Abhishek Raghuram @ Kanchi Mutt, Malleswaram, 02 Oct 2016

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : Vittal Ramamurthy

Mrudangam : Thiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam

Ganjira : B S Purushotham


01. valaci vaci (varNam) – rAgamAlika – Patnam Subramanya Iyer

02. dEva dEva kalayAmi – mAyAmALavagauLa – Swathi Thirunal ( S )

03. yOchana kamalA lOcana – darbAr – Thyagaraja (S )

04. shrI kAntimatim – hEmavati – Dikshitar ( Short sketch, S ,T)

05. shrI kAmakOTi pIThastHitE – sAvEri – Mysore Sadashiva Rao (A,N,S )

neraval & Swara @ ‘kdambavana nilayE kancha lOcanE bhavAni’

06. kAtyAyani mahAbhAgE – mishra bhUpALi – ?  ( O )

07.  mAyammA yaninE – Ahiri – Thyagaraja ( A )  –  started at anupallavi

08. tappunODadE bandeya – tilang  – Purandara Dasa

09. shrIrAma shrIrama manOharamA – sahAna – Thyagaraja (started at anupallavi)

10. thillAna – pUrvi – T Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar

11. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

Not a typical Abhishek concert. Probably he made it to suit the accompaniments at his disposal. For the lovers of excitement and exhilaration there was enough to rejoice. It was a riot out there. I am not hinting it wasn’t good, but at times it sounded too loud and intruding. Abhishek did his job well in the melee, but my sympathy goes to Vittal Ramamurthy.

On his part, Abhishek gave us enough ‘aha’ moments. The outstanding kalpana swaras he sang for hemavati is the case point. He must have sang it for 20-25 mins, only swaras. Possibly, there isn’t anything left to unearth. Awesome stuff. The only real alapana came after this. He sang a very moving alapana of saveri.  The early phrases of the alapana was one of the best I’ve heard in recent times. Very good neraval followed at ‘kadambavana nilaye’ and another great rounds of swaras to add.

He started the concert with the navaragamalika varnam. Some issue with his mike and there was 15 people talking to the mike-man with various ups and downs. Abhishek decided to sing with the cord-less mike used for announcements ( it was pretty good,though) and proceeded with mayamalavagaula with this mike as in a rock/films song show. While he was willing to continue with this arrangement, good sense prevailed and another mike was provided. He remarked, “let us do one more test” and sang yet another fast paced kriti with few rounds of swaras. By now, after all the adjustments things settled to some extend. Then came the hemavati.

There was no surprise to me on the percussion part. He was as usual loud and always involved. He did play some nice takes while following the kriti, but at times a bit sober hands would have made better impact. He had a field day during tani avartanam. It was fireworks by the duo, longish. There was always many supporters for this and he too received thunderous applause. Tani avartanam came too soon. The main, saveri was much leisurely done. Alapana was exquisite as mentioned. Vittal Ramamurthy ( the only chane he got to play an alapana) did a great job in his turn. Few takes during the neraval wasn’t very appealing with some awkward ‘word-split’ but the musical impact was very good.

I expected a pallavi since the concert had only one alapana and only one neraval. Disappointed at that. But his post main pieces were very very good. The ‘mishrapahadi’ piece ( correct me if it was not that) and the nice little alapana ( only by him) before mayamma were awesome. A devarnama, an utsava sampradaya kriti in sahana and super energetic purvi thillana were all very well received. The percussion riot continued even during mangalam.

I will wait for his next visit.

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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Revathi Sadashivam,KV Madhura,Soumya Ramachandran(Veena-Venu-Violin) @ Pranava Fine Arts , Oct 1, 2016

Veena : Revathi Sadashivam

Flute : K V Madhura

Violin : Soumya Ramachandran

Mrudangam : Ranjani Haridas

Morsing : Bhagyalakshmi Krishna


01. mAtE malayadhvaja – khamAs – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( O )

02. shrI mahAgaNapatim bhajEham – aThANa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( A-violin, S )

03.  sarasvati namOstutE – sarasvati – GNB ( A-all)

04. kanchadalAyadAkshi kAmAkSi – kamalAmanOhari – Dikshitar

05. kAmAkSi ambA (swarajati) – bhairavi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N)

neraval @ ‘shyAmakrSNa sOdari?’

06. mInAkSi mEmudam dEhi – gamakakriya/pUrvikalyANi – Dikshitar ( A,S,T )

07. RTP – brindAvanasAranga – khanDa tripuTax2 kaLai , starts at +1/2 beat

pallavi line “Ishvari, mahEshvari, jagadIshvari kAmitArtha phaladAyaki

rAgamAlika svaras in ranjani,vasanta, rEvati

08. jayati jayati bhArata mAtA – khamAs – Subramanya Bharati

09. thillAna – dhanAshrI – Swathi Thirunal

10. bhAgyada lakSmi bAramma – madhyamAvati – Purandara Dasa

“Janani” was the theme – ‘the mother’ for the first concert in the new venue of Pranava Fine Arts and Thyagarajan. I understand, this was the 30th concert they were organising since moved to Bangalore. I had the privilege of attending many of them, and been on the receiving end of their hospitality.

The theme was apt for the first day of the Navarathri Festive Season. Vidushi Revathi Sadashivam did explain the theme, which of course, was in the predictable lines. Various forms of ‘the mother’ and the selection of kritis in line with those varied forms.

Concert itself was very well done. The coordination and sharing of various alapana and swaras were well done. The selection of kritis were brilliant. Different instruments and the respective vidushis excelled at different places. Revathi Sadashivam was brilliant with her bhairavi alapana and the beginning of the brindavana saranga. Soumya played a classy alapana for brindavana saranga, Vid Madhura had her excellence through purvikalyani.

Khamas daru varnam started off the evening proceedings. Atana kriti was also very well done, including the swaras that followed. Sarasvati was good, so was the quick kamalamanohari kriti. The concert came alive with the bhairavi. Beautiful alapana from Vid Revathi. Shyama Shasthri’s swarajati was again done well. The trio played a good neraval. There was no swaras if I remember right. Purvikalyani alapana ws lead by the flutist. Dikshitar’s magnum opus had to be the one, going by the theme. Two speed kalpana swaras between three artist were again very good.

The pallavi which followed arguably the best of the evening. Very good alapana ( especially the initial phrases of veena and the complete violin part) and a good tanam by Veena were treat to watch and listen. Nice pallavi line, impeccably executed trikalam ( again the violin lead the way to me) and swaras. Each artists chose one raga during the ragamalaika swaras, which they played in two repeats in two speeds.

Percussion team gave ample support and played a decent tani avartanam. To me there was the right balance among five instruments today, considering this is a house concert. Post pallavi had a couple of songs and a thillana to conclude a three hour concert.


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Posted by on October 2, 2016 in Uncategorized


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R Suryaprakash @ S Nageswaran’s House, 25th Sept 2016

Vocal : R Suryaprakash

Violin : Vittalarangan

Mrudangam : T R Sundaresan


01. rUpamu jUci (pada varNam) – thODi – Dikshitar ( O )

02. vAgIshvari vANi sarasvati – sarasvati – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( O,N, S)

neraval & swara @ ‘ nIvE jIvashakti nIvE jnAnabhukti nIvE jagatsAkSi nIraja daLAkSi’

03. innALLu dayarAkunna – nArAyaNagauLa – Thyagaraja (A )

04. bhuvanEshvariyA – mOhanakalyANi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( O,S )

05. kA vA vA – varALi – Papanasam Sivan

06. shrI laLitE kAnci nagara nivAsini – bhairavi – Annasamy Shasthri (A,N,S,T )

neraval & Swara @ ‘nIlAbja dala lOcanE sadAshrita dAsa jana rakSanE’

07. RTP – hamsAnandi,hamsadhvani,hamsanAdam,hamsavinOdini – mishra chApu

pallavi line ‘ Anandini mAm pAhi, sakala dhvani svarUpiNi, sunAda niranjani, vINAvinOdini, sadAvAhini, hamsa-‘

rAgamAlika tAnam and swaras in hamsAnandi,hamsadhvani,hamsanAdam, hamsavinOdini

tani Avartanam

08. viruttam ( uLLam arindudan??) – behAg,AbhEri

kandan karuNai puriyum vaDivEl – AbhEri/bhImplAs – Guhan

09. kangaLidyAtakO kAvEri rangana – sindhubhairavi – Narahari Dasa

10 mangaLAm – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

vAzhiya sentamizh – madhyamAvati- Bharatiyar

Special occasion, special place and selected audience whose musical IQ is probably the best one can think of ( few exceptions like me) in Bangalore. The ambience is the most suited for an artist to exhibit his skill, knowledge and imagination. Sri Suryaprakash and the team did exactly that. Fabulous concert. Everything that one can ask for was packaged so brilliantly in three and half hours. The initial plan, I remember, was to have the conert from 5:00 to 7:30, but the whole atmosphere was so musically charged and the concert went on until almost 8:30. The accompaniment rose to the occasion adding to the awesomeness.

Vid Suryaprakash planned the concert to perfection. Every piece was carefully chosen, presented to perfection as it called for. Rarely heard rUpamu Juci presented as padavarnam to start was the indication of the rest of the evening.  Fabulous neraval for another rare gem in saraswati. I think the words align so perfectly well for classical neraval. Very good rounds of swaras to add to the effect.

First detailed alapana in nArAyaNagauLa was very impressive. Few shades of ‘kaddle vAdu’ to give the nArAyaNagauLa indication to me. Vittalarangan played in similar lines of the main artist. Suryaprakash chose to sing innALLu dayarAkunna, instead. Well done ! A short filler on mOhanakalyani came in. Not a great fan of this ( except for the Mysore Vasudevachar’s composition on Narasimha), but he sang some great swaras at the end. Almost similar was the next kA vA vA, with a few quick rounds of swaras.

Bhairavi main alapana was top class. Shear delight to listen to him as he sang some delectable phrases. Some good takes at the upper octaves, to some instant applause, some streaky slides, some long phrases in middle and higher octaves. Very well constructed and progressed. Vittalarangan played equally brilliant here, reproducing some of the nuances of the main artist in his reply. Again another surprise choice of kriti. Annasamy Shashtry’s kriti on goddess of Kanchi, seldom heard in concerts. Another fabulous neraval, even better than the sarasvati one. Much detailed, one of the high points of the evening. A two speed swaras with some intrinsic laya exercise at the low speed.  Sundaresan played a short tani avartanam.

A pallavi was brewing in the air. He chose to present a chatur-raga pallavi, one can call it as a ‘hamsa-mala’pallavi, in hamsAnandi, hamsadhvani, hamsAnadam, hamsavinOdini. Hamsanandi and hamsadhvani alapana were fairly detailed, and the other two to a lesser extend. Tanam was long in all 4 ragas, with some nice drift from one to the other.  Nicely constructed pallavi line, sang appropriately broken to indicate the raga name.  Hamsanandini mAm pAhi, hamsadhvani svarUpiNi, hamsanAda niranjani, hamsavinOdini sadAvAhini etc. He sang a very complicated trikalam for his switching speed and raga with such control and fluidity. There was no moments of ‘loss of control’ of ambiguity through out. Sundaresan, played with nimble fingers and stern face:) through out the evening played another tani avartanam post pallavi.

The concert concluded with a viruttam followed by a Guhan kriti, and a devarnama in sindhu bhairavi. Congratulations to the artist and the host for conducting a wonderful concert.


Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Uncategorized



Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath, MS Centenary Concert, Nadasurabhi 18th Sep 2015

Vocal : Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath

Violin : Nalina Mohan

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Ghatam : S N Narayana Murthy

List :

01. viribOni (varNam) – bhairavi – Pachimiriyam Adiappa

02.  tera tIyaga rAdA – gauLipant – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

03.  vaNDADum shOlaitanilE – harikAmbOji – Kalki Krishnamurthy ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ mAdavan matHurai maindan maRaigaL paravum mAyan avanO

04.  dEvi brOva samayamidE – chintAmaNi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,S )

05.  bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLavarALi – Swathi Thirunal

06.  RTP – bhairavi –  khaNDa tripuTa , 1/2 eDuppu

pallavi line ‘ lakSmIm shubhasangItapriyAm smarAmi, shubhapradAm, shubha-‘

rAgamAlika tAnam and swaras in Anandabhairavi,naTabhairavi & sALagabhairavi

07. bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamAlika – Swathi Thirunal

08.  jagadhOdhAraNa – kApi – Purandara Dasa

09. maithrIm bhajata – rAgamAlika – Chandrashekhara Saraswathi

On the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of the legend, Nadasurabhi appropriately named this months concert as a tribute to the everlasting voice and the universal face of carnatic music. Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath, whose childhood photo on the lap of the the musical icon is going round in the social media, lived up to the theme with a clever selection and specially constructed pallavi for the occasion.

The concert itself had its ups and downs. The good things first. She sang an outstanding harikamboji. Wonderful , very well conceived and presented alapana. A rare kriti, from the MSS staple , brilliant neraval at the last line of the charanam – the full line to my pleasure- and a befitting kalpana swaras. To me that harikamboji is the highlight of the concert, barring a short slip towards the end of the swaras.

Secondly, the gauipant too was of superbly done. A very short and crisp alapana. Fabulous rounds of swaras. One seldom see artist taking up gaulipant and try to do some justice to the raga. That rounds of swaras, were top class.

Her post main was again pretty good. Submitting to a listeners request to sing bhavayami ( I guess he was by then was submerged in the spirit of the theme) she did a commendable job. So was the request for maithreem bhajata.

She sang the bhairavi varnam at the beginning and as in the old times, decided to sing a specially composed pallavi in the same raga (it was a bhairavi-chintAmaNi-bhairavi affair, though). Pallavi line isn’t great, but she did try something for the occasion which is admirable. Long bhairavi alapana was decent, nothing spectacular to talk about. Tanam was better, but the attempt with bhairavi-mala tanam was not appealing at all, was it the speed that was spoiling the fun for me, not sure. She did trikalam, but again the execution wasn’t smooth and flawless. No impact with the kalpanaswaras too. I cant pin-point the trouble areas. It could be the issues with holding breath, as she had many breaks of sequences, or the tempo which was a notch high through out the concert, or the pitch itself. Pallavi was a bit of letdown.

Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma was very pleasing. Some of his left side play was awesome. He was rock solid, even when the other two artists were slipping at times. He and Narayana Murthy played a beautiful tani avartanam.

I would rather cherish those gaulipant and harikamboji moments from this concert. They were worth the time and effort.

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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


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TNS Krishna @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 10 Sep2016

Vocal : TNS Krishna

Violin : Nishant Chandran

Mrudangam : K P Parameswaran

List :

01 girirAja sutA tanaya – bangALA – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02 muNDu vENuka – darbAr – Thyagaraja ( O )

03 shiva shiva shiva enarAdA – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & Swara @ ‘Agamamula nutiyinci bahu bagulEni bhAsalu cAlinci’

04 shLOkam ( apadamapa hataram tadaram) – khamAs

sujana jIvana – khamAs – Thyagaraja

05 marukElarA – jayantashrI – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

06 sAvEri rAgAlApana

shLOkam ( ambA sAmbhavi chandramauli ) – sAvEri

kanna talli nIvu – sAvEri – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘anudinamonarincu satkriyAla nIkani palkina tyAgarAja rakSaki’

ragamalika swaras in nAta, Arabhi,varALi,bahudhAri,hamsadhwani,rEvti,bilahari, kuntaLavarALi, kadanakutUhalam, dEsh, bEgaDa, ____, nIlAmbari,______, malayamArutam, ranjani,_____, pUrvikalyANi, shrI, sAvEri

07 durmArgacharA – ranjani – Thyagaraja ( O )

08 ennagA manasuku rAni – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

09 viruttam (nanmayum selvamum) – hamsAnandi

shObhanE (started at anupallavi) – hamsAnandi – Thyagaraja

10 nagumOmu galavAni – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

11 pAhi kalyAna rAma – kApi – Thyagaraja

12 mangaLam ( nI nAma rUpamulaku) – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

What a fabulous concert. Stupendous performance by the young vidwan last evening at the Ranjani Fine Arts. Well,he did have few low points but I am willing to overlook all that for the way he sang the saveri, pantuvarali and jayanthashree. They were top class and will make his guru proud.

To me the real explosion, if I may  use that word, started with the pantuvarali alapana. So much packed in that one. Some brilliant sojourn at the higher octave, the build up with which he progressed to the tarasthayi passages ( very typical of TNS himself), makes one to applause with out selfawareness. Many ‘aha’ moments. Brilliant wound up and conclusion. Breath taking neraval. K P Parameswaran made his presence felt with that one act of excellence at the beginning of the neraval. Equally strong kalpana swaras.

Jayanthashree alapana was a surprise. Not heard many attempting, the closeness to hindolam is evident. Interestingly Nishant Chandran did not play a return alapana here. Marukelara was not uncommon. And many sing swaras too.

Saveri alapana again was classy. Again I am impressed with the way he plan and execute the alapana. Nice mix of early short phrase, steady increase to some beautifully conceived long akara phrases, some impressive higher octave sancharas, some of the typical TNS style ‘up-down’ movements ( with a similar hand gesture) etc were pleasure to watch and listen. There was a couple of very innovative phrases too. Nishant Chandran played a commendable alapana in his turn. He was largely subdued and mantled the role of a supporting artist through out. As K P Parameswaran set to tune the mrudangam, Krishna started of with a nice shlokam from ‘Rajarajeshwari Ashtakam’.  I personally like when a kriti is preceded with a shlokam, after the alapana. Now the indication are clear that the kriti is going to be one on ‘Devi’. Tulasi Jagajjanani or dEvi pAvanE were my choices. He again surprised us with singing another very rarely heard kriti of Thyagaraja’s Tiruvotriyur Pancaratna. I heard this only from his father in one of the AIR program. Neraval was again very very good , with a long neraval line to my liking. Very trademark TNS school swara prasthana befitting the main. Some  of the intricate swara patterns were probably a bit complicated but the percussion support was awesome here, while violin might have found it too hard to mettle.  He did not stop there. Added a garland of fast swaras in a bunch of varying ragas, some of them went in a flash even before my poor brain to decipher.

K P Parameswaran, one of the prime disciples of T K Murthy is not featured in Bangalore much. I am seeing him for the first time and what an impression he made last evening. His tani avartanam too was notable for the way it was presented. Very measured and structured, not trying to make the repeated sarvalaghu patterns to fill, not stretching beyond what is needed,  yet making an impact. Good job overall.

Concert started with the bangala kriti and a darbar kriti following immediately. Darbar definitely wasn’t good to me. I thought it was too fast and a bit uneven in the kalapramanam. The overall concert in general as a notch faster than usual. But despite all that, he did a tremendous job. The way he mixed kritis, alapana, shlokams and viuttams, his command over laya evident in the neraval and kalpana swaras were impressive. If one closes the eyes and listens to him, one want blame for seeing the images of the senior in front of you.

An all Thyagaraja affair. Apparently, this being the 250th birth year of the Composer, organisers decided to pay homage to the Vaggeyakara. The above list is a result of the same. The post main too , barring a Tamil viruttam, adhered to the theme, with some nice picks.

I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and will make a point to attend his future concerts in Bangalore.

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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Uncategorized


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