Muthuswami Dikshitar [1775 – 1835] (MD) is believed to have transitioned on Naraka Chaturdashi day in Ettiyapuram, Tamil Nadu.
MD, being one among the trinity of Carnatic music, is a prominent luminary who propagated and personified the great art of Carnatic music. He created masterpieces with a perfect combination of devotion (Bhakti) and wisdom (Jnāna) bound together in aesthetics with the felicity of musical expression.
On this Naraka Chaturdashi, we present a vintage concert of Dr. M Balamuralikrishna (BMK) that was performed on 21.12.1975 to mark the bicentennial anniversary of MD. BMK is accompanied on the violin by Sri. Annavarapu Ramaswamy and Sri. Kamalakara Rao on the Mridangam.
In this concert, the multifaceted maestro, Dr. M Balamuralikrishna (BMK) has brought out many unique aspects in the masterpieces of Muthuswami Dikshitar. This quintessential concert captures MD as a rare phenomenon, a profound scholar, a poet, a composer of the highest order, a master singer and a natural mystic.
BMK presents a Navagraha-kriti, a Nīlóthpalāmbā-vibhaki kriti, an Abhayāmbā-vibhaki kriti, kritis in rare rāgas such as Bhógachhayā nāta and Rasamanjari; and BMK’s own perception of Dikshitar’s personality and composing genius in a brilliant kriti by him in the rāga Sucharitra (67). In addition, there are a couple of Saint Tyāgarāja’s Utsava-sampradāya kīrtanas and his Ahirbhairavi tillāna in this concert.
The clarity of the lyrics (sāhityam), his faithfulness to the composer’s intent, the purity of notes, and precision in placing them in their intended location of a scale (svara-stāna-shuddham) are some of the highlights of this concert.
BMK offers us a splendid portrayal of MD’s compositions. It does not matter which deity is glorified in a composition, but never fails to exploit the music itself in addition to everything else.
We have been searching for someone who could give us the details and the hidden aspects of this rare concert and fortunately, Sri. Purnachander gāru agreed to help us.
His introduction to this monumental concert is a like “blue-print” showing all the details and guiding us through the entire design plan of the monumental concert.
We earnestly hope, that his guidance, observations, insights and paradigm shifts shared through his audio introduction, in his journey through this concert would help the listener to scale the heights in appreciating the enlightening works of MD rendered by BMK.
We offer our respectful and sincere salutations to Sri. Purnachander for his contribution (an audio introduction which is a part of this upload) in curating the corpus of BMK’s music for posterity.
Despite his advanced age, his engagements and travel, Sri Purnachander’s zeal to listen, reflect and recall the facts stashed away in his memory is something we admired profoundly during this project. His eye for detail, details of the facts recalled from memory, depth of knowledge, and the art of communication only demonstrate the admirable and desirable qualities of an ideal student of music in him.
BMK was doubly fortunate to have participated in and performed in the bicentennial celebration concerts of both Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar. And we all have been no less for having been around during such a time and further for being able to listen to the rare renditions, that were part of such celebrations.
Is it not our sacred responsibility to curate such a treasure of a concert for posterity?None found.