Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Ganjam Flights of Fantacy , Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 23-Nov-2014

24 Nov

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : Guruprasanna


01 vandana monarinciti (varNam) – vacaspati – Tiger Varadachary

02  mA kELarA vicAramu – ravichandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )

03  tyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam – Ananda bhairavi – Muthuswamy Dikshitar ( S )

04  narasimhuDu – kamalA manOhari – Mysore Sadashiva Rao ( A )

05  Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE – kalyANi – Gopalakrishna Bharati ( A,N,S )

neraval @ kAlai tUkki – Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE , ponnambalam tannilE    ( change to tOm tOm enru-ananda kUthADinAr… a few times )

06  vandanamu raghu nandanA – sahAna – tyAgarAja  (started at shrIdAma nAtO)

07 RTP – kalyANavasantam – chaturasra triputa x 2 kaLai , starting at  +1

pallavi line :  nIvErA kuladhanamu, nIvErA jIvanamu rAmA

rAgamAlika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa and darbAri kAnaDa

07b  tani Avartanam

08  dAsara nindisa bEDa – bhAgEshrI – Purandara Dasa

09  rInAmadanuta paripAlaya mAmayi – bihAg – Swathi Thirunal

10  uyyAla lUgavayyA – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

11  rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan ( O )

12  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

The first thing that was noticed and was appealing to the eyes were the stage decor and the ambient at the hall. Very tastefully decorated back stage, with a tinge of maroon, appropriate light on the stage, the hall lights dimmed to give the serious feeling about the event to start. Four, sparkling white clad artist on stage in contrast to the back drop. Great atmosphere to listen to an awesome concert that followed.

Sanjay started with another new varnam, this time the vacaspati varnam of Tiger Varadachary. His voice was patchy and wasn’t coming out well, giving a shiver through the spine for having traveled all the way across the city to listen to him. Even on a bad throat day, he usually delivers something that can be cherished, hence I wasn’t overtly worried. Luckily, the voice trouble did not last long. In the second kriti, it suddenly opened up and cleared, and it was more or less stable through out the evening. Ravichandrika swaras were very good. It also brought the percussion team into action, as one saw the excited ‘wiper’ movements of the head of Neyveli Venkatesh at its best.

Thyagaraja yoga vaibhavam to me was the start of the great things that followed. Beautifully sang the kriti and added some mesmerising kalpana swaras. Very interestingly sang the swaras at ‘tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam’ to start with and subsequently moving to ‘agaraja yoga vaibhavam’, raja yoga vaibhavam ..till bhavam and vam ( for these two he continued tyagaraja). Haven’t heard that from anyone before and I thought that was very nice. Kamala manohari ragam was the first of the alapana to come. Both Sanjay and Varadarajan sang a good alapana. Venky texted me ‘narasimhuDu’ a new favorite of Sanjay and so it was. Mysore Sadashiva Rao’s composition in ‘break-neck’ speed , probably do not have the appeal of the Dikshitar’s composition. I was expecting a quickfire swara rounds, but he decided otherwise.

Kalyani alapana was fabulous. Despite my cold shoulder towards this raga, I liked the alapana immensely. Very detailed, long alapana in typical style with many gestures and movements of Sanjay ( at one point he had a posture of ‘bow and arrow’ directing at violinist) was reciprocated by equally brilliant return from Varadarajan, after a short interlude. There seems to be some trouble with the shruti of the tanpura which Varadarajan seems to be not happy about. Sanjay did the damage control by re-tuning the tanpura before Varadarajan continued with his alapana.

Talking heads…talking heads all around at this time. Few stern look did not stop them from continuing. I had to resort to the techniques of the French Open Referees with a ‘S’il vous plaît ‘ to silence the talking heads. I also saw a large chain of people walking out during the violin alapana, probably seeking the relief of abdominal pressure, contrary to my suspicion of them being the fellow members of ‘Kalyani haters club’.

Back to the concert. Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Ananda koothadinar ambalam tannile’ was outstanding. Kriti, more popular in the dance circuit as I was told, was very very good. He sang a splendid neraval taking from the last line of first charanam and mixing it with the pallavi line. It had tremendous impact and definitely was the high point of the concert to me. He made a couple of deviations to thOm thOm enru – ananda koothadinar, instead of kalai thooki ananda koothadinar , which again was a great idea. The kalpana swaram matching to the kriti and neraval in two speeds was as impressive. Surprisingly, there was no tani avartanam taken at this point but he started with ‘shrIdAma nAtO’ from the kriti vandanamu raghu nandana in sahana. He kept singing sEtu ‘bhandana’ instead of sEtu bandhana through out.

By now the expectation for a grand pallavi was on, as he skipped tani avartanam of the percussionist after kalyani. Kalyanavasantam alapana was very good by both the artists. Tanam was even better, and elaborate. Usually his tanams are very enjoyable, so was today. Pallavi line was improvised on the begada kriti, set to adi talam. There was no trikalam for neither pallavi nor swaras. He sang ragamalika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa in quick succession and then launched into a phenomenal five minute bliss of darbari kAnada swaras. What all did he try in that.. including an attempt to sing a hindustani-ish take. The applause at the end of it as ever lasting. A waiting Varadarajan ( to end the applause) was prompted by Sanjay to start his play. Varadarajan as he did through out the day made another brilliant reply including the hindustani style phrases. However, towards the end  the percussion was so loud with excited bashing, we could hardly hear him playing. The percussion team played a commendable tani avartanam. Guruprasanna, especially, was very very good.

As it was already late, he sang few kritis post main. The bihag kriti of Swathi Thirunal was very nice. There was no viruttam, which probably cold have been included in place of a piece. But who is complaining after the feast that was served. Indeed a grand finish to the 3 day long Ganjam Festival.


Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Ganjam Flights of Fantacy , Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 23-Nov-2014

  1. S.Raman

    November 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    It was for Kalyani neraval. Regret for confusion. I wish Sanjay started RTP alapana at the familiar phrase at which the composition ‘naada loludai’ begins instead of at panchama in avaroha krama.
    This would have made the raga more patent and clear. RAMAN

  2. Jayan

    November 25, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks Raman, was it for RTP pallavi line or the kalyani neraval ?

  3. S.Raman

    November 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Thanks. An interesting, informative & informal commentary. I thought at one point in RTP pallavi line neraval he sang ‘ arul tanthom endru ‘. raman.


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