The Times of India, October 30, 1983

Fine assortment of styles in music festival

A FINE assortment of different stylists in the classical arts marked this year’s music festival of the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha which began on October 22 nd

D.K. Pattammal’s concert on October 25 was notable for its pure classical conventional pattern. She is more an institution than an individual. Her three-hour concert started with a rara Varnam in Mohanam of Ambi Dikshakar. Sathyavandarigudu (Bhairavi-Purandaradasa), Devi-brovu (Chintamani – Syama Sastri) and two compositons of Srivatsan (Valaji and Gowrimanohari) came in as new items to the Bombay audience. It was a refreshing and coveted treat in the series to listen to D.K.P. whose music is chaste and pure.

Her delineation of Kalyani, Valaji and Gowrimanohari was unique for sheer bhava. The tisranadai composition (Sandehamu – Thyagaraja) was handled with erudite swaraprasthara followed by a conventional korvai. The vocal support was by Lalitha, daughter of the great Palghat Mani Iyer.

The veteran violinist Tiruvellore Subramaniam evoked nostalgic reminiscences of the Rajamanickam Pillai school. The “anusaranai” element on his instrument is worthy of emulation by the younger generation. Tanjore Ramdas and Rangachari contributed able accompaniment on the percussion.

Music critic

The Hindustan Times, September 19, 1983

Pattammal impresses

Apart from the exquisite variety in curved gamakas, another specialty of the Karnatic music technique is the concept and execution of kalpana-swaras on the sequences of improvised solfa singing. Today, there are broadly, two basic methods of such improvisation – raga based Kalpana-swaras with rhythm taking a subsidiary role, and calculation based patterns highlighting geometrical symmetry while being founded on Yatis. Adaptation of either of these techniques, however, is different from absolute control over rhythm and the ability to improvise and pick off with precision whichever quarter or eighth of a beat of the Tala cycle one desires to.

In D.K. Pattammal’s Karnatic vocal recital for the Grindlay’s Kala Sangam on Saturday last, her total oneness with rhythm stood out as one of the most impressive features. When her powerful voice was at its best some years back, her music was known for its chastity of expression in raga minus frills and flourishes. Today, the chaste quality prevails, despite a natural weakening of the voice.

Pattammal’s rendering of Ananda Bhairavi with “Thyagaraja”, Kalyani with “Ganapathe” or a modern composition in Valaji – “Karthikeya” by Shrivatsan had a thorough refinement in the blending of the lyrics and graces endowing the projection with conviction. Seldom does one hear such lucid enunciation that does justice to the poetry of the kriti. In “Ganapathe” the kalpana-swaras taken at a quarter off the first beat of the mode were gripping. The natural punctuation in the flow of the notes provided the effect of syncopation in the variations.

Lalitha, who provided vocal support, responded with alacrity here. As her voice falls into a higher natural range she had to be on guard throughout which she managed efficiently, in her adjustments in the set renderings. Ramiah on the Mridangam and Krishnamurthy Rao on the Ghatam were functionally adequate. Meera Narayanan, the young violinist, showed promise and can become a fine performer if she curtails the instinct to attempt flourishes in which she is certainly out of depth. On the light melody score, Pattammal’s inimitable rendering of Teerada Vilayattu Pillai on the occasion will haunt the listeners yet again.

Pushkala Gopal

The Hindustan Times, September 12, 1983

Pattammal impresses

The three-day music festival organized by the Grindlay’s Kala Sangam in aid of mobile creches came to an end on Saturday evening at Kamani Hall with a superb carnatic recital by D.K. Pattammal.

Listening to D.K. Pattammal’s music is like cruising on a trans-Atlantic ocean liner. Sweet, serene and sensuous, her music is marked by immense scholarship and lyricism. On Saturday evening she performed a number of new compositions hitherto not heard. Her repertoire is unlimited and she is indeed a veritable storehouse of choicest compositions. She was at her best in the Valaji kriti, “Karthikeya” composed by a young composer, Srivatsan. Srivatsan has to his credit many brilliant compositions and if “Karthikeya” is any indication, one would like to hear more of them in concerts. And who can be a better tune-setter than Pattammal? Valaji was sung with great feeling and musicality and in the swaraprastharas, she broke new grounds by cutting new fractions, keeping the accompanists on edge. She was assisted by her daughter-in-law vocally but due to the inconvenient sruthi (for her daughter-in-law) she had to hop between octaves to fetch phrases. Meera Narayanan was good on the violin but she should not attempt above the third octave as the pitch becomes slippery. Ramaiah and Krishnamoorthy Rao were adroit on percussion.

S. V. Rajan

MYSINDIA, April 77

Montreal News


Gana Saraswathi, D.K. Pattammal gave a music concert at Burn Side Hall, McGill University on March 26, sponsored by Karnatic Music Academy of North America. It is difficult to separate Pattammal from her Music. She is music and the music is she. Pattammal is one of the top most artistes of India singing in the ancient traditional style of Muthuswami Dikshitar the great composer of songs in Sanskrit. Her Guru was Ambi Dikshatar, son of Muthuswami Dikshatar, a veteran in Carnatic Music. Montreal was lucky to have her on that evening at the edge of her Western tour. Pattammal enlightened the audience with her music artistry. Her music was just like a soft stream running smoothly in a serene garden of wisdom. She sang the raga Pantuvarali and sang the song “Ramanatham Baje”. “Am I a doll in your hands?” in senjuruti really thrilled the audience. “Madhava Madhusudhana” in Navarasakanada, just after Mr. Sivakumar’s solo mridangam, looked as if she thanked God for giving such a wonderful son (Sivakumar is her son who accompanied her with mridangam). Her Ragam Thanam Pallavi gave the concert a fullness. Her brother D.K. Jayaraman sang with her and A. Ananthakrishnan played violin. Her husband, the sole creditor of all Pattammal’s success in the world of music was there giving all the encouragements needed. Thanks to the wonderful services to the world of arts given by the Carnatic Music Academy of North America.

Sarasi Raj

MYSINDIA, February 20, 1972

Great Musical Progress

The Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, Bangalore, whose second Anniversary celebrations took place on January 16 at the Ramamandiram, Malleswaram, can be more than proud of the immense spur it has given to the musical activities in the State in the short span of time it has been in existence. On the second anniversary celebrations, one of the greatest artists of Karnatic music, mellow voiced Smt. D.K. Pattammal, was present on the occasion to preside over the function and award the prizes to the winners of the competition. She was garlanded by Smt. M.L. Vasanthakumari.