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Ramakrishnan Murthy @ indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha, 25th Jun 2017

Vocal : Ramakrishnan Murthy

Violin : R K Shriramkumar

Mrudangam : K Arun Prakash

Ganjira : G Guruprasanna

List :

01 viribONi ( varNam ) – bhairavi – PAchimiriumm Adiappa

02 jaya jaya jaya jAnakIkAnta – nATa – Purandara Dasa ( S )

03 smaraNE sukhamu – janaranjani – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ rAmanAma shravaNamu valla nAma rUpamE hrdayamu

04 rAmanAma pAyasakke – Anandabhairavi – Purandara Dasa

05 RTP – kalyANi – chaturashra tripuTa, 2 kaLai,  1/8 atIta eduppu?

tAnam in kalyANi, kIravANi, kannaDa and kAnaDa

pallavi  ‘ un darishanam kiDaikkumO naTarAja , dayAnidhE ‘

rAgamAlika swaras in kalyANi, nIlAmbari, aThANa, kApi and shrI

05b tani Avartanam

06 shrI vishvanAtham bhajEham – chaturdasha rAgamAlika – Dikshitar

07 shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – shrI

First of all, congratulations to Vidvan Ramakrishnan Murthy, for receiving the Purandara Yuva Puraskar for this year, as one of the awardees. Truly deserving for the service he is offering to the music field.

Last evening concert, evoked mixed emotions, to say the best. It did start about 30 min behind schedule, as the previous program extended by 15-20 min. He probably was not at the best of his physical ability. He was visibly distracted and was grimacing towards the second part of the evening. That aside, the entire evening was of a slow sedate mood, one slow piece after other. Some of the usual verve and vigour wasn’t at display. So, the atmosphere wasn’t of excitement.

But, taking individual pieces, I hasten to say, he sang very well. A very detailed bhairavi varnam – I guess he sang all the charanams, started of the concert very well. Nata kriti was a bit off, even the kalpana swaras were just ok.  The start of janaranjani to me was the highlight of the evening. One sangati after other came out with such elan, albeit on a slow speed, to some mesmerizing effect. Beautiful stuff. An elaborated neraval at rAma nAma shravanam added to the glow. Few round of swaras too.

Andabhairavi alapana, again was decent. Some feedback and echo issues with the amplifier disturbed the free flow a couple of times. Sriramkumar played in the similar lines. I was expecting one of the Shyama Shasthry’s master pieces. But he picked yet another Purandara Dasa kriti, presented very well.

Detailed kalyANi alapana came soon, befitting the main piece of the evening.  While nothing to talk home about the alapana, the tanam was exquisite. The easing from kalyani to keervani was classy , so was the kannaDa and kAnaDa interludes. Brilliant stuff.  Familiar pallavi line, but set to Aditalam. I think he did an ateeta eduppu, fixing ‘darishanam’ at samam, which makes ‘un’ a fraction before samam. I could be wrong here. No trikalam in the offer, but some attempts during the kalpana swaras. Very good ragamalika swaras, especially the slow aThANa was superclass. Tani Avrtanam too did not lift up the mood, a typical Arun Prakash style. Guruprasanna,did some good attempts while accompanying, though. He concluded the concert with the 14 raga garland of Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

A good concert, especially the second part of the pallavi and the janaranjani. One always expect more from Vidvans like Ramakrishnan Murthy.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Sukanya Prabhakar @ Gayana Samaja 23rd Apr 2017 Thematic Concert on Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

Vocal : Sukanya Prabhakar with Sumana Vedant ( daughter )

Violin : T S Krishnamurthy

Mrudangam : C Cheluvaraju

Ghatam : M Gurumurthy

Thematic Concert on Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

List :

01  shLOkam ( shrIvidyAm jagatAm dhAtrIm) – hamsAnandi

shrImad chAmuNDEshvari (varNam) – hamsAnandi – Adi -Veena Venkatagiriappa ( S )

02 gam gaNapatE namastE – durvanki – tishra triputa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

03 shrI jAlandharamAshrayAmyaham – gambhIranAtta – Adi – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( A,S )

04  shLOkam ( shrIranga mangaLa nidhIm karuNA nivAsAm ) – kalyANavasantam

shrI ranganAtha pAhimAm – kalyANavasantam – mishra jhampa- Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

05 sadAshivam upAsmahE – sarasAngi – Adi – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( A,N,S )

neraval @ sadguru rUpadharam shankaram

swaras @ sarasAngArdhanArIshwaram

06  amba shrI rAjarAjEshwari – bhOgavasanta – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( S )

swara @ ‘vikAra rahita vimalEshwari’

07 RTP – kIravANi – chaturashra triputa , 2 kaLai  1/2 Eduppu

pallavi line ‘shrI jayachAmarAja bhUpAlam smarAmi namAmi’

Swaras in kIravAni , no rAgamAlika swaras

tani Avartanam

08 shLOkam ( kara charaNa krtam vA kAyajam karmajam vA) – nAtHanAmakriya

shiva shiva shiva bhO – nAtHanAmakriya – mishra jhampa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

09  shrI madyadukula vAridhi – rAgamAlika –  Mysore Vasudevachar ( sang as shLokam)

10 mangaLAm – saurAshtram / shrI – Thyagaraja

Absolutely fantastic concert yesterday evening by the Vidushi. I am so very happy that I decided to attend this over the venue just across the road. I was expecting a typical concert of compositions of the Royal Composer of Mysore, accompanied with necessary commentary.  What was so good was the way she separated the discussion on the composer and the concert itself.  She spent the first 15-20 mins on the composer and some of the intricacies of his compositions before getting into a full fledged concert.

She started with a brief introduction of the Royal Composer. Mysore royal family had been great connoisseurs of art and culture for many generations ( I guess she mentioned JCW was the 25th Wodeyars of the clan). Artists from various part of the country were invited and encouraged to perform and learn.  Born on 18th July 1919, he was the ‘adopted son’ ( there are some legends about this so called curse of the Mysore family) of Nalwadi Krishnaraja. He was introduced to music and culture at an early age. But he was more interested in Western Music and was an expert in playing Piano. It was much later he was interested in Carnatic Music. He learnt both Veena and Vocal under Veena Venkatagiriappa, later continued his training under Mysore Vasudevachar.

Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar has composed 94 kritis in total. Only kritia, no varnam, no thillana, no javali, no jati swara or any other forms of composition. All 94 are in Sanskrit, in which he was proficient, and were in 94 different ragas. He has created a few ragas and composed in those , eg durvanki, bhOgavasanta. He was a ‘srividya upasaka’ under the guidance of his guru, Sri Siddhalinga Swamy. All his composition as this as his ‘mudra’.

All his compositions have madhyamakala sahitya and rAgamudra, an inspiration from Dikshitar, and very well incorporated chittaswaras. He has also used a large variety of tala for his compositions ( 35 in total ) including a few complex ones like sankIrNa triputa anf khaNDa mathya.  64 of these compositions are on Goddess (dEvi) in various forms. 11 on Ganesha, 15 of them on Lord Shiva and 4 on Lord Vishnu.

To the concert….

She started her concert with a varnam ( first time for me) composed by his guru, Veena Venkatagiriappa. A 2 kalai, vilamba varnam in hamsAnandi, leisurely paced. Very interesting. The duo sang few rounds of kalpana swaras in the same speed.

Durvanki raga composition, probably only one in that raga, was the Ganesha kriti. His familiarity with western music probably influenced him here, as durvanki is a janya of shankarabharanam. She said the raga can have some similarity to sAma or mAND in some prayoga.

Gambheeranatta composition, popularised by MLV, was sung next. Daughter seemed to have nudged the mother with few takes of alapana, as Vid Sukanya took over from there and presented a short nice alapana. There was some rounds of impressive swaras too. Kalyanavasantam kriti was very nice. I loved the shloka she sang before the kriti.

Sarasangi was very detailed. Elaborate raga shared by the pair. Daughter was very very impressive with some absolutely beautiful phrases. However, it was sri Krishnamurthy blew me away. What a stupendous alapana he did. Outstanding stuff. Nice kriti, amazing neraval at sadguru roopadharam and equally classy kalpana swaras at the rAgamudra. This probably was THE BEST part of the evening.

As expected ( I was sure that she will sing this in the evening), she talked about bhOgavasanta. She said, until last evening she was thinking this is the only composition in this raga. Apparently, there is one composition by Periyasamy Thooran and one more ( she mentioned the name of some swamy, I couldn’t register the name). There was no alapana this time, she merely sang the mUrchana before singing the kriti.  I think, I’ve heard her singing a detailed alapana for this kriti in a Radio concert. But, there was some crispy swaras at ‘vikAra rahita vimalEshwari’

I was expecting a big kriti of Wodeyar as the main, but she chose to sing a pallavi composed for this occasion.  Nothing innovative or worth a word of the pallavi line, though. Keeravani alapana was again pretty nice. Violin was good too. He did a fleeting sojourn to hEmavati(?)  as grahabhEdam in his turn. I could see the artists glancing at the clock and nodding at each other. Tanam was short, Krishnamurthy played some delectable movements. There was no trikalam and the swaras were limited to the main raga, without any ragamalika exposition.

Post the customery felicitation and she sang the popular ( by MS) nathanamakriya composition followed by a ragamalika composition by Vasudevachar , in praise of Wodeyar. They sang it as shLOkam, and not as composition. Pretty good, nonetheless.

Few things impressed me last evening. One, the young vidushi. Vid Sukanya and Sumana sang in tandem, sat together and shared, be it  the alapana, neraval or kalpana swaras, among them. Sumana sang brilliantly through out. Two, Vid T S Krishnamurthy. He was brilliant through out the evening. His sarasangi alapana will remain in my memory for a very long time. Three, the way she presented the theme. She did not present it as a JCW compositions concert, but included the compositions of two of his gurus who shaped and formed the musical tastes of the Raja Composer. The pallavi created for the occation. The way she sang shlokam’s before the compositions. There were three in total, and I love them coming in concerts.  Cheluvaraju is the apt choice for such concerts. His non interfering way of playing mrudangam made a lot of sense. The essence of music is not submerged in the enthusiastic percussion noise here. Even his tani avartanam was a subdued affair.

Let me repeat, an amazing concert. It will remain in memory for a while.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Ramakrishnan Murthy @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali, 19th Apr 2017

Vocal : Ramkrishnan Murthy

Violin : B U Ganesh Prasad

Mrudangam : Bangalore V Praveen

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

List:

01 shLOkam ( sadguru gajAsyavANi) – shankarAbharaNam

02 chalamElA (varNam) – darbAr – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

03 budhamAshrayAmi satatam – nAtakurinji – Dikshitar

04 vAdErA daivamu manaA – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘dhAtru vinutuDaina thyAgarAjuni ‘

05 rAmakathA sudha – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @bhAmAmaNi jAnaki saumitri’

06 svAmi mukhyA prANa – yadukulakAmbOji – Purandara Dasa

07 RTP – thODI – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai +1 eDuppu

rAgamAlika tAnam in thODi,nAgasvarALi, behAg, surutti

pallavi line ‘tArayasadA rAmachandra mUrtE toDita shiva chApa kIrtE’

rAgamAlika swaras in aThANa, kApi, nIlAmbari, darbAri kAnaDa

tani avartanam

08 mAtADa bAradEnO – khamAs – Narahari Dasa

09 shAradE karuNAnidhE – hamIr kalyANi – Chandrasekhara Bharati

10 thillAna ( tOm tOm tadara) – pUrNachandrika – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar

11 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya)

Brilliant concert from the young man last evening at the Mandali. It left me with a feeling of completeness in the end. Beautifully conceived and managed concert, with every element included. Everything presented to its fullest. Very measured , very classy.  Loved it.

The pantuvarali made the change. The alapana was good, but wasn’t an awe inspiring one. But the selection of the kriti, the neraval he sang and the swaraprasthana that followed were super class. Without much ado, he launched into an elaborate madhyamavati alapana. Very well done. BUG was equally brilliant in his turn. Ramakatha was my prayers and so it was. Another top notch neraval and fantastic rounds of swaras. The percussion duo played out a rather short tani avartanam. PRaveen was in high spirits, occasionally going over the comfort zone. Udupa as in his usual best through out.

A pallavi was sure to come. But there was a devarnama just before that, set to tune ( rather nicely) by his current guru R K Sriramkumar.  Majestic thOdi alapana started soon. The alternating , multi phase alapana between vocal and violin was real treat. Pallavi was even special. He glided from thOdi to nagasvaravali ( as in grahabhedam) moved to behag and a fleeting moment of surutti. BUG did the same in his turn. Interesting pallavi line, nice round of ragamalika, no trikalam were the highlight of the pallavi. There was another short tani avartanam at the end. Post main had a very moving mAtADa bAradEno, among other things.

A complete package, beautifully presented.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Vinay Sharva @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali , 11th Apr 2017

Vocal : Vinay Sharva

Violin : Vittala Rangan

Mrudangam : Tumkur Ravishankar

Morsing : Bharadwaj Shatavalli

List:

01 karuNimpa (varNam) – sahAna – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya ( O )

02 yOcana kamala lOcana – darbAr – Thyagaraja

03 tulasidalamulacE – mAyAmALavagauLa –  Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘sarasIruha punnAga champaha pATala kuruvaka’

04 marivErE – Anandabhairavi – Shyama Shasthry

05 bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLa varALi – Swathi Thirunal

06 swararAga sudhA – shankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘mUlAdhAra nAda merugutE mudamagu mOkSamurA’

07 jayatu kOdaNDarAma – pantuvarALi – Purandara Dasa ( Raga sketch)

08 muddugArE yashOdA – kurinji – Annamacharya

09 thillAna – dhanAshrI – Swathi Thirunal

10 patiki hArati rE – surutti – Thyagaraja

mangaLam kOsalEndrAya ( shLOkam)

Another youngster who had been recognised by the Mandali this year. Congratulations to the artist.

He started the concert with a neat rendition of the sahAna varnam followed with a non-impressive yochana….

(swalpa sharp…in monitor)

Announced mayamalavagaula and sang a good alapana. Tulasidalamulace was with a nice neraval and good rounds of kalpana swaras as expected.

(tumba humming barutaayide,  base reduce maadi, sharpness beku)

Nice Anandabhairavi, some tricky sangatis.

(hand signal indicating sharpness again)

Bhogindra shayinam, with no fireworks.

( pleads again for sharpness, this time from Ravishankar)

Declaration of Shankarabharanam as main. He sang a fabulous alapana of Shankarabharanam, despite a patchy start. He was at home in the higher registers. Sang some delectable phrases in tara sthayi. Very impressive longish passages, some breath taking (literally) ones.  Vey very impressive. Vittalarangan did a commendable job as well.

( One final ask for sharpness)

Swara raga sudha is one of my favourite. He sang it well. Pretty good neraval as well and an elaborate kalpana swara in two speeds. Some nice calculative patterns from the youngster.

Post main had an impressive devarnama in Pantuvarali. A short , refreshing alapana reflective of the mood of the song was very good.  An Annamayya kriti and a thillana concluded the concert.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Bharat Sundar @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali, Fort School , 10 Apr 2017

Vocal : Bharat Sundar

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : S Ashok

Ghatam : B R Ravikumar

List:

01 evaraNi nirNayincirira – dEvAmrtavarSiNi – Thyagaraja

02 marivErE dikkevaru – latAngi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘monarimpa vinavE nI varada venkaTEshvara ‘

03 sharaNam sharaNam enrAnE – saurAStram – Arunachala Kavi ( A )

04 ninnADa nEla – kannaDa – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

05 koluvai unnADe kOdaNDapANi – bhairavi – Thyagaraja ( A, N, S, T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ toLi karmamanaga jUtamu rArE ‘

06 rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan

07 venkaTAchala nilayam – sindhubhairavi – Purandara Dasa ( A )

08 mangaLam – saurAStram / surutti – Thyagaraja

This was the second concert of the evening. I reached while Ritwik Raja was having an elaborate neraval for munnu rAvaNa. Both Bharat Sundar and Ritwik Raja were awarded this years Yuva Puraskar by the Mandali. Good choices and my congratulations to both the recipients.

Bharat Sundar’s concert started on a low key but steadily progressed very well. Like all the youngsters, he too had his inclination towards speed. If he had dropped the speed by a pint or so, this would have been more appealing.

He did not have cracker of a start. evarani was a dampner, some how it did not really impressed me. Had he started at anupallavi, it might have made some impact. Then came the  Latangi Express, fast neraval and faster kalpana swaras. Hmm.

Now he did a wonderful thing. Started alapana for Saurashtram. Despite being on a faster side, I liked it. One, no one sing saurashtram alapana these days. Second, he chose a kriti which isnt heard even if some one takes up saurashtram in a concert. Good job. Commendable.  Another fast paced Kannada kriti came, but I will let it pass.

Bhairavi was main. Long alapana, lot of fragmented intelligent phrases. Some fantastic passages creating aha moments. But, I am yet to recover from the previous days effect created by Abhishek at Seshadripuram. So, there. Koluvai Unnade again, second day in succession. Again, retention power to blame.  Having said that, Bharat Sundar sang a tremendous neraval at toli karmamanaga followed up with a decent kalpana swaras. Bangalore Brother S Ashok, this time on stage with Mrudangam played an impressive tani avartanam with Ravikumar. Percussion was on a lower volume level, but did accompany neatly through out.

By now, he was settled. I liked the next couple of pieces the best. Ramanai Bhajital was very good. The sindhu bhairavi alapana to me was the best of the evening. Mathur Srinidhi , who was having an excellent day added to the main artists alapana with his own impressive play.

Very talented youngster, excellent musical ideas. I am sure I will listen to many more of his concert in the years to come.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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