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'Thiruvasagam in Symphony' released
P.V.Sathish Kumar, Jul 1  [ Fri, Jul 1, 2005 ]
  • The much awaited "Thiruvasagam in Symphony" composed by music maestro Illayaraja was released on Thursday June 30th.

    Mr.Jayapal Reddy, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting presided over the function and released the album. He lauded maestro Illayaraja's "Thiruvasagam' oratorio as being part of a "cultural crossover" which he said, was the unifying theme of the 21st century. The venture showcased Illayaraja's innovation and skillfulness.

    During the function, a 20-minute rendition churned from "Thiruvasagam in Symphony" -a combination of ancient classical and western musical elements, a classic work from Illayaraja for the audience virtually ripped the hearts of audience.

    Film celebrities such as superstars Rajinikant and Kamal Haasan along with other personalities such as classical singer Balamuralikrishna, film director Bharathiraja, and political personalities like Mr.Peter Alphonse and Mr.Vaiko were present during the function. Each of them facilitated and lauded Ilayaraja for his the masterful venture.

    "It was not easy to fuse Carnatic music with Western classical music. It was like blending Thyagaraja's music with Beethoven's. But credit must go to Illayaraja for achieving this outstanding composition. He is exploring and extending the form tiers of classical music. He will go a long way and blaze trail of all of India. Mr. Reddy said of Illayaraja.

    Balamuralikrishna who received the first copy from Mr. Reddy said, "Illayaraja's Thiruvasagam was a bridge between two kinds of music and it had moved him immensely".

    Dakshinamurhti Swamigal, Illayaraja's carnatic guru released the making of the album in its visual form with the first copy being received by Kamal Haasan. Kamal Haasan said the composition was an immense service to Tamil and it surpassed the boundaries of religion, caste and geography.

    Superstar Rajinikant in his speech recollected his experiences with the maestro and lauded Illayaraja as a musical genius whose journey was in search of peace.

    The Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, N.Ram, said the "Thiruvasagam' oratorio was unique as a "seamless classical crossover." The involvement of Catholic Church in the project was a great service to India. He appealed to the fans not to resort to piracy or copying the CDs of the album.

    Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Illayaraja said it was the will of God that he was able to make the project. "If he destines I will continue to work on such projects", he added.

    Continued on next page...

  • "Thiruvasagam in Symphony" is based on the verses of Tamil poet Manickavasagar. With music scored by Illayaraja in cooperation with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, "Thiruvasagam in Symphony" has contributions by Academy award winning composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz in a 20-minute piece, accompanied by Illayaraja singing in Tamil and an American singing in English.

    Richard King, the sound engineer who won Grammies for his sound track for 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' has worked for Thiruvasagam.

    Tamil Maiyam initiated the project under the aegis of Fr. Jegath Gasper. The total cost of the project amounted to Rs. 110 lakhs. Of this, Rs. 35 lakhs was from donations and the remaining Rs.75 lakhs was borrowed from individuals and banks. The organization hopes to make this money through cassette and CD Sales.