Aalaap

Friday, 10 August 2018

A class act

Leading musicians perform Ramesh Vinayakam's compositions
By S Sivaramakrishnan

In a programme entitled Class of Class, composer Ramesh Vinayakam got together some dozen leading artists from the Carnatic music world to perform his kritis  (and a varnam in Niroshtha) on 28 July at the Mutha Venkatasubbarao Hall at Chennai. 

Here is a complete list of the musicians who performed that evening:

Ramesh Vinayakam, Aruna Sairam, P Unnikrishnan, Nithysree Mahadevan, Sriram Parasuram & Anuradha Sriram, Sikkil Gurucharan, Gayathri Venkataraghavan, Sriranjani Santhanagopalan, Abhishek Raghuram, Trichur Brothers.

As an unusual part of this chastely classical event, Ramesh Vinayakam  brought Beethoven to Chennai but clad in a Carnatic raga he has named Beethovenapriya. And  Carnatic music buffs responded jubilantly. Ramesh's adaptation of celebrated Beethoven composition had lyrics in praise of the Tamil god Muruga with a pallavi that goes

Tiruvarul tara varuvaai azhagane Murugane
Tirumagal urai Tirumaal marugane kuzhagane.....

Abhishek Raghuram rendered this innovative version with L Ramakrishnan on the violin, Mylai Karthikeyan on the nagaswaram and Sreesundar Kumar on the khanjira. Ramesh Vinayakam introduced his novel concept with an excellent rendering on the piano.

Ramesh has developed the tune into a gamaka-rich kriti with a fitting anupallavi and charanam, besides the pallavi. The refrains were beautifully supplemented by the young team of accompanists.

If you ask which raga Beethovenapriya would resemble, I would answer it would owe allegiance to the Beethoven original but you are likely to come across shades of  Keeravani or Simhendramadhyamam. A careful examination would seem it could accommodate almost all swaras in the octave except the suddha rishabha! Abhishek infused manodharma including swaraprastara to make it hugely impressive.

The stage effects were terrific, with a picture of Beethoven and  Balamuruga adding to the the impact of the recital. The other slots by popular singers also showcased Ramesh's emergence in the Carnatic music field as a vaggeyakara of merit.

Ramesh Vinayakam was kind enough to share the lyrics of the song composed  by him in authentic Tamil as reproduced below:

Composer : Ramesh Vinayakam
Ragam : Beethovenapriya. 
Taalam: Rupakam

பல்லவி
திருவருள் தர வருவாய் அழகனே முருகனே
திருமகள் உறை திருமால் மருகனே குழகனே
கருணையால் அடியவர் கலிதகர் பரமனே
குருபரா சரவணா பரசிவக் குமரனே ( திரு)
அனுபல்லவி

அரு மறை உறை கருவே
அறு முக சிவ குருவே
அருந்தமிழ் அமிழ்தினில் மகிழ்ந்திரு திருவே தருணமிதுவே.  ( திரு)
சரணம்

ஆ டும் பரியேறி தெய்வானை வள்ளி யுடன் கூடி
நாடும் நெஞ்சம் கோவில் கொள்ளும் வேளே   பெருமாளே
இனியொரு பொழுதிலும் நான் உன்னிரு  பதம் மறவேன் 
மரகத உமையவள் அருள் சுரர் பதியே இது ததியே ( திரு )

Stage images by S Sivaramakrishnan.

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