About this album

Sangeeta Bhoopathi, Sangeeta Kalanidhi Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer was one of our foremost Carnatic vocalist whose concerts were underlined with a spirit of joy. The music of Viswanatha Iyer was manodharma sangita; his imaginative skill in singing a raga or a swara pattern was something very special. Flashes of Hindustani touches were another unique feature of Viswanatha
Iyer's recital. A noteworthy contribution by this grand master was the collection of rare krithis of Saint Thyagaraja and organization of Thyagaraja festival at Tiruvaiyaru. His concert has predominance of Thyagaraja's compositions.

1. The album opens with a favorite piece of this veteran vocalist, 'Mohananarama' (Mohananam - Adi). A kritu of the saint singer Thyagaraja, this composition describes the beauty of the form of Lord Rama, as the foremost God and the glory in His
human form (incarnation)

2. In 'Seethamma Mayamma' (Vasantha - Rupakam), Thyagaraja speaks of his relationship with all the kith and kin of Lord Rama because of his closeness to his Ishtadevata and calls himself a close associate of all true Bhagavatas.

3. Describibg the form and beauty of Lord Rama, in the kriti, 'Saamaja Varagamana' (Hindolam - Adi), Thyagaraja address Him as the nectar like music of the Sama Veda, as one with magnificent gait and as the celebrated Lord who transcends time.

4. In the kriti 'Raara Sita' (Hindolavasantham - Rupakam), the saint singer elaborates on the different decorations with which he could adorn his favorite deity and sing His praise with a fixed mind.

5. Padams are part of the interpretive aspects of Bharatanatyam repertoire. These are lyrical and emotional in content usually to convey the theme of love between a heroine and her beloved. Some are purely devotional to express Bhakti (devotion) as the underlying sentiment. 'Paarengum' (Kalyani - Adi) is a padam of the well-known composer Ghanam Krishna
Iyer. The hero or nayaka referred to in this padam is Lord Sarangapani at Kumbakonam for whom the Nayika expresses her longing; there is also the reference to the patron Lord of that time Kachi Rangadurai in the same composition.

6. 'Nithirayil' is yet another Tamil padam of Ghanam Krishna Iyer, having reference to the patron king Amarasimhabhupa and his son Pratapa Ramadurai. The nayika of this padam is in agony after seeing in her dream her beloved king in the company of
another maiden.

7. While speaking of the greatness of music, and music as a vehicle for reaching the Divine, Saint Thyagaraja stresses the importance of the approach to the method of singing in his kriti 'Kaddanuvariki' (Thodi - Adi). The composer explains that a singer should cast off his sleep, take a beautiful Tambura, with pure mind, with correct swaras and without deviating from the tradition, he should sing the praise of the Supreme.

8. Saint Thyagaraja speaks of his favorite deity Rama as the one Lord, in his composition 'Undethi Ramudu Okadu' (Harikambhoji - Rupakam) and glorifies the qualities of the beloved Lord.

9. Ragam Tanam Pallavi is set to Bhairavi raga Adi tala with the Sahitya - 'Unadu Paadam'.

10. A Tamil viruttam forms the concluding number of this lively album.


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