Composer Showcase

Syama Sastri

A selection of compositions by Syama Sastri, including a rare varnam in a rare tala.

1:01:14
RJ: Mahadevan

Syama Sastri

A selection of compositions by Syama Sastri, including a rare varnam in a rare tala.

Syama Sastri was born in Tiruvarur, and was the eldest of the three which also includes Tyagaraja and Muthsuwami Dikshitar. the very fact that Syama Sastri's name is mentioned with the other two points to the quality of his compositions, especially considering that there are hardly a hundred known compositions of his, even according to the most liberal estimate. However, their musical value makes up for the lack of numbers. His compositions are overwhelmingly addressed to goddess bangaru kamakshi, and one of the most obvious aspects of the composiitons is how the music immediately brings out the intensity of syama sastri's appeals to his deity. Most of his compositions are in Telugu, though there are a few in Sanskrit also. Scholars divide his compositions chronologically into three phases, and include a handful of songs in Tamil in the later phases, though this is disputed by some. Among his beautifully constructed kritis, special mention has to be made of the three great Swarajatis in the ragas Bhairavi, Todi and Yadukula Kamboji, which give a comprehensive picture of the ragas.

Songs in this Program