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About this album

Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar is one of most talented and resourceful flautists in her age group in Carnatic music. She is the daughter and disciple of Sikkil Kunjumani, the elder of the renowned Sikkil Sisters. Born and brought up in a family of classical flautists, Mala imbibed the best elements of playing the South Indian flute and is known for her extremely sweet tone and classical purity. She has a vast repertoire and is a charismatic artiste in South India.

1. Mohana Kalyani 'Siddhi Vinayakam' Adi
Composer : Harikesanallur Muthayya Bhagavatar
Muthayya Bhagavatar was among the most versatile composers in South India in this century and has nearly 400 compositions to his credit comprising several kinds of musical forms. He also created new ragas like Mohana kalyani of which the present kriti is a notable example. The raga is a combination of Mohananm (in the arohana) and kalyani (in the avrohana) and highly pleasing melody. The kriti is in praise of Vinayaka on whom most composers in Carnatic music have written songs in different languages.

2. Kuntalavarali 'Bhogeendra Sayinam' Kandachapu
Composer : Swathi Thirunal
Swathi Thirunal (1813 - 1847), ruler of Travancore was a great and many-sided composer of songs in several languages. This kriti, which was originally in Dhanyasi and later set to Kuntalavarali, narrates the history of the Sri Padmanabha Swami temple at Thiruvananthapuram from the time when the Lord appeared before one Divakaran Muni. The kriti also describes festivals like the Laksha deepam.

3. Nalinakanti 'Natajana Palini' Adi
Composer : Thanjavur Sankara Iyer
Sankara Iyer is a talented musician and composer of recent times who has made an impact on modern Carnatic music. His skill is in composing kritis in rare ragas like Nalinakanti in which there are only a handful of kritis. The sone is in praise of the Devi.

4. Hindolam 'Govardhana Gireesam' Tisra Ekam
Composer : Muthuswami Dikshitar
Muthuswami Dikshitar was a cosmopolitan composer who sang about all deities of the Hindu pantheon with equal fervor and in the choicest language. This kriti describes Lord Krishna as an avatara of Vishnu. As Krishna he was the lover of Gopis and as Vishnu he saved the elephant Gajendra. The musical set up of this song is enchanting.

5. Khamboji 'O Rangasayee' Adi
Composer : Thyagaraja
This is one of five kritis of Thyagaraja known as the Sriranga Panchakam and a magnificent composition in the major raga Khamboji. Thyagaraja pleads with Lord Ranganatha : 'When I call you as O Rangasayee', should you not appear before me?" he chides the Lord and says 'If you spend your time happily in this Vaikuntha on earth, who will remove the mental anguish of devotees like me?'

6. Karnaranjani 'Deena Charanya' Adi
Composer : Neela Ramamurthi
Neela Ramamurthi was the daughter of Papanasan Sivan the leading Tamil Composer of this century. She was a musician in her own right and also a composer of simple Tamil Kirtanas. Karnaranjani is a rare raga popularized by Muthayya Bhagavatar and this one of the best songs in that raga.


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