Hailed as a phenomenon in the carnatic music world Vidwan K.S. Gopalakrishnan was initiated into the world of music by his father Shri Iyer when he was hardly nine years old. Shri K. Raghava warrier of Thiruvananthpuram later honed his skills to perfection. Since KSG’s (as he is popularly known) debut as a performing artist when he was fifteen he has been performing all over world.
The album opens with one of patnam subramania Iyer’s celebrated compositions the navaraga varnam Valachi Vacchi Set to Aditalam. What makes this varnam so appealing is the fact that it is woven into nine different ragas. The pallavi in Ragam Kedaram is followed by the anupallavi in Ragam Shankarabharanam. The mukthay Swaram is composed in Kalyani and Begada white the charanam is in Kambhoji followed by the chittaiswaram in Yadukula Kambhoji Bilahari Mohanm and sree. A poignant paean to lofe Ventatesa it sets tone for rest of the album KSG’s rendition is clear and crisp bringing out the nuances of this special varnam in all its hues ever so beautifully.
This is followed by Maha Ganapatim a song of Shri Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Raga Nattal a typically carnatic raga. An invocatory piece in praise of Maha ganpati the divine remover of obstacles and a connoisseur of arts and literature. Combining the anupallavi with the charanam in a smashtri charanam after an appropriate elaboration of raga. KSG gives the composition an excellent mounting and caps it violin mridangam and ghatam provide suitable alternate responses.
The next piece is in Raga Amrita Varshini (shower of Immortality) a brisk vibrant number penned by the great Harikesanullur Sri Muthiah Bahgavathar in praise of Shri Devi Addressing her as the very nectar sudhamayee KSG and his accompanists bring out the joyous mood of the song with vigor and aplomb.
This is followed by a romantic piece in Hindi Chaliye depicting the Nayaak Nayika bhava unique to the Bhakti School Composed by the royal compser scholar musicologist Swati Tirunal Maharaja of Thiruvananthapuram. Kerala set in the Raga Brindavanna Saranga the nayika makes a fervent appeal to Krishna the Nayaka to go with her to the privacy of woods to listen to the sounds of the cuckoo and the surging Yamuna KSG and his accompanists handle this delicate piece with liting grace and beauty.
The highlight of the recording is saint Thayagaraja’s composition Nanupalimpa in raga Mohanam a pentatonic derivative from the parent Raga Kalyani each one as great as the other in tonal richness and melodic attraction. The narration of Mohanma by KSG brings out the best in aesthetics and sensitive capturing of the bhakti mood of the composition that follows.
KSG brings out the very essence of this mood with a delicate sensitivity and is ably supported by the equally sensitive accompanists.
Trichur C. Rajendran – Violin
Thiruvanthapuram V. Surendran – Mridangam
Tripunithura N. Radhakrishnan – Ghatam
• Valaachi Vacchi
Raga : Navaragamalika Tala : Adi
Composer: Patnam Subramania Iyer
Raga ; Nattai Tala : Aadi
Composer: Muthuswami Diskahitar
Raga : Amritavarshini Tala: Rupakam
Composer : Muthiah Bhagavathar
Raga : Brindavana Saranga
Composer: Swati Tirunal
Raga Mohanam Tala : Aadi