Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru - Dhvani 2018. 11. 2.¢  Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru
Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru - Dhvani 2018. 11. 2.¢  Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru

Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru - Dhvani 2018. 11. 2.¢  Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru

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  • 38 l SRUTI March 2010


    The 163rd aradhana mahotsavam of Tyagaraja was held at Tiruvaiyaru from 2nd to 6th January with the usual fervour. The turnout was huge. Coming so close to the music season in Chennai, it was a continuation of the music soaking experience, even if the prime slot presentations were compressed to 20 minutes each.

    Devotees aplenty from other states thronged the place. The contingent from Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru, was prominent, making up for the depleted number from trouble-ridden Andhra.

    The excellent water flow in the Kaveri contributed to the atmosphere. The well-synchronised group rendition of the Pancharatna kriti-s on the morning of Bahula Panchami reflected the improvement mode set last year. Haridwaramangalam Palanivel, the secretary of the sabha and mridanga vidwan Srimushnam Raja Rao deserve praise for taking the necessary steps. Winding queues were seen hours before the scheduled start of the main event at 9 am.

    The male vidwan section reflected the absence of many ‘stars’ of the Chennai concert circuit. The much publicised ‘Chennaiyil Tiruvaiyaru’ held in December featured many stars. It might have had an adverse impact on the participation. Is it too much to expect those singing on the previous evening and on the aradhana evening, to participate in the Pancharatna chorus?

    The five-day morning to midnight schedule featured hundreds of presentations at varied levels, offering anjali through exclusive rendition of the saint’s compositions, indicating

    the spread and enduring appeal of the Tyagaraja legacy, even if we came across slightly different versions of the same kriti.

    Many of the latter day stars made their debut here. The genius of Balamuralikrishna was revealed here in 1940. The latest Sangita Kalanidhi, Valayapatti, has also referred to the value of his exposure here decades ago.

    Perhaps the largest congregation of nagaswara and tavil artists takes place here over the five days and gives us a good opportunity to assess the standards. While the tavil playing has made strides, the many young talents in nagaswara, particularly from the Tanjavur region, need proper guidance.

    The pattern that has gradually emerged for the 20-minute presentation consists of a quick rendition of three or four kriti-s with a brief alapana and kalpana swara segments, sometimes including a short tani.

    The focus of public attention is mostly on the activities at the samadhi site. Old timers may recollect that Tyagaraja’s residence at Tirumanjana Veedi, the official headquarters of the sabha and the venue for the rituals of the event like the srarddha, had occupied an important place. The unchavritti procession starts from this place on the aradhana morning. Under extensive renovation, it still attracts many visitors from other states.

    The organisation of the event on such a scale with difficult logistics, involves the dedicated, often silent, contribution of many, effective leadership, the voluntary spirit of the participating artists, hard work by the coordinators and backroom boys, and the generosity of donors and sponsors. Special mention may be made of Deccan ‘Annadana’ A.K. Moorthy, one of the trustees of the sabha, who has been feeding musicians, life members and volunteers twice daily during all the days of the festival

    Tyagaraja aradhana 2010 in Tiruvaiyaru

    Group rendering of Pancharatna kriti-s

  • 39 l SRUTI March 2010


    for many years – 12,000 in all and more than 3000 on the aradhana day. Previously, the food expenses used to account for more than half the total expenditure on the utsavam.

    (The Tamil Isai festival held at Tiruvaiyaru during Pongal time also benefits from his largesse. Moorthy is the President of the Sri Tyaga Brahma Gana Sabha in Chennai, and has been mainly responsible for the transformation of the Vani Mahal to its present fine condition. He is also the head of the Mummoortigal Trust conducting the birth anniversary

    festival of the Music Trinity at Tiruvarur.) May his tribe increase!

    This year was election time, a once- in-three-years affair. G.R. Moopanar, brother of the late G.K. Moopanar, continues as the president. Flute Ramani was selected as the vice president. The sabha has two secretaries. After the demise of Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, A.K. Palanivel has been functioning as the sole secretary, but now Srimushnam Raja Rao, has been the deserving choice for the post of the second secretary.

    A globe trotting senior in the profession, Rao was often seen carrying the musical instruments of junior players, escorting them to the dais. Palanivel and Rao, known for their close association and mutual regard, can be relied upon to take the event to greater heights. Rao proved his proficiency in the vocal discipline too, through his ‘Tiger’ style rendition of a couple of kriti-s, as a substitute artist in the pandal. Vocalists O.S. Arun and Papanasam Ashok Ramani were among the new assistant secretaries selected.