Vocal : Bangalore S Shankar
Violin : S Varadarajan
Mrudangam : K V Prasad
01. shLOkam ( Om nama: praNavArthAya )
vanajAkSi ninnE kOri (varNam) – kalyANi – Palavi Gopala Iyer
02. gajavadana karuNAsadana – shrI ranjani – Papanasam Sivan ( A – short)
03. ennagANu rAma bhajana – pantuvarALi – Bhadrachala Ramadas ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘rAmachiluka nokaDa penci prEma mATalADanEpA’
04. brOchEvAravarurA – khamAs – Mysore Vasudevachar ( A )
05. kAmAkSi ambA (swarajati) – bhairavi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘shyAmakrSNa sahOdari shivashankari paramEshwari (ambA )’
06. nArAyaNA ninna – shuddha dhanyAsi – Purandara Dasa
07. O rangashAyi – kAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @ ‘bhUlOka vaikuNTham itiyani ‘
08. rangapura vihArA – brindAvana sArang – Dikshitar
09. bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamalika – Swathi Thirunal
10. shLOkam on MSS ( shAradAnugraha lasita) – kIravANi, Anandabhairavi, bEgaDa, yamunAkalyANi? – T N Padmanabha
maithrIm bhajata – yamunAkalyANi+kApi ? – Chandrashekhara Saraswathi
This is the ‘unofficial’ annual concert of the Essae Music Foundation. Every year in the Month of November, a concert of Vid Shankar used to feature with Mysore Nagaraj and N Vasudev as accompaniment. Each year, I used to attend this and each one of them were real gems. This time, the concert was announced as a tribute to M S Subbulakshmi on her birth centenary year. The program was called “Magical Moments – Evergreen Renditions of M S Subbulakshmi”. Hence what is in store was very clear. The only difference this time was the change in accompaniment. Sri K V Prasad, who had accompanied MSS for over 20 yrs, was an apt choice for such a program.
Despite this being a concert consists of kritis popularised by MSS, Sri Shankar was very judicious in his picks. While the list was 100% in adherance with the theme, he carefully picked and varied the ‘tALa’ as well as the composers. He also did another important thing by singing each of these compositions in his own style, not necessarily reminding us of the MSS rendition by mimicking the style.
He also spoke at the beginning and through the concert while introducing each composition. He started the evening telling us about his early association with the music of MSS. He recollected the 1966 UN concert of MSS, which was being shown n various part of India. His first encounter was through these as a 16 year old boy. He also explained the connection of MSS family with Bangalore, through various cousins and relatives of Sri Sadashivam in Bangalore.
Concert by itself was of very high standard as one would expect from Shankar. Many alapna, albeit short ones for shriranjani and khamas, three neravals which I always cherish and some impressive swara prashtana. Pantuvarali was the first with a detailed alapana. Bhadrachala Ramadasa kriti was excellent. So was the neraval. I like this line for neraval instead of the ‘rAma rAma rAmayanucu’. His khamas alapana was cut short as he decided to give few snippets about the vaggeyakara ( a book of Vasudevacharya’s composition with notation in English is being written /prepared by Shankar is set to release on next sunday ). Varadarajan compensated for that miss with a mesmerising short khamas alapana. Bhairavi alapana and the swarajati was very good.
I was betting between O rangashai and Shankaracharyam to be the main, more shifted to Shankarabharanam after he sang the khamas kriti. But he started kAmbOji alapana to settle the matter. I am still recovering from a brilliant kamboji of TVS a day before, and not planning a comparison here. Shankar sang a majestic alapana and Varadarajan did another wonderful return. O rangashai came in its grandeur with a brilliant neraval and fitting swara prasthana. K V Prasad gave an amazing tani avartanam at the end. He was just brilliant yesterday.
Missing Dikshitar composition till now was filled in with a sedate rangapuravihAra and as expected bhAvayami raghuramam from Swathi Thirunal’s bucket. I found he sang this a bit faster than usual ( or I am hard coded with MDRs version in my head). He concluded the concert with a mangala shlokam written in praise of M S Subbulakshmi by Sri T N Padmanabha. This was writtern for a felicitation function, he explained but details of which I fail to recollect.
A very well thought out and planned concert by Shankar and a fitting tribute to the legend whose centenary year is being celebrated this year.