Category Archives: Concert Schedule

Abhishek Raghuram at “Rasanveshanam” Concert , Utopia, Near Airport 30th March 2014

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : H N Smitha

Mrudangam : Anantha R Krishnan

Song List:

01.  viribONi ( varNam ) – bhairavi – Pachimirium Adiappa

02.  vAtApi gaNapatim bhajE – hamsadhwani – Dikshitar ( A (short) , S )

03.  vinatA suta vAhana – jayanthasEna – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

04. AdamODi galadE – chArukESi – Thyagaraja

05. mInAkshi mEmudam dEhi – gamakakriya ( pUrvikalyANi ) – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ madhu mada mOdita hrdayE sadayE, mahAdEva sundarESa priyE’

06.  mAyamma yani nE – Ahiri – Shyama Sasthri  ( started at anupallavi )

07.  rAma deivamA rAgarAga lObhamA – surutti – thyagaraja

08. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Rasanveshanam  was an idea nourished amongst a few dedicated listeners of carnatic music to experience the music in its true sense, within a closed circle of ardent listeners and in an environment which give ample scope of expression to the artist and the ambiance of uninterrupted absorption to the listeners. The drift between the artist and the rasika has to fade away and the aspect of ‘oneness’ with the music where everyone is a participant has to evolve. Abhishek Raghuram’s concert was the  first step in that direction as it had to start with one who is on a path of exploration and personal experience of this music form beyond the established pattern. And what a way it begun …

Abhishek, physically unwell after a mishap few days ago, did perform ( probably against the medical advice) with his characteristic fervor. A majestic endeavor ably supported by H N Smitha and a scintillating Anantha R Krishnan, in a place away from the rush and hush of the city. A select crowd of chosen few were to be treated with awesome music from the artists. The hosts ( Arun and Meenakshi ) were equally awesome in their hospitality.

Concert started with a bang, viriboni was brilliant, a start giving us the glimpse of what is to follow for the rest of the evening. A short hamsadhwani alapana ( no violin turn) preceded ‘vAtapi ganapatim’ with some interesting sangatis incorporated to the pallavi line as well as the charanam before some masterly swara kalpana to finish with aplomb. Jayanthasena alapana was the first to elaborate, probably the longest I’ve heard. Got us scratch our head for a while, before hints vinata suta appeared in the alapana. H N Smitha did a commendable job on her return. Charukesi filler was apt before a giant main in the form of Dikshtar’s masterpiece.

Purvikalyani alapana saw him exploring some new depths ( or heights, if you may) of the raga, especially in the higher octaves. He seemed to thrive on one phrase after the other, trying out new nuances of the raga, new possibilities with extempore creativity. An alapana to remember for a long time. Smitha’s return were rather subdued after the brilliance of Abhishek, threading the regular melodious phrases of the raga, done with careful hands. Meenakshi memudam dehi was a splendid affair. He marveled all through the kriti, picked neraval line at ‘madhu mada modita’ and did some clever musical wordplay around ‘mahAdEva sundarESapriyE’. Kalpana swara was elaborate in two kalam, showcasing his wizardry with the intricacies of the swara patterns and mechanics. Some of those takes probably was a bit too hot to handle for Smitha, but she did her best to live upto the singers creativity.

Anantha R Krishnan was the live wire of the day. He played phenomenally well through out, adding another feather in his cap with s stupendous tani avartanam. Post main was short as he wounded up the concert with a moving ahiri and a rarely heard surutti kriti of Thyagaraja.

A Splendiferous treat to the music lovers and a brilliant start to ‘rasanveshanam’.

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Concert Schedule


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Sanjay Subrahmanyan, 45th Annual Music Festival @ Gayana Samaja 27 Oct 2013

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli B Venkatesh

Ganjira : K V Gopalakrishnan

Song list:

01.  ninnu kOri ( varNam) – mALavi – Calcutta Krishnamurthy

02. brOva samayamidE rAmayya – gowri manOhari – Garabhapurivasa  ( S )

03.  sArasadaLa nayana – khamAs – Dikshitar ( A )

04.  mahA tripurasundari – bhairavi – Pallavi Gopala Iyer ( A,N,S)

neeraval & swara @ ‘ kAppAdutaki ippuDu samayamammA kamanIyamaku bangAru bomma’

05.  praNatArthihara prabhO purArE (2 chakra) – mELarAgamAlika 1-12 – Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan

06.  kApAli – mOhanam – PapanAsam Sivan ( S )

07. vidhi shakrAdulaku – yamunA kalyANi- Thyagaja

08.  RTP – rAmapriya – misrachapu x 6  Eduppu at +2

pallavi line : “ellAm shivan seyal enrE, kavalai inru iruppai maDa nenjamE’

ragamalika swaras in ‘SAma, vasantha, husEni, sindhuramakriya, kApi’

09. kaLilO harismaraNa – kApi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar

10. lALisidaLu maganA -dEsh – Purandara Dasa

11. viruttam ( vizhikku tuNai ) – sindhubhairavi

vA vA vElmurukA -sindhubhairavi – Mayuram Viswanatha Shastri

12 riNmadhumita – behAg- Swathi Thirunal

13.  thillAna ( dhIm dhIm tadana dhiraNA) – thODi – Ramanathapuram Srinivsa Iyengar

14. magaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagraja

Concerts of this stature, which grows from one instance to the other is like watching Chris Gayle hitting sixes on every ball. One looses the choice of adjectives, and just leave it to the judgement of those reading this. On such a day, whatever he does will fall in right places, anything he sings will be better than the previous piece, and some of the fundamentals of physics on ‘space and time’ has to be revisited. Yesterday’s, concluding concert of Sanjay at the Gayana Samaja 45th Annual Music Festival was one such affair. I am not sure what to pick and choose to write about. Was it his ever lasting array of varNams, the alapana he sang ( especialy the initial 5 minutes) of khamAs,  the classical bhairavi , the magnum opus of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan, the cracking kalpana swaras of mohanam or the stylish pallavi. Go back, and take a look at the list of kritis he sang. That itself is the testimony to what would have been the atmosphere in the hall.

On such a day, when everything is going right for the artist, and he seems to be in a mood to deliver, one has to sit back and experience the electrifying atmosphere.The voice was in top form and he was traversing all octaves at a ‘never seen’ ease, playfully wants to explore the higher octaves as much as possible. The top class alapana, khamas in particular was a joy to sit and listen. Arguably, this is one of the best khamas I’ve heard in a long long time. As he was finishing the kriti (sArasadaLa nayanA), I was hoping that he will not do a neraval or kalpana swaras for it, as it might have spoiled the beauty of the rendition.

Bhairavi again, was superb. It was a bit early in the evening for the main, but the alapana was very elaborate befitting to the raga. Varadarajan played with the same vigour, reproducing almost all the nuances of the lead singer’s alapana. Kriti again was a surprise. I’ve heard this from BV Raman/BV Lakshmanan duo. The neraval was great and had a few rounds of kalpana swaras to add to the fervor. When he started the ‘mELarAgamAlika’ magnum opus of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan, I was expecting, only the first chakra. He extended this to two and the audience seems to have liked it a lot.

The so called, main wasn’t there in the traditional sense. Tani avartanam was played after a cracker of kalpana swaras for mohanam. Though some of the ‘ga,ga,ga,gApAli’ wasnt very appealing,  the way kalpana swaras were sung was spellbinding. A typical tani avartanam from Neyveli Venkatesh featured. His accompanying was much better towards the mohanam.

Pallavi was in the offing. A not so often heard yamuna kalyani kriti of Thyagaraja came in before that , another interesting selection. The alapana for RTP, kept all of us guessing. It was in the pantuvarali , purvikalyani group but not quite there. I was ‘convinced’ that it was ‘vAchaspathi’, and was believing the same until someone came to my rescue. It was rAmapriya, a minor frequency variation in the ‘rishabham’  ( R1 instead of R2). Pallavi wasn’t long. More importantly I had difficulty in identifying the pallavi line as he tends to swallow the last syllable. This must be a popular line, hope someone will come to correct me ( and they did, and I made the changes). There was detailed  ragamalika swaras, and Sama, husEni and sindhuramakriya ( here the artist himself clarified) in particular was very good.

Post pallavi and felicitation was the typical Sanjay fair, a desh , sindhubhairavi, behag. At this time, a request came in. He glanced at it and smiled, and started the thillana in thOdi. I’m sure the ‘chit’ that came in wasn’t requesting a specific thillana. Whatever it was, he did not yield, singing the mangalam and close the concert.

As they say, a cracker of a concert. One of the best for me this year ( so far !! )..


Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Concert Schedule


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Srivalsan J menon , Raga Sambhrama @ Chowdiah Memorial Hall 03 Feb 2012

vocal : Srivalsan J Menon

Violin : Sandhya Srinath

Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra

Organised by : Bharatiya Saamagaana Sabha

Ragam : Anandabhairavi


01 SLOkam ( Om namO bhagavathE vAsudEvAya) – Anandabhairavi

       cheluvudA nine kOri ( varNam)- Anandabhairavi – Ammachathram Kannuswami Pillai

02  kamalAmbA samrakshatu – anandabhairavi – Muthuswami Dikshitar

03 O jagadamba – Anandabhairavi – Shyama Shastry ( A,N,S ,T)

       neraval & swara @‘rAjamukhi sarOjanayana suguNa rAjarAjita kAmAkSi’

04  kaLaganji ?? – anandabhairavi – Allama Prabhu ( 12th century vachana poet)

Unlike his predecessors, Srivalsan J Menon decided to give a mini concert ( Eka rAga concert style) in his stpulated 1 hr.  I would have preferred a single kriti or a pallavi for 1 hr as done by the others. However, given the time and the scope,  he has done a good job.

He started the concert with a slokam in anandabhairavi, moving to a not often heard varnam of Ammachathram Kannaswami Pillai ( heard this earlier when malladi brothers sang at Gayana samaja , 4 yrs ago).  Dikshitar’s navavarana kriti ‘kamalAmba’ followed soon. A very emotive rendering, unhastened, with some good anticipatory responses by H S Sudheendra. He concluded without singing any kalpana swaras. mentioning Shyamashasthry for all those majestic compsitions in anandabhairavi, he choose to sing ‘O jagadamba’ for the main piece. Alapana was exquisite, very moving and measured. Sandhya Srinath, on her turn produced some of the magical phrases of the vocalist.  O jagadamba came in all its grandeur.  Neraval , especially, was very interesting at ‘  rAjamukhi sarOjanayana  ‘ , which I thought is not all that easy to pull it off.  Kalpana swara was brilliant, with some able accompaniment.

True to the nature of the concert and the bhava prevailed, Sri Sudhindra gave a sublime thani avartanam, albeit short. I liked the way he finished the tani easing into the conclusion. No fireworks, no fast paced finger play, no structurally complicated and loud exhibition of his capabilities. It matched to the evenings and the raga moods perfectly. He concluded the concert with a kriti of Allama Prabhu ( a 12th century poet ) set to tune to Anandabhairavi.

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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Concert Schedule


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Sanjay Subrahmanyan , Nadasurabhi Annual Festival 12 Nov 2011

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List :

01  sAmi nI rammanavE – kEdAram –  Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

02  rA rAmA intitAka – asAvEri – Thyagaraja ( S )

03  enta rANi tanakenta – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

        neraval & swara @ ‘ shEshuDu shivuniki bhUshuDu lakshmaNa’

04  ardhanArIshwaram – kumudakriya – Dikshitar ( A,S )

05  Anandavalli – nIlAmbari – Swathi Thirunal

06  marugElarA O rAghavA – jayantaSrI – Thyagaraja ( A )

07  RTP – ShankarAbharaNam – Chaturasra triputa, 2 kaLai

       pallavi line : “chakkagAni bhajana jEsE vAriki takkuva galadA srI rAmA dina dinamu’

       no Ragamalika swaras

08  gOpAla bhaktim mE – bhAgEshrI – Swati Thirunal

09  nanda tanaya gOvindana – bhAgEshrI – Purandara Dasa ( started at Anupallavi)

10  slOkam ( jAnAdi rAma )  – sindhu bhairavi , durga

       mannupughazh kOsalai than – rAgamAlika ( durga,laLita, tilang, sAranga,hindOLam,nIlAmbari)

11 bhArata sarAjya sakhi – dEsh – Mayuram Viswanatha Shastri

12  paNiyin vintuLipOlavE – harikAmbOji ? – Thirupugazh

13 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

A typical Sanjay concert. Power packed, with excitement galore ( both the performers and the audience alike).  He stsarted with another special varnam. This time in kEdAram. I dont know if any other current performer who brings so much variety into varnam.  Asaveri kriti followed quickly, giving us some taste of what is to follow with some sparkling swaras at the end.  Harikamboji kriti , enta rAni tanakentu’ came with out an alapana, and he chose to do neraval at the standard ‘sheshudu shivuniki” , in detail followed by another longish swara singing, lasting nearly 30 mins.

First alapana of the day came with kumudakriya, keeping us guessed for a long time. To me, this was the highlight of the concert. The alapana by Sanjay and Varadarajan were top class, so was the kriti that followed. He chose to sing swara at two places, one at “kumudakriyA rAganutam” and soon at ‘AgamAdi sannutam’ and it just added to the overall appeal to the kriti. Swathi Thirunal’s padam ‘Anandavalli’ came with all it emotive grandeur , before the alapana for Jayanthasree, I understand a requst from one rasika.  Jayanthasree alapana was also very good.

Without any further delay or fillers, he began Sankarabharam alapana. It was grand and awesome, lasting more than 30 mins between the vocal and violin.  Varadarajan in his return , reproduced some of the notes based phrases which Sanjay sang earlier in his turn.  A longish alapana and the style, dashed some hopes for a tamil kriti ( betting for tUkiya tiruvadi or s Shyama Sastry kriti) , but hte tanam that followed erased any concern we had. Fabulous job by Sanjay and Varadarajan. Pallavi line popularised by Semmangudi was very interesting, longinsh and more sounds like a neraval singing ( since there was no trikalam).  There were no ragamalika swaram, but the Sankarabharanam swaras were again fitting to the build up thus far.  By now , the noise levels were beyond comfort, with the excitement getting into the percussion team.  In general, mrudangam was noisy and often repeated the same pattern. Tani avartanam was a continuation of the chaos.  Guruprasanna , on the other hand was very good and it was pleasure listening to him whenever he had a chance to come forth.

Post main had 2 back to back bhAgeshri kritis, and a ragamalika kriti in Tamil. The slokam was started in sindhubhairavi, but a chit that put across, seems to have changed the original plan.  Mayuram Viswanatha Shastri’s desh kriti was another note worthy rendition before the close.

A very fulfilling concert, with an outstanding kumudakriya and the grand pallavi to remember.

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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Concert Schedule


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Gayathri Girish , Gayana Samaja 30 Aug, 2009

Vocal : Gayathri Girish

Violin : M S Govindaswamy

Mrudangam : B C Manjunath

Ganjira : Vyasa Vittala

Song list:

01 karuNimpa – sahAna –  Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya (  O )

02 srI mahAgaNapati – gauLA – Muthuswami Dikshitar  ( S )

03 palukavadEmira – dEvamanOhari – Mysore Vasudevacharya ( A,S )

04 Siva Siva Siva enarAdA –  pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja

05 chEtAsri bAlakrishNam – dwijAvanthi – Muthuswami Dikshitar

06 bhajarE rE chitta  – kalyANi – Muthuswami Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

     neraval @ ‘dEvIm  shakti bIjOdbhava mAtrkArNa sharIriNim’

07 tAmasambu sEyakanE nannu brOvarA – kAmbOji – Veena Seshanna

08 RTP – kIravANi – sankIrNa jAthi tripuTa  , 2 kaLai

    pallavi line ‘ parama dayAkara varasuguNa madaharaNa sItArAmachandra sharaNu sharaNu’

   tAnam , pallavi and swara in kIravAni. No ragamalika swaras.

09 vAnchatOnunA – karNaranjani – Harikeshanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar

10 tAmbUri mItti tava – sindhu bhairavi – Purandara Dasa

11 mangalam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Gayathri Girish gave a good concert at Gayana Samaja, yesterday. Devamanohari alapana and the keeravani pallavi stood out in the concert. Pantuvarali and dijavanti fillers werent all that enjoyable, so was the kalyani alapana. Personally, I cant stand kalyani alapana beyond 2 mins.  However, the neraval and the elaborate swara were very good. Swara singing alone was aroud 12-15 mins. Keeravani was the savior of the day. The alapana was very good and so was the tAnam. Pallavi had trikalam in detail with some good support from the percussioninst. There was no ragamalika swaras, which would have given a worthy finish to the concert. 

The accompanying artists had provided ample support, but hardly giving us a ‘aha’ moment. Manjunath was better of the trio. I havent seen him before, but seems to be promising.


Posted by on August 31, 2009 in Concert Schedule


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