some pictures in my (ever so ancient) cell phone while going to a dentist appointment.
Is there anything interesting about Fremont, CA? Well, it is one of bay area cities with a high percentage of people of Indian origin. Out of about 200,000 residents, approximately 20,000 are of Indian origin.
Also, Fremont might be the one of the very few (if not the only one) cities in the USA where a Kannada speaking person is an elected member of the city council!