Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop
Excellent introduction to Kathakali music
B. Variyam | Bangalore, India | 08/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album of carefully picked 'padams' (songs, as they are traditionally called in Kerala) from various stories of Mahabharata brings out the melodies and moods of the dramatic and classical art form from Kerala in south India.The 'padams' are exquisitely rendered by Kalamandalam Embrandhiri and Hyderali who have done unparalleled services in bringing up Kathakali music from a mere background 'chants and rhythms' to its own importance.This album features 9-10 'padams' from 5 popular stories from Mahabharata. It also has a booklet describing the meaning of each of the songs. The booklet also has a brief history of Kathakali and a desciption of each of the musical instruments used in the orchestra. It also explains the different 'thalas' (rhythms) used in the songs, though it does not give details about the 'ragas' (scales) used.Some pieces (like fight and execution of Dussasana) are mainly of dramatic value and the accompanying music is only percussional. For someone who has not seen the story in person, it is difficult to imagine the powerful enactment that goes on, on the stage.The 'padam' called 'Paripahimam' (lamentations of Draupadi to Krishna in 'Duryodhana Vadham') is one of the best in the album. This song is in raga 'Navarasam' and is sung beautifully by Embrandhiri and Hyderali bringing out the desperation and helplessness that Draupadi undergoes before the war. The 'Kumni Dance' from 'Uttara Svayamvaram' is still a popular folk tune in Kerala for harvest festival dances, etc.One 'padam' that should have been included in this album to make it more complete is 'Doothu' (the act of Krishna visiting the Kauravas as an ambassador of peace from Pandavas) from 'Duryodhana Vadham'.Kalamandalam Kesavan and Udyogamandal Nambisan lead the percussion quite impressively.In short, a must have for anyone interested in Kathakali."