RSS

Padma Sugavanam @ Nadasurabhi , 19th Mar 2017

Vocal : Padma Sugavanam

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : R S R Srikanth

Ganjira : A S N Murthy

List:

01  ??sarasijanAbha (varNAm) – ??mAyAmALavagauLa – Swathi Thirunal

(reached towards the end, I could be wrong)

02 shrI mahAgaNapatE shrI vallabhApatE – AbhOgi – N S Ramachandran ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘tAmarasa daLanEtra tAmasa timira nEtra’

03  vENugAna lOluni – kEdAragauLa – Thyagaraja ( A )

04  EdayyA gati – chalanAta – Koteeswara Iyer

05 ninnE nammitinayya – simhEndramadhyamam – Mysore Vasudevachar ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘pannagEndra shayanA, pannagAri vAhana’

06  shrIkanta nIyada – bhavapriya – Thyagaraja

07 RTP – hamsavinOdini – chaturashra triputa x 2 kaLai , +1 ( 2 akSara) eduppu

pallavi line ‘ nigama sudhA vinOdini, nIrajadaLa lOcani sadA-‘

rAgamAlika swaras in ‘ varALi , sAma, sAvEri, pUrvikalyAni’

07b. tani Avartanam

08 mOsa jEsEnE (jAvaLi) – sindhubhairavi – ??  ( O )

09  mareya bEDa manavE – behAg – Purandara Dasa (O )

10 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

I missed her concert a couple weeks ago at Pranava Arts. When the announcement of change of the main artist came from the organisers, I decided to make a point to attend.  Listening to her for the first time. I reached the venue as she was concluding the varnam.

What I found interesting is her selection of ragas and the compositions. Nice mix of composers, tala and tempo. Another impressive attempt with hamsavinodini as pallavi. I also found her grip on laya impeccable, especially during kalpana swaras where she did some fabulous stuff. The concert itself had a slow start, the spice was missing initially. It was from the simhendramadhyamam onward the concert elevated to the top gear. It was brilliant from there.

She sang a nice neraval for Abhogi kriti and had some elaborate swara patterns to end, giving us the glimpses of what is her mettle, the next couple of the songs weren’t great. Kedaragaula alapana wasn’t anything to write home about. Even the kriti did not really move me, despite being one of my favourite.

Simhendramadhyamam alapana was longer, lot of fast bhriga laden phrases to some good effect. I liked them, but some of the upper octave takes weren’t very pleasing. All my cribs end here. The kriti, classy neraval at pannagendra shayana, and the brilliant kalpana swaras that followed were the high point of the evening. I think, it was here, the rest of the artists on stage jelled together and found cohesiveness. She did some tremendous swara patterns here, with some improved percussion support.

By now, the change was visible, more at ease and confident. A energetic bhavapriya was sung before the main. A pallavi was in the offing, but hamsavinodini wasn’t one expected. Balamuralikrishna’s famous pallavi was the reference and she did announce that the pallavi was indeed composed by the legendary artist, with very clever padakSara usage. Tow phase alapana was very good. Tanam was even better. Pallavi neraval was good with very well executed trikalam. The percussion here ( and while following the violin) wasn’t upto the mark, as I found something amiss. Ragamalika swaras were good too, not sure if they too follow the ‘swarakSra’ pattern. I need to check.

Taniavartanam was very good. The percussion had their moments, they followed the singing pretty well except a few places. ASN Murthy produced some awesome music from the instrument. Srinidhi was the first to get into the groove, his alapana of kedaragaula and simhendramadhyamam were good, even though the volume output was low and was hardly audible against the high shruti sound.

Post main was again wasn’t great. A rarely heard javali and a customary ( sorry to say this) devarnama before mangalam. But, that has been my perennial complaint. I always liked artists who give some focus to this section of the concert.

Vid. Padma Sugavanam is having a busy month in Bangalore in March. I’m sure we will hear many more concerts of her in Bangalore in the months and years to come.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Amrutha Venkatesh @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 12th March 2017

Vocal  : Amrutha Venkatesh

Violin : B K Raghu

Mrudangam :  B S Prashanth

List :

01.  karuNimpa ( varNam) – sahAna – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

02.  shambh) mahAdEva – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ shambhO mahAdEva sharaNAgata janarakSaka ‘

03.  nagumOmu galanEni – AbhEri – Thyagaraja

04.  bArayya venkaTaramaNa – sAvEri – Thyagaraja ( A )

05.  mAyamma shubhamimma – ranjani – M D Ramanathan ( A,S )

06.  riNa madanuta paripAlaya mAmayi – behAg – Swathi Thirunal

07.  kaligiyuNTe gada –  kIravANi – Thyagaraja ( A,S,T )

08.  ugabhOga ( ninnanE pADuvE ninnanE pogaLuvE ) – hamIrkalyANi

smarisO sarvadA hariya – hamIr kalyANi – Purandara Dasa

09. Aj AyE shyAm mOhan – mishra pahADi – Swathi Thirunal

10.  eppO varuvArO – jOnpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharathi

11.  tillAna ( dhIm nanana tittillAna tillAna) – brindAvani – Balamuralikrishna

12. mangaLAm – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

One of the important ingredient of any successful concert is the balance of the team. If that is set right, the concert will be one to cherish. Last evening’s concert at Ranjani Fine Arts was one such. There are many other aspect which made this concert a beautiful one, but the teaming definitely helped the cause. Amrutha was at her usual best. Very intelligent, clever and articulate in presenting a brilliant concert. But the supporting crew in Raghu and Prashanth, the concert rose to something special. Raghu, despite a personal loss, accepted the concert and played some delectable violin. His alapana for pantuvarali, ranjani and keeravani were top class and gave many aha moments. Prashanth, whom I first saw accompanying TNS at Sanjay Nagar, 5-6 years ago, has grown multi fold in his stature over the years.

Apart from a rare, interesting ranjani piece of MDR the overall concert was did not have any novelty factor. To my dismay ( not picking a defect here), there was only one neraval in the entire concert. Despite all this, the concert was of a very high standard. Her sahana varnam itself was brilliant with some very innovative takes and improvisations. Fabulous alapana for pantuvarali, largely on longer bhriga based phrases. Nice neraval ( singing neraval at the pallavi line – is this a new trend ?)  and some awe inspiring swaras to end, aptly supported by Raghu. A short saveri alapana did not really make an impact. But the “Dasara pada” was quite nice.

A brilliant ranjani alapana, mostly build through short nice phrases lifted it up again. Am I the only one noticing some Sanjay traces in her singing alapana ( the quick takes , even the facial gestures at times). Raghu was even better. Expected the GNB composition to follow, but she announced the MDR composition, which was a pleasant surprise. The swaras were impressive too, anchoring around ‘sa ri ga’ for a long time. Keeravani main, with a very refreshing alapana.  So much so that, for a moment I thought if it was ‘gowrimanohari’. Most of the alapana’s we here for keeravani are the same stale often chewed cud. This was indeed very different. Kaligiyunte was no surprise, what was surprising was her decision to skip neraval. There was elaborate swaras befitting the main. Prashanth, played a good tani avartanam, extending his good form through out the evening.

Post main is noted for the ugabhoga+devarnama in hamirkalyani and the mishrapahadi bhajan of Swathi Thirunal, set to tune by Sri Balamuralikrishna. The thillana and the jonpuri piece were ok. I haven’t been attending many concerts since the start of the new year, but this one was worth the time spent. Very well delivered concert.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Venu-Veena-Violin @ Odukathur Mutt 26 Feb, 2017

Violin : H K Venkatram

Flute : G Ravikiran

Veena : Aswin Anand

Mrudangam : Karaikkudi Mani

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List:

01 pArvatipatim praNaumi satatam – hamsadhwani – Dikshitar ( S )

02 tyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam – Anandabhairavi – Dikshitar  ( O )

03 shObhillu saptasvara – jaganmOhini – Thyagaraja

04 shiva shiva shiva enarAdA – pantuvarALI – Thyagaraja ( A-veena,N,S )

neraval&svara  @ Agamamula nuDiyinci

05 dattAtrEya trimUrtirUpa – ranjani – Ganapathi Sachidananda ( A – Flute)

06 svararAga sudhA – shankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,S,T )

07 shiva darushana namagAyitu – madhyamAvati – Purandara Dasa

08 thillAna – mOhanakalyANi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

09 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

My first concert for the year, and I mentioned this to Sri H K Venkataram, as I met him before the concert. Expectation was huge with Sri Karaikudi Mani on percussion. I’m definitely pleased in the end.  Some beautiful music from the trio with an expected percussion upliftment from the maestro.

Started late from the announced time, after an impressive dance performance and around twenty minutes of tweaking the various system to perfection. Sri Karaikudi Mani wasn’t happy with his instrument tuning despite that, and made a switch to a different one during the concert. Concert started with a brisk hamsadhwani, which I initially thought was ‘ vande anisham aham vArana vadanam’, but was corrected by the artist. Some cracking swaras followed after the kriti presentation. A sedate Ananda bhairavi and a quickfire shobhillu came in in quick succession.

Aswin Anand played a brilliant pantuvarali alapana before a predictable shiva shiva shiva enarAda. Neraval at agamamula and good rounds of svarams to conclude the first detailed piece. Ravikiran played a short and nice ranjani followed by ‘dattatreya’, written by Ganapathi Sachidananda ( who, infact was the Guru of Karaikudi Mani) and was set to tune and popularised by KVN.

Venkatram played an elaborate shankarabharanam , in the more familiar and time tested patterns. Couple of impressive takes or ‘aha’ moments in a well conceived alapana. I was expecting an ‘akSayalinga vibhO’ or ‘sadAshivam upAsmahE’ , befitting the occasion, but they chose to play ‘swararaga sudha’ instead. There was no neraval but the swaras that followed was fabulous. Some nice laya variations for the ‘old time favourite’ patterns was very appealing. I thought Karaikudi Mani came into the fore at the Shankarabharanam. Some of his finger works for the kriti were mesmerising. As expected and eagerly awaited, the tani avartanam was of shear beauty. What variations and structures that was brought out by the master, which was duly complied with by the supporting artist in ganjira. Class act.

Sri Karaikudi Mani spoke at the felicitation time, which he usually avoid. He mentioned being part of the very first Venu-Veena-Violin conert around 35 years ago featuring N Ramani – Venkataraman and Lalgudi Jayaraman. He also spoke about the ‘mridanga shaileshwari temple‘ in Kerala, the only temple any where in the world for a percussion instrument. He said, the temple is not known to many people and he on his part is trying to offer a ‘golden mridangam’ to the temple and seek the blessings of the rasikas.

Concert concluded with a devarnama and a thillana. The first concert for me in 2017 and I am definitely very happy

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Mohanam, Kongad 17th Dec 2016

Vocal : Cherthala Dr.Ranganatha Sharma

Violin : Palakkad R Swaminathan

Mrudangam : K Jayakrishnan

Ghatam : Vellattanjur Sreejith

List :

01. mEru samAnA – mAyAmALavagauLa – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02. cherarAvadEmirA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

03. kOrina varamosagu – rAmapriya – PAtnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘sari vArilOna nannu chauka jEya valadu nIdu’

04.  shrI kamalAmbikAh param – bhairavi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T)

neraval & swara @ ‘shrIkaNTha viSNu virinciAdi janayitryA’

05. bArO krSNayya – rAgamAlika – Kanaka Dasa ( O-mAND )

This concert was part of the felicitation function of one of the leading singers of Kathakali, Kottakkal Madhu, at his home grounds( the place where he hails from). The two day events enriched by performances of some of the leading artists in Kathakali, Percussion as well as Classical Music fraternity was an awesome opportunity for any connoisseur or lover of art to participate. I could manage to be part of the day two, by  shear luck and it was worth the effort on all count.

Back to the concert, which was the morning session of the day two, was a fitting tribute to a fellow musician and friend by Dr. Ranganatha Sharma, who had participated in a few fusion ( or juganbandi if you may) concerts with Kottakkal Madhu himself. Luckily, this concert wasn’t a jugalbandi. Ranganatha Sharma, as one would expect, presented a top class concert with some high caliber support from the supporting crew, especially the percussion duo. Swaminathan, was good most part but left me wanting for more at times.

A two hour concert, planned very well by the singer, without trying to fill in the list with many short pieces. Each compositions presented was given its due weight and respect. The brisk meru samana with few rounds of swaras, short and nice alapana for reetigaula, a much more detailed ramapriya alapana and a classy , formidable effort with bhairavi. Fabulous planning and execution. Bhairavi alapana was very special, mostly around the slow , longer phrases, not attempting the fast paced, bhriga-laden phrases ( barring a super impressive take towards the end of the alapana), the meticulous build up deploying on those moving slow patterns of melodious bhairavi were the highlights of the morning. Swaminathan’s return was more of the standard line, including those faster passages. Probably, the main artist sang with the idea of the kriti in mind and the violinist without the same. Dikshitar’s navavarana kriti as main was a glorious choice. The kriti, neraval as well as two speed kalpana swaras were top class. Percussion team demonstrated a commendable aniticipation and played exquisitely during the kalpana swaras. The duo, extended that to a well conceived tani avartanam.

The reetigaula and ramapriya , which preceded the main were equally good. Ramapriya alapana was again very good. There wasn’t much time left post the elaborate main. He indicated ‘one more’ to the organisers and concluded it with bArO krishnayya. To me, this concert shows the best of time utilisation in line with my personal preference, hence I was left with a great feeling. Brilliant artist, and a concert justifying his credentials.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

S Shankar @ Essae Music Foundation, 13 Nov 2016

Vocal :  S Shankar

Violin :  Mysore Nagaraj

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : G Guruprasanna

List :

01 shLOkam ( vyAsO naigama charchayA) – kAmbOji – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar

02 mEru samAnA – mAyAmALavagauLa – Thyagaraja ( O,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ aLakala muddunu tilakapu tIrunu’

03  dAsharathi ninnu kOri – riSabhapriya – Bidaram Krishnappa ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘kamalabhava sEvanuta charaNam vimala guNagaNa nAsharahita??’

04 anAtHuDanu gAnu – jingaLa – Thyagaraja

05 tuLasi bilva –  kEdAragauLa- Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘karuNatO nenarutO paramAnandamutO niratamunu’

06 mI valla guNadOSamEmi – kApi – Thyagaraja ( A )

07 manavi nAlakinca rAdaTE – naLinakAnti – Thyagaraja

08 entani nE varNintunu – mukhAri – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘kanulAra sEvinchi kammani phalamula’

09 amba brOvavE – dharmavati – Bidaram Krishnappa

10 kaddanu vAriki – thODi – Thyagaraja (A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘baddu tappaka bhajiyinche bhakta pAlanamu sEyu’

11 shrIrAma jayarAma shringAra rAmayani – yadukulakAmbOji – Thyagaraja (O)

12 shLOkam( mangaLapanchakam) – sAvEri,SaNmukhapriya, Anandabhairavi, hamsAnandi, surutti  – T N Padmanabha

This annual music event at Essae is one which I usually try not to miss. For last 9 years or so, if I  am not mistaken, Prakash and Srividya conduct concerts under the Essae Music Foundation, and November concert is always by his Guru and one of my favourite Vidvan Bangalore S Shankar. I like his music for a variety of reasons. It probably is as clean and clear as one can get. Clear diction, adherence to ‘pAThAntaram’, no unwanted baroque presentation, very impressive selection of kritis and their appropriate positioning and elaboration. And my special interests in neravals, which he gives me in big numbers :-).

Yesterday’s concert was again in the above lines. What a beautiful concert it was. Nice selection of kritis , 6 alapana, 5 neravals and an classy thOdi as main. He probably is not one who gives you that intellectual kick, but  his music has a charm, a freshness and thus an appeal.

The concert was announced as a tribute to Thyagaraja on his 250th year of birth as well as Sri Bidaram Krishnappa, whose 150th birth anniversary is in 2016. The concert was with some commentary, anecdotes and explanations as he introduced the compositions. After a shloka of Thyagaraja by one of his prime disciples, Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar, he talked some nuances of Thyagaraja’s compositions. Before which, he gave a brief sketch on the life and music of Sri Bidaram Krishnappa. Hopefully, one day we could have a detailed lecture on some of these lesser known Musicians from Mysore.

Sri Shankar sang alapanas for rishabhapriya, kedaragaula,kapi,mukhari and an elaborate thodi. There was neraval for almost all of these. What was most impressive about them was also the selection of kritis, especially some of the fillers. A rare jingaLa, Bidaram Krishappa’s dharmavati composition and the kApi with a sweet alapana. Mysore Nagaraj was fabulous. The short kApi alapana he played still gives me goosebumps. Neyveli Venkatesh played excellent through out, and played a swashbuckling tani avartanam. While the exhilaration was in the air, he was much restrained this time. The percussion duo was fantastic.

If the concert started with a shlokam on Thyagaraja, it concluded with a mangala shlokam on Thyagaraja, which I presume was set to tune by Sri Shankar himself.

A musical feast. I loved every bit of it.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,