Carnatic Musician M L Vasanthakumari remembered

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Perhaps our NZCMS could organise a Festival for the ‘Female Trinity?’

Venkat Raman

Disciples and fans of the late Dr M L Vasanthakumari marked her 91st Birthday on July 3, 2019 in various parts of the world, remembering the contributions of the great singer.

One such was organised by her student Lalitha Mohan on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at Lakshmi Giri Convention Hall, Mylapore, Chennai.

Among the guests at the Programme titled, ‘Special Music Tribute to My Guru,’ were ‘ISAI’ Founder M S Venkateswaran, Pulavar T V Vijayalakshmi, Retired United India Insurance Executive and Secretary, Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (Vani Mahal) B Gopalakrishnan and Charumathi Ramachandran.

Golden Era

Mr Venkateswaran described the decades of MLV and her contemporaries as ‘The Golden Era of Carnatic Music,’ while Ms Ramachandran recalled with gratitude the pedagogy of the great musician.

Ms Vijayalakshmi called for inclusion of Music as a compulsory subject in Tamil Nadu schools to evince the interest of youngsters.

Carnatic Music Concert

The Progamme included a concert by Lalitha Mohan, accompanied by Neela Jayakumar (Violin) and Jayakumar (Mridangam).

She started with a brief ‘Alapana of Begada,’ followed by ‘Gajavadana Paliso’ and the evergreen Kriti of Mysore Vasudevachariyar ‘Bajare Manasa’ set to Adi Talam.

Deftly handling ‘Kalpana Swaras,’  she rendered ‘Muralidhara Gopala’ in Mandu, a famous film song ‘Andimayangudadi’ in Kalyani and ‘Va Va Va Valar Madiye Va’ set to ‘Suddha Dhanyasi’ from the movie ‘Vanagamudi.’

Ms Mohan took ‘Vijayambike’ in Vijayanagiri of Muthaiah Bhagavadar with Ragam and Kalpana Swaras.  ‘Bharo Krishnaiyya’ of Kanaka Dasar Padam in Ragamalika followed.

‘Konjum Purave,’ a famous film song by from the film ‘Thayullam,’  was among the highlights of the Concert.

About M L Vasanthakumari

Madras Lalitangi Vasanthakumari (popularly referred to as MLV is regarded as one of the ‘Female Trinity of Carnatic Music’ of the contemporary era, the other two being M S Subbulakshmi and D K Pattammal.

A prime disciple of G N Balasubramaniam, she was adept in the compositions of the Three Great Masters, known as the Three Jewels of Carnatic Music, namely Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri. She was also famous for rendering the compositions of Haridasas, who spread the Devotional Movement of ‘Haridas’ in Karnataka, which later spread to the Eastern States of India.

MLV also she popularised many unfamiliar Ragas, while her ‘Ragam Thalam Pallavi’ is considered cerebral.

Among her notable disciples are her daughter (late) Srividya and currently popular musicians Sudha Raghunathan, Charumathi Ramachandran, A Kanya Kumari, V Kaveri, Rose Muralikrishnan, Meena Subramanian and Yamuna Arumugam.

Editor’s Note: The Auckland-based New Zealand Carnatic Music Society is a doyen of South Indian Classical Music in the country. The organisation conducts regular music lessons and annual examinations, encouraging youngsters in the community to learn and practice Carnatic Music. Perhaps the Society could initiate a Festival for the ‘Female Trinity’ and promote our own singers to present the compositions that made them famous in the  20th Century.


Photo Caption:

  1. Lalitha Mohan with Charumathi Ramachandran and others
  2. Lalitha Mohan in Concert

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