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PIX: Remembering Thyagaraja, the legend of Carnatic music

Last updated on: January 16, 2012 17:45 IST

PIX: Remembering Thyagaraja, the legend of Carnatic music

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Over 100 Carnatic musicians from all over Mumbai converged at the Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekharendra Saraswati auditorium on January 13 for a rendition of the Pancharatna Kritis of Saint Thyagaraja in chorus.  

The musicians -- with instruments like the mrudangam, violin, veena, flute and ghatam -- and vocalists enthralled an audience of over 2000 on Thyagaraja Aradhana day.

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Image: Vocalists render 'krithis' composed by Saint Thyagaraja on Thyagaraja Aradhana day


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PIX: Remembering Thyagaraja, the legend of Carnatic music

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The 'aradhana' day was dedicated to Saint Thyagaraja Swamy, one of the greatest saint composers of Carnatic music, who lived in Thiruvaiyaru in the 19th century.

Thyagaraja composed many 'kritis' or 'sankeerthanas' in carnatic music.

The festival is celebrated world-wide but the main performance is held at Thiruvaiyaru near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu where the saint attained Samadhi on the bank of the river Kaveri.

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Image: Musicians perform at Shanmukhananda auditorium on Thyagaraja Aradhana day


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PIX: Remembering Thyagaraja, the legend of Carnatic music

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A galaxy of Carnatic musicians from all over the country assemble on this day every year to pay homage by rendering the five gems of the saint.

The 'pancharathna krithis' are: Jagadananda Karaka - Raga Naata, Dudukugala - Raga Gaula, Sadhinchene - Raga Arabhi, Kanakana Ruchira - Raga Varali, Endaro Mahanubhavulu - Raga Sri.

Thyagaraja forms the trinity of the composers of Carnatic music; the other two contemporaries are Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri.

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Image: The ensemble at Shanmukhananda auditorium on Thyagaraja Aradhana day


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PIX: Remembering Thyagaraja, the legend of Carnatic music

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Saint Thyagaraja was instrumental in the composition of devotional songs. Most of his songs were dedicated to the Hindu God Rama. Out of his works, there are five compositions, which are more popularly referred to as the 'five gems' or the 'pancharatna krithis'. These five are among his best works and have gained appreciation from all over. At the age of 8, he composed 'Namo Namo Raghavaya Anisham' in raga Desikathodi, which was truly noteworthy.

Saint Valmiki composed the story of Rama, with 24,000 verses and incidentally Tyagaraja also composed 24,000 'kritis' in praise of the lord. Tyagaraja's compositions are rich in devotional and philosophical content. They are noted for their superior structure, superb handling of 'ragalakshanas' and apt choice of raga and words.

The world of Carnatic music owes a lot to Saint Tyagaraja for the treasure that he is bestowed on them.


Image: Works of saint Thyagaraja being performed at Shanmukhananda auditorium on Thyagaraja Aradhana day


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