Hyderabad: There is no escape. All good things come to an end. And after four days of classical music extravaganza, Hyderabad Tyagaraja Aradhana Music Festival concluded with some highly appreciated performances on Sunday.
On the final day, the festival took off still earlier at 8 am and peaked with a series of events both in the morning and later in the evening.
The festival was held to mark the 171st Vardhanthi of Saint Tyagaraja and this is the third edition of the festival organised by Sanskriti Foundation.
Braving the early morning cold, enthusiastic crowd gathered for Nagara Sankeerthana in the first hours of the day while Ethnic Hall at Shilparamam was packed for Pancharatna Brinda Ganam a few hours later and then in the evening, the magic of classic music spread through infectiously at the main venue.
Young children, picking up the basics of the classical music, won hearts and the accomplished gurus with their performances showed yet again why they are respected so much.
The last day of the festival started with Nagara Sankeerthana. It is said Saint Tyagaraja used to carry the idols of Sri Rama, Seetha, Lakshmana and Aanjaneya and move around the village to ensure that Lord Rama prevailed everywhere.
Gradually, the practice was inherited by his sishyas and everybody follows this till date. At sharp 8 am, members of Sanskriti Foundation along several others who gathered for the event garlanded the portraits of Sri Rama and Tyagaraja Swamy and took a colourful procession covering the entire inner circle of Shilparamam.
The musicians rendered the utsava sampradaya keerthanas with devotion and fervour. The procession comprised all ages, from children to youngsters and the elderly.
It is a regular practice of Sanskriti Foundation to felicitate an eminent Vidwan in the field of classical music. Naada Sudharnava Annavarapu Ramaswamy and Mridangam Vidwan Padmashri Yella Venkateswara Rao felicitated Sangeetha Vidwan Akella Mallikarjuna Sharma.
Speaking on the occasion, Akella recalled what his music guru had told him, “Money and property can be stolen any day, but gnana can be only earned, so spread gnana around you.”
Ghana Raga Pancharatna Brinda Gaanam
The mood of the Ethnic Hall was set in such a way that it represented the Thiruvaiyaru premises. The day’s programme started in a traditional way with the lighting of the lamp in front of Saint Tyagaraja’s portrait.More than 400 artistes, both junior and senior musicians, participated in Pancharatna Brinda Ganam.
The ghana raga keerthanas were rendered with perfect unison and devotional appeal. Musicians from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka too turned up for this grand climax of the festival.Some of the prominent vocalists and instrumentalists who participated in Pancharatna Brinda Gaanam were Annavarapu Ramaswamy on violin, Yella Venkateswara Rao on mridangam, DV Mohana Krishna-vocal, D Seetharamayya -veena, Nagaraju on flute and many other Vidwans, Vidushis and students filled the atmosphere with devotional fervour.
With the ethereal vibrations spreading and the Ethnic Hall reverberating with the sounds of classical music, some foreign tourists visiting Shilparamam were drawn to it. They were seen seeking a briefing on the music and the event from the volunteers.
Starting with Ganesh kriti, it went on in traditional order all the five keerthanas set to aadi talam, first being Jagadananda Karaka – Ragam Nata, Duduku Gala – Ragam Goula, Sadhinchane – Ragam Arabhi, Kanakana Ruchira – Ragam Varali, Endaro Mahanubhavulu – Shree Ragam. The last and most favourite keertana for many, ended with the laya vinyasam of well-known Vidwan Yella Venkateswara Rao.
In between the keerthanas, the essence of the lyrics that Sri Tyagaraja Swami wrote was provided as a short summary by Vishnubhotla Ramakrishna, an eminent scholar from the city.
Anything for classical music
Their friends could be busy with games and outings apart from studies, but here is a bunch of kids who use every bit of such time to pursue their ambitions in classical music.
The students of Gurukulam Music School in Gachibowli are keen on pursuing their higher studies but not at the cost of music. And lucky they are for the support and encouragement they have been receiving from their parents.
K Harini, a 12-year-old vocalist, admits she often gets criticised by classmates for pursuing traditional music.
“I never react to such comments and I want to answer them with my achievements in Carnatic music,” she says. Aditi Vasudevan, a student of Gurukulam, wants to perform like her guru Violin Vasudevan before completing her schooling.
“I stay away from games and other co-curricular activities that could divert my focus from music,” she says.Another student from Gurukulam, 11-year-old Y Revanth is candid in admitting that initially, he started learning Carnatic music reluctantly and due to pressure from parents.
“But soon, I started liking and loving it and decided to continue. It has become a passion for me now,” he says.