Ragas Bhairavi, Shuddha Saveri, Hamsadhwani & More.
Masterworks from the National Centre Performing Arts (NCPA) Archives
M L Vasanthakumari
M L Vasanthakumari stands high in the order of modern Carnatic musicians and is part of the trinity of women musicians which includes M S Subbulakshmi And D K Pattammal.
Madras Lalithangi Vasanthakumari was born in 1928 to Lalithangi and Ayyaswamy Iyer. Both her parents were musicians and it was through her mother that MLV got her interest in the compositions of Purandara Dasa which she was instrumental in giving wide concert acceptance to MLV’s first concert and recording came early in her teens. In spite of her early success and popularity she may not have even continued in Carnatic music had it not been for the legendary vocalist G N Balsubramaniam (GNB). He was a genius in his own right bending convention and still gaining enormous popularity and respect.
After listening to MLV, GNB persuaded her parents to have her train with him MLV, proved to be a pupil with a similar adventurous strain and intellectual approach. Blessed with abundant imagination and a quick grasp of concepts MLV rose tot eh top tier of performers while just in her thirties. At the age of 49 she became the younger’s woman musician to be awarded Carnatic music’s highest honor the sangeeta Kalanidhi.
MLV’s music was characterized by a seeming effortlessness although her music was intricately layered and grounded in technical expertise. She could produce an extensive exposition of a rare raga like Rishabhapriya with the same ease and felicity as in a Raga Todi or Kalyani. She Approached each concert as an opportunity to take her music forward. A primary specialty of MLV’s was the Ragam Tanam Pallavi She could compose intricate Pallavis almost spontaneously and in unusual raga and tala settings. Her knowledge of the musical idiom and command over her music were matched by her encouragement of young talent. Apart from having many disciples rise to eminence as vocal musicians she also encouraged an impressive line of young accompanying artistes and in fact all the accompanying artistes on this album had MLV support them through their early years.
The NCPA Archives
Described as the Treasure trove of Indian classical music the NCPA archives has over 5000 hours of music of the who’s who of classical music both in the Hindustani and Carnatic Styles. Maintained for over 4 decades in the most ideal conditions of temperature and humidity and on the best recording formats the NCPA Archives preserves and protects India’s rich musical heritage.
According to the Artists themselves the work recorded on the Archives features some of their best works recorded at the prime of their careers. This wonderful ‘khazana’ is being presented to the music loving public for the first time.
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