O S Thyagarajan @ BTM Cultural Academy 25,May 2013

26 May

Vocal : O S Thyagarajan

Violin : S R Mahadeva Sharma

Mrudangam : M T Rajakesari

Ganjira : B N Chandramouli

List :

01.  erA nApai (varNam) – thODi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( O,S )

02.  evarani – dEvAmrutakarshiNi – Thyagaraja

03.  dEva dEva kalayAmi tE – mAyAmALavagauLA – Swati Thirunal ( N,S )

neraval&swara @ ‘ jAtarUpa nibhacEla janmArcitam mamAkhila

04.  evarUrA ninnu vinA – mOhanam – Thyagaraja  ( A,S )

05.  aTu kArAdani – manO ranjani – Thyagaraja

06.  paridAnamichitE – bilahari – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( S )

07.  ekAmrESa nAyaki – chAmaram (shaNmukhapriya) – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ kAnchi nagara nivAsinim kaivalya pradAyinim naLinim’

08.  sadA enna hrdayadalli – behAg – Vijaya Vittaladasa

09.  mangaLam – saurAshtram/madhyamAvathi – Thyagaraja

Listening to OST is driving through a road after the rush hour. There are no noisy , screechy maneuvers, no sudden speed bumps, no honking from the sides and you enjoy the ride. There are no exhilaration or rush of adrenalin. The so called ‘Bangalore season’ is now over and the concert scene is silent past two weeks. It was thus the right unwinding after the month long ramanavami season.

But, it wasn’t one such. While the characteristics of his concert was intact, in general it sounded like a hurried affair. Speed was the essence,  most of the kritis were fast paced, madhyamakala rendering. Both Mohanam and shanmukhapriya alapana had aggression and force as virtue rather than the normal slow, melodious meticulous build up. They were good, no doubt, and had some nice posture which aren’t usually seen ( especially the mohanam alapana), but was done in fast paced phrases.

Concert started fabulously with the thOdi varnam. The short sketch set things up beautifully and the swara , albeit very short, was indeed very good. Devamrutavarshini was quick as it is known to be, followed by Swathi kriti in Mayamalavagaula. The neraval was classy affair and so was the fast swaras culminating with some brilliant rounds of swara singing. Mahadeva Sharma was equally brilliant.

Mohanam was the first detailed alapana. As mentioned earlier, it was a done through fast short phrases, with some nice takes. A different mohanam was unveiling due to this. It was interesting. It had to be a fast tempo kriti and evarura was apt. There was no neraval but had some nice rounds of swaram added.

Two quick fillers before the main, mano ranjani and bilahari. There weren’t slow pieces either. Shanmukhapriya alapana was grand. Again, short fast paced phrases, a bit of to and fro with akara singing, but overall it was impressive. Ekamresa Nayaki was very good. As a welcome change, it was in the slow , befitting the 2 kalai adi. Neraval was fabulous, so was the detailed kalpana swara. Mahadeva Sharma was very good in general. His alapana and the neraval and swara accompaniment was very good. On the other side, percussion was a let down. Two senior vidwans on stage, but there was some alignment missing with the rest. There was an issue of overall balanceof the amplification, which would have caused this discomfort. He was playing his part, but it wasnt going in line with the vocalist. Tani Avartanam was decent.

Post main was very short and non-impressive. As the speeches were over, the secretary mentioned that the concert will continue. OST was quick to correct saying “not continue, but to conclude as he has to catch a train”. He sang a quick devarnama in behag and closed with the mangalam. A decent concert, but wasn’t a typical OST affair, which one hoped for.


Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Concert songlist


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3 responses to “O S Thyagarajan @ BTM Cultural Academy 25,May 2013

  1. Ramesh

    May 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Had a similar feel to Ram’s and your review, thought I liked it more than you probably did. The mike system and acoustics were bad and the mridangam was a big let down. Had absolutely the same feel as Ram – the nadham was completely missing from the mridangam and even the Khanjira, I thought, was too much bass. Loved OST’s voice and the simple format concert he does. Liked Mohanam the best.

  2. Jayan

    May 26, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks Ram.. It was probably the alignment.. About the delay between the alap and kriti, there was some delay after the shanmukhapriya alapana before the kriti. Some tea was being served. Otherwise, it was all in one go..

  3. Ramkumar

    May 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    The main difference in the concerts of OST and others is that, there wont be any delay between the items unlike other vidwans (Especially in TMK’S concerts) where there would be long gaps between the numbers. I noticed that after the Raaga alapanai, most of the vidwans indulge in too much of thinking and discussion with accompanists which creates a long break and a kind of vaccum, where an average listener like me infact loses the feel of the Raagam and aura created by the alapanai. At least after the alapanai the kriti should be started immediately so that the feel is not lost.

    In that aspect OST is fast between his numbers and adheres strictly to his time. Over all the concert was good but not so good as one expected. The main reason was the Mridagm which was a complete let down. The concert would have been elevated to a different level had the Rajakesari’s Mridagam aligned with the vocalist . Chandramoulis Kanjira was the only relief which had a perfectly alignment with the vocalist.

    Not to blame the Mridangist , the poor acoustics was the culprit . The Total “Naadam” of the instrument was missing and the sound was just like as it was from a carton box.

    Mahadeva Sharma was excellent in violin and played to his reputation. This trusted accompanist of K.J.Yesudas is seldom seen in Bangalore.


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