The talking violin suddenly decides to go silent

Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, the versatile violin maestro, passed away in Madras last night. He was 73 years old. An ardent admirer of Mysore T. Chowdiah, Vaidyanathan was renowned for his bowing skills which famously enabled him to “talk” to the “class”—and to the “mass”.

Above, Vaidyanathan performs Marudamalai mamaniyae murugaiyya…from the movie Deivam. Below, he takes part in a fusion effort with Zakir Hussain from the album Colors. A.R. Rehman, (then A.S. Dilip Kumar) is on the keyboards, with Sivamani on the drums/tabla.

In a 1997 interview in The Hindu, Vaidyanathan said:

“Approximation to vocal artistry is the goal of an ideal Carnatic instrumentalist. I apply the bowing techniques such as swaravil, sahityavial, etc, to realise this as far as possible… My performance objective is to satisfy all sections of an audience.”

Read The Hindu obituary: Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan dead

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5 Responses to “The talking violin suddenly decides to go silent”

  1. ERR Says:

    A great violinist even if sometimes he indulged in playing to the gallery and dressed rather gaudily. But he supressed the great ego such artistes possess, and put his ability to organise year after year the Thyagaraja Aradhana in Thiruvayyar. Perhaps it is the only place in the world hundreds of musicians young and old, wellknown and beginners gather once a year and perform Pancharathna krithis of composer-saint Thyagaraja.
    It is a pity we are unable to organise such an Aradhana for Saint Puranadara Dasa who preceded Thyagaraja by 300 years.Thyagaraja even considered Purandaradasa as his Guru.
    One interesting point about Thyagaraja Aradhana. Thyagaraja krithis are all in praise of Rama and is in Telugu. It is held in Thiruvaiyyaru in Tamil Nadu. And who thought of this idea and started it? It was Bangalore Nagarathnamma a Kannadathi!

  2. Janasamanya Says:

    In spite of some of his gimmics while playing the instrument, he was a magician with the violin. Listening to his playing the violin was as if the violin was singing. May his great soul rest in peace.

  3. kaangeya Says:

    Lambodara laghumikara….

    That’s the first gitam one learns in Karnataka sangeetam – or simply isai in Tamizh – in Mayamalavagoula – and that is a Purandaradasa gitam. Kunnakudiji, amar rahe. Music itself is a language – the most sublime of them all.

  4. Bhasi Says:

    A great artist, who could make string to talk. I stil wonder how he has played vishnu sahasranama in violin! and once in Mysore palace, he made every one to surprise by playing Akashavani tune followed by “ek do teen” of tezab! some 15-16 yrs back! from then i became a fan of this great artist

  5. Prashanth Says:

    ಎಂತಹ ಮಹಾನ್ ಜೀವ…ಎಂತಹ ಮಹಾನ್ ಸಾಧನೆ ….ಇಂತಹ ಮಹಾನ್ ಜೀವ ಇಂದು ನಮ್ಮೊಂದಿಗಿಲ್ಲ :-(

    ವಿಪರ್ಯಾಸವೆಂದರೆ, ಯಾವ ಒಬ್ಬ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಯೂ ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಂತಾಪ ವ್ಯಕ್ತ ಪಡಿಸಿಲ್ಲ …

    ಶ್ರೀಯುತ ವೈದ್ಯನಾಥನ್ ರವರ ಜೀವನದಿಂದ ಕಲೆಯುವುದು ಬಹಳ ಇದೆ

    ಮೇರಾ ಭಾರತ್ ಮಹಾನ್

    ಪ್ರಶಾಂತ್ ಅನಂತರಾಮನ್

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