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Gayathri Venkataraghavan @ Rama Seva Mandali, Fort School – 28 Mar 2018

Vocal : Gayathri Venkataraghavan

Violin : Mysore Srikanth

Mrudangam : K V Prasad

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List:

01 shLOkam ( vighnarAja krpAsindhO )

evaraNi – dEvAmrtavarSiNi – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja

02 kallu sakkare koLLirO  – kalyANi – mishra chAp -Purandara Dasa ( O, S )

03 jAlandhara supITHastHitE – valaji – rUpakam – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,S )

04 kSIra sAgara shayanA -dEvagAndhAri – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja

05 rAma kathA sudhArasa – madhyamAvati – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & svara @ bhAmAmaNi jAnaki saumitri bharatAdulatO bhUmi velayu sItA’

06 RTP – dharmavati – khaNDa tripuTa , dwi nadai ( pUrvAngam in chaturashra naDai, and uttarAngam in khaNDa naDai)  +1 akSaram eDuppu, arudi after rAmuni 6 akSaram

pallavi line ‘ bhajana sEyavE O manasA rAmuni, paramAtmuni bhakta pAlini

rAgamAlika svaras in vAsanti, candrajyOti and nAgasvarALi

07 mAnasa sancararE – sAma – Adi -Sadashiva Brahmendra

08 shLOkam ( mAtA rAmO mat pitA rAmachandrah: ) – darbAri kAnaDa

rAma nAma bhajisavarigE uNTE bhavada bandhana – darbAri kAnaDa – rUpakam -Purandara Dasa

09 rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan

10 shLOkam ( gOpAlaratnam bhuvanaika ratnam ) – yamunAkalyAni

bhAvayAmi gOpAlabAlam – yamunAkalyANi – khaNDa chAp – Annamacharya

11 thillAna ( dhIm tana udara tarana ) – behAg – Adi – Papanasam Sivan

12 mangaLam – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya ) – suruTTi

Concert started very late ( around 6:53 pm) despite the artists arriving on stage at 6:25. There were tuning of two tanpuras , probably there was a shruti box too. Getting all of them in sync and sing the same  sa pa sa, was taking eternally long. In the meanwhile, one saw the percussion artists leaving the stage and going back ( It was later announced that Sri K V Prasad was unwell and was infact unable to start the concert. However, he came back and continued for next 3+ hours with his usual style, which should be appreciated).   After singing some kEdaram raga sketches, Vid Gayathri Venkataraghavan also left the stage for a while.  However, concert started around 6:55 and she did sing for more than 3 hrs ( beyond 10:00pm), in spite of the dwindling audience.

And, some of the best music came towards the later half of the concert.  The early part of the concert wasn’t all that great. Valaji and kalyani were ok, devagandhari wasn’t moving at all.  It was with the main madhyamavati, the whole concert lifted itself out of the drab, more precisely from the neraval. Not surprisingly the first real ‘active applause’ of appreciation was for the neraval. Kalpana swaras were pretty good too. K V Prasad and Guruprasanna played a commendable tani avartanam.

The concert peaked at its best in the pallavi. Tanam was exquisite. Srikant played some delectable tanam here. Super class. Structuarally complicated talam with two different nadai for khanda triputa with a shift in eduppu was impressively executed. The trikalam was smooth. Nice rounds of ragamalika swaram,  the one in vAsanti was beautiful.

She sang a quick short ‘mAnasa sancharare’. I thought  she was quickly filling up the sheet to fill the number of compositions. But the rest of them were very nice, including the request ‘bhavayAmi gOpAlabAlam’ and the devarnama , each preceded with a nice shlokam. Good concert, with a brilliant pallavi from vid. Gayathri venkataraghavan.

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Posted by on March 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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S R Maruthiprasad at Sri Rama Seva Mandali, Koramangala 26 March 2018

Vocal : S R Maruthiprasad

Violin : R Achyutha Rao

Mrudangam : V R Chandrashekar

Ghatam : S Srishylan

List:

01 shLOkam ( praNAmya shirasA dEvam gaurIputram vinAyakam) – gauLa

praNamAmyaham shrI gaurIsutam – gauLa – Adi -Mysore Vasudevachar ( S )

02 nAda sudhA rasambilanu – Arabhi – rUpakam – Thyagaraja ( O )

03 ETi janmamiti hA rAmA – varALi – mishrachAp – Thyagaraja ( A,N )

neraval @ ‘ sAgarashayanuni tyAgarAjunutuni’

04 shrIpatiyu namagE sampadavIyali – shrI – khaNDachAp – Purandara Dasa

05 dAsharathi mahanIya – kEdAragauLa – Adi – P T Narasimhachar (Pu Thi Na ) ( A,S ,T )

06 shLOkam ( kUjantam rAma rAmEti madhuram madhurAkaram) – shubhapantuvarALi

rAma rAma rAma sItA rAma ennirO – shubhapantuvarALi – Adi tisragati – Purandara Dasa

07 rAmanAma pAyasakkE – jana sammOdini? – Adi – Purandara Dasa

08 elli nODidaralli rAma – pantuvarALi – mishra chAp – Kanaka Dasa

09 shLOkam ( shrI vatsAnkita shrI kaustubhadhara)

gOvardhana giridhara – darbAri kAnaDa – Adi – Narayana Theertha

10 tUgiri raghurAmana ghanashyAmana –  hindustAni kApi  – mishra naDai – P T Narasimhachar ( Pu Thi Na )

11 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati

What a fine musician he is. This isn’t first time I am listening to him, but it indeed was for the first time I am attending his concert.  I’ve listened to him multiple times in the Bangalore FM amrutavasrhini program and each time, he has impressed me. So, this was an occasion I was looking forward to and he did not disappoint me.

Solid voice, excellent at the lower octaves. Absolute beauty in his diction and the way he split the lines to get the absolutely correct meaning of the kritis.  Very high on emotive scale – I don’t deny his handicap is adding to our appreciation. I could see visible movements of emotions around me when he was singing the varALi kriti and the shubhapantuvarali. That aside,  he sang brilliantly. Super selection of kritis including some beautiful devarnamas, which is his forte.

Took a while to settle, with the lack of feedback and some balancing of volumes. That largely impacted the Arabhi piece after a good gaula. Violin volume continue to be on a lower side through out, which not only affected the overall listening pleasure, but his interest in the scheme of things. Percussion support was a surprise package. Sri S R Chandrashekar played very well through out the evening, including a nice little tani avartanam.

Only two alapana , in varALi and kEdAragauLA, pretty good on both occasions. Kedaragaula was done in a relatively faster tempo. Violin was even faster, loosing some of the sheen out of the same.  Pu Thi Na’s composition was a good choice, not heard before.

As requested by the organiser, he sang a lot of devarnama in the concert. The ‘shrI patiyu namage’ still linger in mind. Even the others were sung with  a lot of elan, soaked in ‘bhAva’ , clear articulation of words so that the meaning comes out clearly.  It is always a pleasure to listen to Karnataka Artists singing devarnamas.

If you look at the list with a typical concert scheme, there are a lot of missing things ( only two alapana, one neraval, only a couple of kalpana swaras at the end of the kriti etc). But if you are one who experienced this last evening, you probably carry the music with you beyond the music hall and there in lies the success of a good concert.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Kanchana Sisters @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali , Koramangala 25 March 2018

Vocal : Kanchana Sisters ( Sriranjani & Shrutiranjani )

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Morsing : Bharadwaj Satavalli

List:

01 jaya jaya jaya jAnaki kAntA – nATa – khaNDa chAp – Purandara Dasa ( S )

02 sarasa sAmadAna – kApinArAyaNi –  Adi – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & svara @ ‘hitavu mAtalendO bAga baliktivi’

03 mOkSamu galadA – sArAmati – Adix2 – Thyagaraja  ( started at ‘sAkSAtkAra’ )

04 apparAma bhakti entO – pantuvarALi – rUpakam- Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & svara @ ‘kapi vAridhi dATunA kaliki rOta gaTunA’

05 nannu pAlimpa -mOhanam – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja ( A,S,T )

06 shiva shiva shiva ennirO – rEvati – kanaka Dasa

07 hanuma bhIma mAdhva muniya – hamsAnandi ? – rUpakam -Purandara Dasa

08 jagadOdhAraNa – kApi – Adi x 2 – Purandara Dasa

09 shrIrAmachandra krpAlu – yamunAkalyANi ? – mishra chAp – Tulsidas

10 bhAgyAda lakSmi bAramma -madhyamAvati – Adi – Purandara Dasa

I am attending their concert for the first time ( vaguely remember listening to them on a telecast) and they did make a good impression on me yesterday. Very energetic concert, no drag, no unwanted musical ‘show off’, very refreshing singing. Senior accompaniment support by Charulatha and Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma did help to lift the concert.

I am impressed with their presentation, the way they sang kalpana swaras, the ease with which they traversed , shared the alapana, the clarity with which sangatis were sung, some innovative bhrigas ( some of them weren’t all that appealing) , or not traveling the often repeated paths.

The antenna went up with the kalpana swaras for nATa, especially the rehearsed joint-effort to conclude the piece. Short outline of kApinArAyani, and sarasa sAmadAna was good with neraval at hitavu mAtalento. some verbal gymnastics, at hitavu and matalento was ok. Very refreshing start of kalpana swaras and the ending of the kriti with ‘chatura- daNDa caturA – bhEda daNDa caturA – dAna bhEda daNDa caturA – sAma dAna bhEda daNDa caturA – sarasa sAma dAna bhEda daNDa catura ‘ sequence.  Interesting, but did not really have any musical appeal. Saramati sketch followed with the sAkSAtkAra’ start. Not very great, probably because their voice is not that powerful to create that impact.

Shared alapana of pantuvarali was good. Good pick of apparama bhakti. Typical neraval and kalpana swaras. PAntuvarali neraval and swaras can never disappoint me. Elaborate mOhanam alapana, again shared by both the sisters. Some nice phrases, good at the higher registers, and those fast ‘akara’ takes. Charulatha started with the nannu palimpa movements in her alapana, which was very good. The hint was indeed right, nannu palimpa was sung well. No neraval, but some intricate laya play in the kalpana swaras. Unlike other swaras, this was sung in two speeds. I liked it. Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma played yet another commendable tani avartanam with Bharadwaj.

nice selection of devarnamas in the post main too, some of them aren’t heard much in concert. The jagadhOdharana started as an ugabhOga like start at ‘aDisidaLu yashOdA , magana’  repeated a few times before singing the composition. Not sure what was the idea, but it would have been better with out that. A Tulasidas bhajan before the closure of the concert with bhAgyAda lakSmi.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Sandeep Narayan @ Nadasurabhi , 18th March 2018

Vocal :  Sandeep Narayan

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Ghatam : G Omkar Rao

List:

01 mahA gaNapatE pAlayAshumAm – naTanArAyaNi – Adi – Dikshitar

02 nAda tanumanisham – cittaranjani – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

03 saundararAjam AshrayE – brindAvana sAranga – rUpakam – Dikshitar ( A )

04 kAdiruvEnu nAnu – ranjani – Adi -Ambujam Krishna ( A,N )

neraval @ ‘pAdAmbujagaLa pUjeya mADi ‘

05 mahAlakSmi jaganmAtA – shankarAbharaNam – mishra chAp -Papanasam Sivan ( A,S,T )

06 ninnayE ratiyenru – bhAgEshrI – rUpakam – Subramanya Bharati (  O )

07 mayilmIdu viraindODi – cArukEshi – Adi – ??  ( o )

08 candrashEkharA Isha sundarEshvara – sindhu bhairavi – Adi – Anai Vaidyanatha Iyer ( O )

09 thillAna ( tAm tAm tAm udani ) – khamAs – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( O )

10 mangaLam – saurASTran – Thyagaraja

Brilliant concert by the young vidvan yesterday at Nadasurabhi.  He sang with such an elan, composed and in control.  Despite some of his mannerism and singing style which regularly reminded us about his guru, he was on a roll.

Very sedate start with the natanarayani piece, which has a folkish tune to it, was a great way to get in.  Both on the pallavi line and the ‘ragamudra’ line, he sang ample sangatis, which I liked.  Chittaranjani alapana was top class. Gave the hint by singing the ‘sarigamapadhani’ phrase of the composition in his alapana. Not heard many chittaranjani full alapana in concerts, hence it indeed was welcome. Other impressive of his singing ‘nAda tanumanisham’ was at the anupallavi.  He sang with the break at ‘mOdakara nigamOttama’ unlike ‘ nigamOttama sAma’ as many artists sing. Very good. Some good rounds of kalpana swaras followed at the pallavi line. The concluding round by both the artists, I thought, were superb.

A fabulous brindavana saranga alapana started soon. Surprised to see two janya of kharaharapriya back to back. Of course, they have different feel and musical beauty. Brindavana sarang alapana was mesmerising . Srinidhi was equally aswesome in his turn. Full marks. The composition was sung with all it grandeur. To me, this was the best part of the concert.

A rather shortish ranjani alapana followed ; decent with some of the standard phrases. Srinidhi tried some innovative strokes. Amubjam Krishna’s composition was nice.  HE sang a compelling neraval at pAdAmbujagaLa pUjeya mADi’ with some nice twists and turns. Good work here. There was no swaras.

Soon, a detailed shankarabharanam alapana started. The way it was progressing, it was evident that he is not taking up some of the well known compositions. Very good effort in alapana, little to and fro, odd phrases of class, some impressive longer phrased upper octaves. Srinidhi played much more standard shankarabharanam. Mahalakshmi Jaganmata was a nice choice , even though I was expecting a Shyama Shastry composition to come. There was no neraval ;surprising on two counts a) There was only one neraval in the entire concert b) he did not sing a pallavi.  Kalpana swarams are mostly done as two long takes, one at the lower speed and one the shorter phrases at the faster tempo. The repeats from Srinidhi was equally eloquent. Jayachandra Rao, who did a commendable job through out the evening, played a structurally intricate tani avartanam with Omkar.

There was no pallavi, but sang couple of songs and a requested thillana. He sang all of them after a short raga sketch. Some good team play, triggered by the vocalist in the khamas thillana was nice change.

His powerful voice, open throat style of singing, command over lyrics and laya etc are the highlights of his singing. Yesterday’s concert was no different. Hope to see and listen to him more in Bangalore.

 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanyan at Ranjani Fine Arts, 10 Feb 2018

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : Anirudh Athreya

List:

01 ninnE kOriyunna nApai (varNam) – mALavi – Calcutta Krishnamurthy

02 inta parAkA – mAyAmALavagauLA – Roopakam- Anai Ayya ( N,S )

neraval & svaras at ‘kannatalli tanri sujanulanna tammu’

03 kAntimati annai nI gati – kAnaDa – Mishra Chap- Papanasam Sivan ( A )

04 munnu rAvaNa – thODi – Mishra Jhumpa – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S )

neraval & svaras at ‘ rAjarAja virAjavAha ravikulAbdhi rAja’

05 jagadIshA sadA mAmava  – nAtakurinji – Adi X 2 Swathi Thirunal ( A,S,T )

06 evvarE rAmayya – gAngEyabhUSaNi – Thyagaraja

07 RTP – dharmavati – chaturashra tripuTa x 2 Kalai , 1/2 Eduppu

pallavi line ‘ unadu pAdam oru tuNai ena nambinEn, sadA dayai puriyum sharavaNabhava guhanE’

rAgamAlika Svaras in bahudhAri, ranjani and bhImplAs

08 manamE kanamum – bhImplAs – Papanasam Sivan

09 rAmakrSNaru managE bandaru – tilang – Purandara Dasa

10 viruttam ( theerthakkarayinilE ) – bhAgEshrI – Subramanya Bharati

ninnayE ratiyenru ninaikkirEn – bhAgEshrI – Subramanya Bharati

11 apadUruku lOnaitinE (jAvaLi) – khamAs – Pattabhiramayya

12 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

“Surprise us”, requested the organiser as he handed over the stage to the artists of the evening.  Did I notice a glimmer of a smile on his face. Well, he can’t surprise us. The element of surprise is part of the expectation and standard set by him over the years. So, the surprise to us is to have an ‘off day’, which  wasn’t the case to be. Second time in this week, he was here with yet another scintillating concert. Probably, the ‘munnu rAvaNa’ can be the the surprise factor for those who was looking for one.

I am itching to use the superlatives again. The evening excitement started with the mAyAmALavagauLA piece. Fabulous neraval and svaras with some innovative support from Venkatesh. I will pass the kAnaDa, but to say the sedate kriti was very nice. Brilliant thOdi by both the artists. Some of his typical forays:  the holding on to the svara with a loooong single breath singing  – which always have people applauding, and the build up to some mesmerising higher octave passages and a clever termination ( again a staple ingredient for instant gratification from the audience). But beyond these, some of the takes were really superb. So was the violin return. Haven’t heard him singing munnu rAvaNa before. Again, he was very impressive in the neraval and some of the intrinsic swaras that followed.

Natakurinji was the main piece, if you insist  ( To me it WAS the thODi , but the tani avartanam followed nAtakurinji ). Elaborate alapana again. Similar progress with some elegant phrases. Tried some of the lower octave takes, to some lesser effect. Jagadeesha sadA mAmava was against our speculations of ‘kuvalayadala nayana’ or ‘ mAmava sadA varadE’. No neraval ( hence not main 🙂 ), but had some nicely set svara patterns with a whole lot of sweeping gamakas at ma,ga,sa swaras ( which went on for a while). Neyveli Venkatesh was very good through out, except a few places during natakurinji swaras. He later played superbly for the pallavi, following Sanjay during his various takes and variations (Aniruddh struggled a bit here). The tani Avartanam, especially the closing sequences were very good.

Dharmavati pallavi, this time. Nothing great to talk about the alapana. Rather shortish. But the tanam ( compensated for the depth in alapana) was delectable. From the start it was destined for an outstanding affair. Varadarajan was equally brilliant.  Long pallavi line set to Adi tala , 2 kaLai. But, the purvangam and uttarangam were set to two different speeds ( I don’t think, there was a naDai variation) and that was the key essence of the pallavi singing. Everything, including the trikalam he did, was around these speed variations between pUrvAngam and uttarAngam.  The bhImplAs svaras during the rAgamAlika stood out, which followed up with Papanasam Sivan’s composition , as is his wont.

This time we did not have a quick wind up post pallavi. The khamAs jAvaLi was the pick of this section.

The organisers were pleased. The huge hall was full, fabulous ambience, excellent seating and amplification systems and a start one would hope for , for the Annual Festival. I can pardon Arsene Wenger for another lose, as I was listening to another Arsenal Follower, providing us some relief  ( taking the clue from the closing speech from the organiser again).

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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