Nadasurabhi Cultural Association located in Koramangala, Bangalore is in the forefront of promoting Classical Carnatic Music. Nadasurabhi conducts the highest quality music concerts every month and a week-long Annual Festival in November, free of charge to all rasikas. Our other events include a youth festival, Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana, and music competitions for children.
Written by Smt.Harini Raghavan. Published in Ananya Abhivyakti journal in 2006.
The other Acharyas of fame who employed Manipravalam in their works are:
Thirukkurugai Piran Pillai, Nanjeeyar, Pinpazhagiya Perumal Jeeyar, Periya Vachan Pillai, Azhagiya Manavala Jeeyar, Azhgiya Manavala Nayanar, Acharya Manavala Mamuni and Sri Pillailokam Jeeyar.
Carnatic Music: While Muthuswamy Dikshitar chose Sanskrit language as the medium for most of his compositions, he composed a few pieces in Telugu, Tamil and 3 pieces in Manipravalam. The most popular Manipravalam composition of Dikshitar is ‘Sri Abhayamba ninnu’ in ‘Sri’ Ragam set to Adi Talam. It is the last kriti (9th) the Mangala kriti in the ‘Abhayamaba Vibhakti Kritis’ group. Here Dikshitar employs three languages, Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil. The other 2 Manipravala kritis are ‘Sri Venkata Chalapathe (Adi), and ‘Sri Maharajni’, both in ‘Karnataka Kapi’ Ragam.
H.H. Maharaja Swathi Tirunal: At this juncture it appears most appropriate to recall the name of H.H. Maharaja Swathi Tirunal who as an eminent musician and composer. He ably employed Manipravalam in scores of his compositions. Before and during the period of Swathi Tirunal, there have been several composers of great repute, namely, Kunjan Nambiar, Kerala Varma, Iravi Varman Thampi, Kutty Kunju Thankachi, T. Lakshmana Pillai, Mahakavi Kuttamath, K.C. Keshava Pillai, and others. Valsala Shastriar, another poet, music composer, singer and social reformer, who lived till the beginning of 20th century, had made remarkable contributions to the field of carnatic music. But what distinguishes Maharaja Swathi Tirunal from others and gives him the prime of place in the history of carnatic music is, the variety of compositions, lyrical quality, magnitude of the body of compositions he has produced and the range of languages he has employed in his work.
H H Maharaja Swati Tirunal was a contemporary of the carnatic music ‘Trinity’, and he has, in his compositions, incorporated the styles of all the three and, also has followed the style of composers prior to the Trinity. He was well versed in a number of languages. Though most of his compositons are in Sanskrit, he has composed in languages like Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and more strikingly in Manipravalam. Mastery in a number of languages would enable a composer to write in different languages, but employing different languages in any one single composition is not an easy task, for , using words from different languages should be harmonious and blend appropriately in order to retain the aesthetic value of the song. In this direction, Swathi Tirunal was a most successful composer. His Manipravalam compositions are rich in ‘Sahitya’ and Rhythmic’ beauty. The aesthetic splendour of the lyrics have placed his compositions on par with those of the Trinity. In his Manipravalam kritis there is no compromise on the quality.
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