Venue: Sri Thiagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam, Thiagarajapuram, Chennai
Date: 03 May 2007
Organizer: Sri Thiagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam (Sri Annamayya Jayanthi)
Vocal: Vid. S.R.Janakiraman
Vocal Support: Vid. Sriram Kannan
Violin: Vid. S. Varadarajan
Mrudangam: Vid. Tanjore Ramdas
List of songs:
1) srImadhvanIya caritAmruta ? (guru stuti) – rEvagupti
2) hari avatAramE – saurAshTram – Adi – pedda tirumalai ayyA &/or chinna tirumalai ayyA – tuned by rAyapaLLi ananthakrishna sarmA
3) cAladA brahmamidi – gambhIranATTai – kanDa cApu – annamAcAryA (OS) – tuned by s.r.jAnakirAman
4) lEdu bhayamu – vasantA – Adi – annamAcAryA – tuned by s.r.jAnakirAman
5) sahaja vaishnavAcAravartanula – sAmantA – Adi – annamAcAryA (A) – tuned by annamAcAryA
6) telisitE mOkshamu – kIravANi – kanDa cApu – annamAcAryA (ANS) – tuned by s.r.jAnakirAman
7) I pAdamEkadA – varada (today’s hamsanAdam) – kanDa cApu – annamAcAryA (A) – tuned by s.r.jAnakirAman
8 ) nIcittamu nAbhAgyamu – shankarAbharaNam – rUpakam – annamAcAryA (ONST) – tuned by annamAcAryA
9) AkaTi vELala – subhALi – Adi – annamAcAryA (O) – tuned by s.r.jAnakirAman
10) srImadhvanIya caritAmruta ? (guru stuti) – rEvagupti
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
79 year old veteran Vid. S.R. Janakiraman presented a delightful concert of Annamacharya kritis on the Jayanthi day of the great composer, assisted capably by Sri Varadarajan and Sri Tanjore Ramdas. So clear were his raga outlines and alapanas that one could guess the raga name just by listening to their beginning portions. The way Sri Varadarajan played along with the songs would be apparent from the comment Sri Janakiraman made to the organizer when asked which violin artist he would prefer: “Put Varadarajan. He plays with such shruti sudham that there is no need even for a tambura”.
The songs were interspersed with lot of gyaan about Sri Annamacharya’s compositions, most of which I have tried to capture below. Corrections, if any, are most welcome.
- The song “hari avatAramE” imagines Sri Annamacharya as being in vaikunTam along with his guru Sri Adivan Sadagopa Yatindra Maha Desikan with Sri Narada and other munis singing his kritis. This kriti highlights the unnatha mahimA of Sri Annamacharya and has been composed by his son and/or grandson (Pedda Tirumalai Ayya and/or Chinna Tirumalai Ayya)
- Song 3 in the above list has been sung with Annamayya sankIrtana vaibhavam in mind. It perfectly fits with the structure of kanDa cApu tALam.
- Sri Thyagaraja has used Sri Annamacharya’s abhiprayangal in many of his kritis directly or indirectly. The bhAvam in the Thyagaraja kriti “manasu nilpa” in AbhOgi also appears in Sri Annamacharya’s kriti “lEDu bhayamu” (4 in the above list). He asks in this kriti: “What is the use of keeping one’s body clean from the outside without cleaning it from inside (from greed, jealousy etc) ?”
- Sri Annamacharya kritis which are available in their original tune (as codified in text) are in about 90 ragas. Of these ragas, there are some that were in vogue during his time but were not used much later, only to be resurrected by recent composers. One such raga is sAmantam in which there are easily about 20-25 kritis of Annamacharya. Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar was the composer responsible for resurrecting this raga. One such Annamayya kriti in sAmantam is “sahaja vaishnavAcAravartanula”. In this kriti, Sri Annamacharya uses the words “kantuguruDu vEnkaTagirirAyani“. He describes the Lord as one who charges interest on interest !!
- The second line of the first caraNam of “telisitE mOkshamu” kriti has been echoed by Sri Thyagaraja in his kriti “manasu svAdInamai” (Didn’t get this one; need to check the meanings)
- hamsanAdam has been killed over the ages. Today’s hamsanAdam (S R M P N S, S N P M R S) is actually a raga called “varada” in Nadamuni Panditar’s Sangeetha Swara Prastaram.
- The uniqueness of the kriti “AkaTi vELala” is that it has an autobiographic touch. Usually Annamayya does not preach what people should do in his kritis. Instead, he has sung in a lot of kritis about the vaibhavam of Lord Venkateshwara. This kriti is different in this respect. The kriti has been tuned in subhALi which is subhapantuvarALi without the pancamam. The original tune is in the rAgA mukhAri.