This Director’s Cut video features a refreshing voice from the Carnatic repertoire - P. Unnikrishnan. An artist of multiple talents, he gives a compelling performance at the Darbar Festival 2011 with some popular compositions and ragas in his remarkably dulcet and mellifluous voice.
Unnikrishnan begins with a varnam, ‘Sarasijanabha’ in Raag Nattai, by Palghat Sri Parameshwara Bhagavatar (1815-1892), set to Adi talam. Next, he sings, ‘Deva Deva Kalayamithe,’ a composition in Raag Mayamalavagaula set to Rupak talam. This kriti was written and composed by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (1813-1846) who was the king of Travancore in southern India and also an acclaimed composer of his time credited with more than 400 songs in the Carnatic and Hindustani style. A few minutes into the composition, Unnikrishnan churns out phrases stringing notes of Mayamalavagaula with sheer clarity and beautiful imagination.
The third composition in Latangi is by Patnam Subramania Iyer (1845-1902) – ‘Aparadhamula’ in Adi talam. The ragam tanam pallavi in Raag Todi is also set to Adi talam. With elaborate expositions of the raga around the composition ‘Hare Rama Govinda Murare,’ for a little over an hour, Unnikrishnan creates colourful idioms from the landscape of Todi with invigorating touches of his own.
UK-based violinist, Jyotsna Srikanth gives a delightful accompaniment full of delicate nuances, matching up to the even temperament of Unnikrishnan’s rendition and also shining in her own grace and virtuosity. The percussion duet between Bangalore Praveen (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam) following this piece is performed with striking finesse.
Unnikrishnan also performs Ragamalika in Adi talam– ‘Srichakrarajasimhasaneshwari’ by Agastyar (sage from the Vedic period dating back to 1500 B.C. – 500 B.C.). ‘Villinai Otha,’ a Tamil folk song (Kavadi Chindu) composed by Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi (1882-1921) is introduced promptly after the Ragamalika.
The concluding piece, a thillana in Raag Hamsanandi, is a composition of Calcutta Krishnamurthy (1921-1999). Unnikrishnan gives a lively touch to it with his refined acumen and fluid taans/swaraprastharas.
An artist par excellence, he leaves behind the lingering effect of a beautiful blend of ragas and compositions, maintaining a fine balance between climax and relief throughout the concert.
P. Unnikrishnan (vocal)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Bangalore Praveen (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Priya Prakash (tanpura)
Raag: Nattai, Composition by Palghat Sri Parameshwara Bhagavatar (1815-1892)
Raag: Mayamalavagaula, composition by Maharaja Swati Tirunal (1813-1846)
Raag: Latangi, composition by Patnam Subramania Iyer (1845-1902)
Ragam tanam pallavi in Todi
Ragamalika: Composition by Agastyar (1500 B.C. – 500 B.C.)
Kavadi Chindu (folk song): Composition by Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi (1882-1921)
Raag: Hamsanandi, composition by Calcutta Krishnamurthy (1921-1999)