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Sanjay Subrahmanyan @Gayana Samaja, Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira Concert, 23rd Feb 2020

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ghatam : N Guruprasad

Morsing : B Rajashekhar

List :

01 kAmajanaka ripuguNA – gauLA – Adi – Swathi Thirunal

02 rAmA ika nannu brOva rAdA – sahAna – rUpakam – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( S )

03 EkAmranAtHam bhajEham – gamakakriya / pUrvikalyANi – Adi x 2 – Dikshitar ( A )

04 kOri sEvimparArE – kharaharapriya – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & Swaras @ ‘( paramAtmuni haruni) kOri sEvimparArE kOrka lIDEra’

05 ambara cidambara – janaranjani – Adi – Muthu Tandavar

06 kaLabEDa kolabEDa – gOpikAtilakam – khaNDachAp – Basavanna ( A )

07 RTP – nATakurinji – caturashra tripuTa , 2 kaLai , 2 aksharam eDuppu

pallavi line ‘ nATTaikurinji enbAr siraindu engaLadu’

rAgamalika swaras in nATa, kurinji, sAma , navarasa kannaDa and jOg

tani Avartanam

08 nArAyaNa tE namO namO – bihAg – Adi – Annamacharya

09 viruttam ( tIrthakaraiyinilE ) – rAgEshrI

ninnayE rati enru – rAgEshrI – mishra chAp – Subramanya Bharathi

10 kaLilO hari smaraNa – kApi – Adi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar

11 nI nAma rUpamulaku – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

The concluding concert of the long Annual Festival of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira, scheduled after almost a month after the series. And what a way to finish.  Sanjay ( and the team) once again gave a fitting finale to the festival, to an overflowing audience.  This being the weekend of Shivarathri, there were many compositions on Shiva in the menu.

Beautiful start with the gauLa composition of Swathi Thirunal, nice rounds of swaras for sahana. Hearing the poorvikalyani/gamakakriya composition for the first time from Sanjay – alapana was very good.  Kharaharapriya alapana was in a different terrain. Some of the not so usual phrases, and he also ended with some stylish hop-skip-jump mode. Kori sevimparare ws classy. Neraval at the pallavi line,  a couple of times he ‘prefixed’ the last lines of the charanam. Liked it. Good swaras too. Ambara chidambara, I think, was set to tune by Sanjay himself in janaranjani.

When he started gOpikatilakam, the hopes went high. I thought he is taking this up as main and predicted Shudhananda Bharathi’s  ‘Ananda naTanam’ or so to follow. The alapana was for 7-8 minutes and he chose to sing the Basavanna Vachana, instead. Beautiful lyrics, dense in meaning.. one needs to give credit to the artist to bring such gems to the forefront.

When he started the Natakurinji alapana, I was dividing the remainder of the time to fit in a main and a pallavi.  Long alapana and as is his wont, a fabulous tanam. Parring the main artist, Varadarajan played exceptionally well through out the evening. Stanard setting for a pallavi, but he did try  trikalam or something of that sort. Again, as expected some memorable ragamalika. The 4-5 minutes of jOg, indeed stole the show. I guess, it is jog from the short ‘pramadavanam’ like phrase played by Varadarajan.

Tani Avartanam started with Venkatesh playing out the entire ‘phase one’ on the thoppi side. Guruprasad, who was the star of the evening, couldn’t fall behind, unbuttoned himself and played out his turn with ‘closing the aperture’ of the mouth of the Ghatam with his body, to an outstanding result. Now, Rajashekhar had to measure up and he did the same by blowing / without using his fingers for the same take. In fact, he was deploying the same technique for larger part of the evening, blow into the instrument rather than plucking. Noisy conclusion to the tani avartanam, overall excitement and decibel increase as well as the swaying of heads prevailed. But there was thunderous applause and a few cat-calls. All is well which appeals to the audience.

Quick formalities by the organiser ( used up 2-3 mins maximum) before Sanjay concluded with 2-3 short pieces. It had already over 3:15 hrs since the start.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2020 in Concert songlist

 

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D S Srivathsa @ Gayana Samaja, 16 Feb 2020

Vocal : Vid D S Srivathsa

Violin :  S Yashasvi

Mrudangam : S V Balakrishna

Morsing : D V Prasanna Kumar

List:

01 shLOkam ( mauna vyAkhyA prakaTita parabrahma) – rEvati

02 ErA nApai ( varNam) –  thODi – Adi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( O )

03 shrI mahAgaNapati ravatu mAm – gauLA – mishra chAp – Dikshitar ( A,S )

04 varadarAja ninnukOri – svarabhUSaNi – rUpakam – Thyagaraja

05 kAmAkSi ambA ( swarajati) – bhairavi – mishra chAP – Shyama Shasthri ( O )

06 en nenjil paLLikoNDavan shriranga nAyakan – kalyANi – Adi tisragati – Salem Eashwar (  O )

07 shrI rAjagOpAla bAla – sAvEri – Adi x 2 – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & Swara @ ‘nIrasampUrNa haridrAnadItIra mahOTsava vaibhava mAdhava’

08 cAla kallalADu konna – Arabhi – Adi – Thyagaraja

09 pAlisamma muddu shAradE – madhuvanti – Adi – Purandara Dasa ( O )

10 sAramaina mATalentO – bihAg – rUpakam – Swathi Thirunal

11 muddu tArO rangA – pUrvikalyANi – Adi – Purandara Dasa

12 pAlincu kAmAkSi pAvani – madhyamAvati – Adi x 2 – Shyama Shasthri ( A )

13 thillAna ( tana dhImta dhImta dhiraNA ) – mAND – Adi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

14 indina dinavE shubha dinamu – madhyamAvati – Adi – Purandara Dasa

What a voice. The first sound from him, the majestic ‘Dakshinamoorhty Stotram’ hit me with such a force, getting everyone’s attention immediately. Vey powerful, ease at every register, clarity and precision and rare open throat singing. That would hook you to his music. His presentation were in similar lines. Chaste , ‘traditional’ singing, sans any unwanted ornamentation to it. The kriti singing were also with clear diction, perfect ‘padachheda’ and right emphasis on words. His experience with the dance, probably would have helped here.

Crisp thodi varnam, in his majestic style started off the evening. An immediate alapana, fairly detailed one for Gaula followed. One of my wishlist to the artists for a long while had been a detailed Gaula alapana, and it comes from a very unexpected place. Alapana had a nice return to the signature gaula phrase after each avartana, which was interesting. Vid YAshasvi in his turn deployed the same style.There was no surprise on the kriti. He also sang some good rounds of swaras.

Rare svarabhooshani composition of Thyagaraja was a surprise before the bhairavi swarajati. It is always a pleasure to listen to the bhairavi swarajathi from singers with such baritone voice. The kalyani kriti, listening to it for the first time in a concert,  sounded more like a ‘light music’ one.

Another compelling alapana for saveri, refreshing, some often heard phrases and a few innovative takes. Solid, high pitched fast movements were impressive. Rajagopala , after a long time for me. Super neraval at neerasampoorna and brilliant swaras in the usual two speed. Vid. Yashasvi was very impressive through out the evening. His return alapanas the following of composition, the immaculate reproduction during neraval and swaras were great to watch.  Percussion team had a mixed day, to me. He was good at certain times but was left wanting at many a times. The duo played an ‘extended’ tani avartanam, after the main.

There was time for a pallavi even after the percussion duo dragged their affair a bit. However he sang a few kritis ( 4 of them) before having a thought on the time at hand. That triggered a FABULOUS alapana of madhyamavati. It probably cast shadow over every thing else of the evening. Such delightful alapana. I was expecting a short pallavi, but he chose to sing palinchu kamakshi instead.  Concert concluded with a thillana.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2020 in Concert songlist

 

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Archana & Samanvi @ Nadasurabhi Youth Festival, 15 Feb 2020

Vocal : Archana & Samanvi

Violin : Anirudh Bharadwaj

Mrudangam : Trichy G Aravind

Ghatam : Sharath Kaushik

List :

01 viribOni ( varNam ) – bhairavi – aTa – Pachimiriam Adiyappa

02 kancadalAyadAkSi – kamalAmanOhari – Adi – Diksitar ( A,S )

03 nanda sukumAra krSNa – darbAr – Oothukkad Venkata Kavi

04 apamAnavAdadE oLLidu ?? – pUrvikalyANi – Adi – Purandara Dasa ( A,S )  – set to tune by Prof. Aravida Hebbar

05 smarAmi sadA kSitijA ramaNam – gambhIravANi – Adi – Chitraveena Ravikiran

06 nanu pAlimpa – mOhanam – Adi x 2  – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘karamuna shara kOdaNDa kaNTitO’

07 eShTO kAla hambalisiyu?? ( kavana) – khamAs – rUpakam – Subraya chikkadi  ( set to tune by Prof. Aravinda Hebbar )

08 kAnaDa rAja puNDarIcha ( abhang ?) – hindOLam – Adi – ??

09 thillAna ( tana dhImta dhImta dhiraNA) – mAND – Adi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

10 ugAbhOga ( naguvu sahajada dharma ) – bihAg & kAnaDa

ellarigu eega nama ? – bihAg – Adi – from mankuthimmana kagga ??

11 nI nAma rUpamulaku – saurAStram / madhyamAvati – Adi – Thyagaraja

The young girls definitely made an impact yesterday. The  competence, maturity and confidence were beyond their age. The duo presented a brilliant concert yesterday to start the 2 day Annual Youth Festival of Nadasurabhi.

I understand that they hail from South Canara and was under the tutelage of Prof. Aravind Hebbar and now taking advance training under Chitraveena Ravikiran. Their music indeed shows that they had been in good hands. It was evident from the way they sang the varnam. Even the stage composure, the sharing of parts, the smooth takeovers, the sense of proportion shown , selection and detailing of kritis were all noteworthy. I’m sure we will see them more often in the years to come.

Poorvikalyani was the first test of their mettle for me. They sang a measured alapana, the elder one ( they are not sisters by birth) sang the early stages and most of the lower and mid registers and the younger one did a splendid second part.  Anirudh had some good phrases in his return, but thought he should play it a little slower. Purandaradasa devarnama, set to tune by their Guru was very good. Good rounds of swaras too.  Ravikiran’s influence was shown through the Oothukadu composition and one of his own creation in Gambheeravani. Apart from the Thyagaraja kriti ‘sadA matin’ and a thillana of T K Govinda Rao, I’ve not heard any other composition in this ragam.

Mohanam alapana was again very well done. As in the previous case, the early part was done by the elder one and the later half by the younger ( and some bit of back and forth towards the conclusion). Anirudh did a good return , especially with some fast paced plays, in his turn. Skillful neraval and very good kalpana swaras in two speeds as expected. Trichy Aravind and Sharath ,after a slow start to adapt to the scene, had covered a great bit. They percussion duo also played a nice little tani avartanam.

post main had a poem of Subraya Chikkadi tuned in a style of a javaLi by their Guru. A marathi song, played in line with the Ranjani&Gayathri style. They concluded the concert with what I guess is a kagga from the ‘mankuthimmana kagga’ of DVG.

The young ladies sang a brilliant concert, and all the wishes to them for a great musical career.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2020 in Concert songlist

 

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Sriranjani Santhanagopalan 2 SAMYOGA, Ranjani Fine Arts Annual Festival, 09 Feb 2020

Vocal : Sriranjani Santhanagopalan

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Sai Giridhar

Ghatam : S Karthik

List

01 tAmasincu (varNam) – asAvEri – Adi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( O )

note : She announced it as a composition of Kothavasal Venkataramana Iyer. I’m not sure, which is right.

02 rAmA nI pai – kEdAram – Adi – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

03 ugabhOga  ( nitya upavasittu hasidu) – shuddha dhanyAsi

nArAyaNa ninnA nAmada – shuddha dhanyAsi – khaNDachAp –  Purandara Dasa

04 bhajanasEya rAdA – dharmavati – rUpakam – Mysore Vasuevachar ( A,N,S )

neraval & swaras @ ‘niravadhi sukhadAyakuni paramAtmuni bhaktapAluni’

05 Edayya gati – chalanATa – Adi – Koteeswara Iyer

06 kArtikEya gAngEya – thODi – Adi x 2 – Papanasam Sivan ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swaras @ ‘viravu kOl mayUrApuri vaDi vEl maruvum amalakara kamala’

07 viruttam ( namyaum selvamum ) – mAND

rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Adi – PApanasam Sivan

08 thillAna ( ni ri ni ri ga ma ga ri sa ) – pUrvi – rUpakam – Thirugokarnam Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar

09 sUryamUrtE namOstutE – saurAStram- chaturashra dhruva – Dikshitar

10 nI nAma rUpamulaku – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( ArOgya pradava?) – saurAStram

She has progressed leaps and bounds since the last time I’ve heard her live. The confidence , poise and control was evidently improved.  The team presented a very good concert yesterday at Ranjani Fine Arts.

The significant improvement was observed in her swara singing. It was moulded in the familiar TNS/NSG style, phrases landing and culminating at a point, the intricate variations of laya oriented exercises, measured karvai and the conclusions ; each had the marks of the school, which I always liked.

Very good dharmavati alapana. Charulatha’s return was even better ( as I told her later, that was the best moment for me in the concert ). Very impressive singing of kriti and neraval. Build beautifully and concluded with some class. So was the swaras.  The conclusion was equally brilliant. I wanted her to give the chance for Charulatha to do her turn ( since she was brilliant through out the dharmavati), but it wasn’t to be. I could see Karthik indicating the same to the main artist, so I wasn’t the only one, who thought so.

Impressed with her chalanata, which came before the main. Thodi alapana was good, karthikeya gangeya was also very good. It had been a while since I listened this in a concert.  Interesting line for neraval. A mix of two lines from charanam, not sure if this make any better literary or musical sense ( or completion). However, it was done competently well. Another well executed kalpana swaras for main.

The percussion team had a field day. At times, one felt if they are somewhat overdoing things. But Sai Giridhar and Karthik did enhance the concert experience with their active play. The tani avartanam also was good. She had to conclude the post main pieces fast as there was a follow on dance performance, which she did well within the time and scope.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2020 in Concert songlist

 

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Kumaresh & Jayanthi Kumaresh @ SAMYOGA, Ranjani Fine Arts Annual Festival, 08 Feb 2020

Veena : Jayanthi Kumaresh

Violin : Vid. Kumaresh

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Tabla & Morsing : Pramad Kiran

List :

01 Own Composition  – chakravAkam – Adi ( O,S )

02 paripAlayamAm – rItigauLa – rUpakam – Thyagaraja ( S )

03 mA jAnaki – kAmbOji – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A, S )

04 sari evvaramma – bhairavi – khaNDa tripuTa – Shyama Shastry ( A )

05 rAgam & tAnam – pantuvarALi

tani Avartanam – Adi

own composition – pantuvarALi – mishra chAp ( S )

…… the End …….

‘We are extending our conversations at home’ , musical conversations he hastened to add, ‘to the listeners’, said Kumaresh after the first piece of the evening. It indeed sounded so, with the deliberations over the compositions , especially those which are composed by them for ‘strings attached’, – as they are promoting it now.  Those conversations, if one might call it so, were enthralling to the audience, going by the reception they received at the end. There were deliberations, those fast paced to and fro ( or the question and answers ) between the two, those sweet passing of the mantle from one artist to the other, those little add-ons to the part being played by the other, those ‘if you do that, I can also do this’ type of showmanship , those collective crescendo and exhilaration that seems to have taken over the music of late.  There was exhibition of skills, knowledge and capabilities of both the artists as well as instruments they handle at galore, which connected with the audience immensely,  or that is what was evident going by the standing ovation and the applause and appreciation they received.

Beyond these, exuberance and high octane playing, there were indeed many moments of brilliance, to please my musical aesthetics. Leaving aside the first piece, the reetigaula was very traditional and played with such a pleasing ‘bhava’. Kamboji alapana had some mesmerizing phrases, especially on the veena. Tanam for pantuarali was again exquisite. As is expected, the Veena had some delectable playing of tanam. So, the traditional compositions were played withing the usual norms, and the improvised compositions of their pursuit had the highs and lows that titillate the listeners. Personally,  my tastes are with the former.

Interestingly, immediately after the tAnam, the percussion duo took up their solo. Jayanthi had announced the composition to be in mishra chAp, however the tani avartanam was in Adi. Jayachandra Rao and Pramad Kiran was really superb in their turns.  During his turn, Jayachandra Rao even played the arohana-avarohana scale on the ‘thoppi’ perfectly in unison with Veena. Pramad kiran started with Table, switched to Morsing, combined both, settled back to Tabla and played some impromptu duet with mrudangam by alternating sides – both a vusual and musical treat. Pramd’s Table accompaniment was top class through out.

The concert closed with the main piece, with no winding down at the end. MAy be they could have given 5 mins or so for a proper close down. One must also extend the credit to the organiser who spoke eloquently, adding wits and humour in right measure, summing up the ‘strings’ &  ‘ beats’ attached duos performance. Seldom we hear such a commendable effort from the organisers.

* ————–

In the follow on concert, Vidhushi Sangeetha Katti sang a brilliant Bhoop for an hour and a melodious ‘nAyaki kAnaDa’ for nearly 30 mins.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2020 in Concert songlist

 

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