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Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Gayana Samaja 49th Annual Festival, 28 Oct 2018

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Morsing : B Rajashekhar

List

01 E nAdamulO (varNam) – nATa – Adi – Balamuralikrishna

02 kumArasvAminam guruguham – asAvEri – Adi x 2 – Dikshitar

03 kalayAmi raghurAmam – bEgaDa – mishra chAp – Swathi Thirunal ( A,S )

04 evaritO nE telpudu rAma – mAnavati – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

05 koluvai unnADE – bhairavi – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval& svara @ ‘manasu ranjilla sura satulu aNimAdulu koluva vEyi vannE ‘

06 viruttam ( mAnADa mayilADa ) – kalyANi

Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE – kalyANi – Gopalakrishna Bharathi

07  RTP – Arabhi – Khanda Eka  +1 eDuppu

pallavi line : rAjIvAkSA bArO, rAdhA ramaNa

ragamalika svaras in hamsadhvani, AbhOgi , kEdAram, ranjani, bahudhAri and hamsAnandi

08 beTTada mElondu manEya mADi ( vachana ) – nArAyaNi?? – mishra chAp – Akka Mahadevi

09 japat japat hari nAm – rAgamAlika – Swathi Thirunal

10 mangaLam – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

It’s been a while since he sang in Bangalore. He had ‘postponed’ two of his concert during the Gokulashtami series, hence the expectations were high. To avoid being ‘elevated’ to the balcony seats, I decided to reach early, even though that meant skipping the second half of the Bangalore Literature Festival. I managed to enter the gates before  the Central Minister Rajnath Singh’s convoy and the restrictions in front of the gate / road by the police. Their action reminded me of the kid’s outdoor games where one shouts ‘Freeze’.

Back to the concert. For some days, many will be talking about the bhairavi he sang yesterday. Stupendous. Brilliant alapana, with typical characteristics of his style. Many moments of public appreciation, the holding at a swara with long breath, some astonishing parleys at the higher octaves, some impressive fast akara phrases.  I heard more than one ‘brilliant’ shouts as he concluded the alapana. Varadarajan was equally good in his turn. I probably will shift towards him if I may have to choose. Koluvai Unnade was class, the ‘kOdaNDapANi’ sangatis were a gem.  Detailed neraval and ‘manasu ranjilla’ , some of which were breathtaking.

Begada was another gem. Very refreshing take during alapana, teasing sequences at the starting. Kalayami Raghuramam was not expected and hence a pleasant surprise. He was again teasing with ‘dyumaNi kula tilakam’ , raising a hope for a neraval, which did not materialize. Manavati, the other raga taken for alapana, was also nice. Very short rounds of swaras for manavati too.

Arabhi pallavi was rather short. Pallavi line was concluded after 3-4 repeats, and swaras for arabhi was also short. However, the alapana and tanam was fairly long. However, there was a long chain of ragamalika swaras.

Akka mahadevi’s vachana was beautifully sung. I was told that it was set to tune in nArAyaNi, but can’t be sure. Concert concluded exactly at 9, after a short ragamalika piece of Swathi Thirunal. This was after the over enthusiastic organiser made some funny and embarrassing moments for the artists. Another typical Sanjay concert. Full, with no dull moments, more than enough to keep the fans happy.  And, we will have him again here in a week for another treat.

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Posted by on October 29, 2018 in Concert songlist

 

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D Balakrishna with Vamshidhar ( Veena-Venu) at Nadasurabhi Annual Music Festival, 19 Oct 2018

Veena : D Balakrishna

Flute : Vamshidhar

Mrudangam : Anirudh Bhat

Ghatam : Raghavendra Prakash

List:

01 mAtE malayadhwaja (daru varNam) – khamAs – Adi -Muthaiah Bhagavatar

02 shrI varalakSmi namastubhyam – shrI – Roopakam – Dikshitar ( S )

03 cintayAmi jagadambam – hindOLam – Mishra Jhumpa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

04 shrI cAmuNDEshwari pAlayamAm – bilahari – Adi x 2 – Mysore Vasudevachar ( A,S )

05 mAmava janma doDDadu – pUrvikalyANi – Mishra Chap – Purandara Dasa ( A,S )

06 OrajUpu jUcEdi nyAyamA -kannaDa gauLa – Adi – Thyagaraja

07 birAna varalicci – kalyANi – Adi Tisra naDai – Shyama Shasthri ( A,t,N,S,T )

neraval & swaras @ ‘shyAmakRSNa sOdari gauri, paramEshvari girijA’ (?)

08 mAnasa sancararE – sAma – Adi – Sadashiva Brahmendra

09 jagadOdhAraNa – kApi – Adi – Purandara Dasa

10 thillAna – cencurutti – Veena Seshanna

11 mangaLAm – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam in madhyamAvati

Very good start of the annual festival of Nadasurabhi, who are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. Congratulations to the Nadasurabhi team on this momentous occasion. They have been doing a commendable job over this years and wishing them all the success in future.

You cant ask for a better start to their proceedings of this year’s festival, but with a sedate Veena concert of one of the leading artists of the Mysore School. True to his lineage, the concert was memorable. Largely selected on devi, and from the Mysore composers ( and one piece each from the Trinity), nice mix of talam, it was evident that a lot of thought had gone into the preparation.

To me, the concert livened up from the bilahari. I am not hinting that the prior compositions lacked anything, but one could see a marked difference with the kalpana swaras of bilahari. The pUrvikalyani alapana that followed was delectable. Vamshidhar was very good in his turn of alapana. The swaras that followed were top class.

Kalyani alapana started with a bang ( as they say). I loved the start ( well, then on it was kalyani 🙂 ). However, the tanam which came in was outstanding. Very very elaborate, exquisite and arguably the best part of the concert.  It is always a pleasure to listen to tanam on a Veena. Shyama Shasthri’s kriti was nice. There was few rounds of neraval followed by a masterly kalpana swaras, which has some of the intelligent variations on display. The percussion duo played an impressive tani avartanam. I should add that Anirudh Bhat accompanied brilliantly through out the evening.

There was not much to hope for post main, as the crowd was sparse by then. There was time ( until 9:00, said the organisers on his query on how long can I go on) for a couple more. Veena Sheshanna’s thillana was a worthy mention in this segment.  Here again, I think the Chencurutti thillana is ‘tailor-made’ for Veena playing.

Impressive concert by Vid Balakrishna and the team on Day1 / Phase1 of the Nadasurabhi Annual Festival.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in Concert songlist

 

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Vishnudev Namboothiri @ Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt, 21 July 2018

Vocal : Vishnudev Namboothiri

Violin : B K Raghu

Mrudangam : B S Prashanth

List:

01 sarasUDA ( varNam ) – sAvEri – Adi – Kothavasal Venkataramana Iyer

02 telisirAma cintanatO – pUrNacandrika – Adi – Tyagaraja ( S )

03 ninna nODi dhanyanAdenO – tODi – Roopakam – Purandara Dasa ( A,N,S )

neraval & swaras @ dEsha dEsha tirugi nAnu Asha badhanAdE svAmi ‘

04 narasimha mAmava – Arabhi – Khanda Chap – Swathi Thirunal

05 venkaTa shailavihAra – hamIr kalyANi – Adi x 2 – Subbaraya Shasthri (  O )

06 kalayAmi hrdi nanda – kannaDa – Mishra Chap – Swathi Thirunal ( S )

07 shrI bhASyA kArasyatE – kApi – Khanda Chap – ??

08 mA jAnaki – kAmbOji – Adi – Tyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ rAjarAjavara rAjIvAkSa vinu’

09 gOvindA ninna nAmavE chanda – janasammOdini – Adi – Purandara Dasa

10 manda matiyu nAnu madana janakanu nAnu – durga – khanda chap – Purandara Dasa

11 mangaLam – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

What a stupendous concert. Pardon me is I use too many superlatives today.  Well, it was worth every words of it. The team today was brilliant. You may stop reading now 🙂

Reaching Malleswaram on a Saturday evening is a nightmare. The google map showed 1hr 18 mins and I thought I am going to miss the start. But, as it turned out, I reached before the main artist, who had a similar experience with the traffic. To attend this, I had to skip two of my favourite artists, performing at the nearby Belundur.

Concert started after the Swamiji of the Mutt, reached the venue and blessed the artists and the audience.  And credit to the organisers for having paid respect to the recently departed mrudangam maestro B K Chandramouli, before the concert. Swamiji, later in the evening spoke about Sri Chandramouli and their association at length.

Concert started with a brisk varnam and soon moved into poornachandrika. Some brilliant swaraprasthana at the end, gave an indication of what is going to come for the rest of the evening.  A fantastic thodi alapana came in soon. What a start, how beautifully he constructed and weaved the alapana with some mesmerizing phrases. Super class and one of the best I’ve heard in recent times. B K Raghu was equally fabulous in his turn, played many delectable phrases and added to the overall impact of the thODi hurricane. The kriti was even better. From the selection to the neraval and the two speed kalpana swaras were outstanding. I am very impressed with his diction, which seldom see in artists from Chennai when they sing Kannada Compositions. The thodi effect took a while to leave as he eased into an Arabhi and a very melodious hameerkalyani. Another couple of short pieces came in with kannaDa and kApi. Again, he sang some cracking swaras for kannada. The kApi kriti was on Ramanuja, which was apt for the place and occasion.

Kamboji affair was akin to the thODi one. Outstanding alapana from the main artist, equally measured and impactful approach from Raghu.  The power of the voice was at its best as he easily moved across the ‘sthAyi’s at will. The mandrasthayi long passages were a treasure in the beginning and the high octane output at the tArasthayi towards the middle phase were very appealing.  Superb alapana.  O rangashayi was ringing in my mind  ( Swamiji made a similar observation, later) but it was mA jAnaki. Again, no words to describe. He was in top form. The long neraval was superb. He was tracing many unknown paths, especially in the higher registers. I thought he even reached tArastAyi shaDjam at one place ( nishAdam for sure) in some of the breathtaking neraval phase. He continued on the same tempo with kalpana swaras, later switching back to the first ‘kAlam’ form some of the more intrinsic patterns. Outstanding.  Prashant had a field day. He is improving leaps and bounds every time I watch him play. Yesterday he played with a lot of elan, anticipated well, added to the overall effect of the concert. He also played a very commendable tani avartanam after the main.

Couple of devarnamas constituted the rest of the evening. Swamiji later blessed the artists with his knowledge and keen observations on the music. The supercharged atmosphere was visibly evident from the faces of the listeners and the artists. Audience thronged the artists to congratulate them. Brilliant musicians and an outstanding concert.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2018 in Concert songlist

 

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Vasudevan Ram, Guru Utsava @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 21 Jul 2018

Vocal : Vid Vasudevan Ram

Violin : Anand Viswanathan

Mrudangam : Rakshit

List:

01 shLOkam ( guru brahmO gurur viSNO ) – kalyANi  ( O, violin return )

gaNapatE mahAmatE – kalyANi – Roopakam – Dikshitar  ( Ambi?? )

02 paripAlayamAm – rItigauLa –  Roopakam – Swathi Thirunal ( A )

03 viruttam ( en tAyum enakkaruL tantayum nI ) – kApi – Arunagirinathar ?

kArtikEyanai kaNNAra kANAvENDumE – kApi – Roopakam – Mayuram Viswanatha Shasthri

Shri Vasudevan presented the inagural concert of the 2 day long Guru Utsava of Ranjani Fine Arts. A short half an hour concert, which was planned beautifully. It is difficult to plan and control a short duration concert. You have to omit or miss more than what you could incorporate.

He started appropriately with the guru vandana shlokam, sang beautifully. Anand played a nice little alapana of Kalyani before the kriti. Nice idea of including the Guru and Ganesha in one piece. Another good alapana of reetigaula, with some innovative takes by Vasudevan, followed by Anand with a short reply. The time was running out and I could see Vasudevan was stepping up the tempo. Paripalayamam was sung at a pace faster than usual tempo.

A short viruttam from Kandar Anubhooti ( ?) before Mayuram Viswanatha Shastri’s composition to conclude the short but pretty nice concert.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in Concert songlist

 

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O S Thyagarajan @ Ranjani Fine Arts , 14 May 2016

Vocal : O S Thyagarajan

Violin : Mullaivasal G Chandramouli

Mrudangam : Akshay Ananthapadmanabhan

List :

01 dinamaNi vamsha – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02. teliyalEru rAma – dhEnuka – Thyagaraja

03. sItamma mAyamma – vasanta – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘dharajita bhAgavatAgrEsarulevvarO vArellaru’

04. dvaitamu sukhamA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

05. shrI kAnta nI eDa – bhavapriya – Thyagaraja

06. evvarurA ninnu vinA – mOhanam – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

07. dAcukO valEnO dAsharathi – thODi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval @ ‘saumitri tyAgarAjuni’

08. eppO varuvArO – jOnpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharati

09. shObanE – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja

10. vinAyakuni – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

11. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

This was the second concert of OST in 7 days, at the same locality. As expected, this was again a ‘Thyagaraja’ special concert, making tribute to the legendary composer on his 250th birth centenary. To most of us who attended the previous concert, it felt as though he started off from where he left us last week. Same exuberance, same focus and involvement passed on to the others on the stage as well as the listeners. I found his voice to be in much better shape than last week. He was able to move up and down the octaves with ease, which he deployed extensively during alapana. However, he was a bit restrained from his free flowing mood of  the previous week, probably because of the ‘sabha concert settings’.

Ritigaula and mohanam alapana were the best part for me. I liked them more than the main thodi alapana he did. Both reetigaula and mohanam were marvelous. He did spent ample amount of time in setting the stage with slow short phrases to some extremely impressive ‘sanchAra’ moving across three octaves as he progresses. Few quick ‘akara’ phrases , quirky shifts of modulation, few longish higher octave expositions of the beauty of the raga were very very impressive for both reetigaula and mohanam, and to a much lesser effect in thodi. Mullaivasal Chandramouli almost always matched the sojourn of the lead singer with his violin during his turn. Some of his ‘deviations’, especially for mohanam was praiseworthy. With his special stand and the placement of violin was a bit unconventional but he was excellent through out.

Concert started with a harikamboji kriti as in the case of last week. It came to full flow only during the vasanta neraval. Interesting place to sing neraval and in his customary style he did a fantastic job. Ritigaula was fabulous. These days one get to hear only ‘janani ninnu vina’ and occassionally  a ‘paripalayamAm’ or’ninnu viDachi’. It’s  been ages since I heard ‘dvaitamu’  in a concert. He did sing this in a faster tempo, not sure  if that was the actual  ‘kalapramanam’. Fantastic rounds of kalpana swaras followed. I hoped for a neraval, though. After a short bhavapriya filler, mohanam came into fore.Very  good again and another nice choice of kriti. Thodi alapana was good in parts, but ‘dacukO valeNo’ choice was superb. Yet another masterpiece almost in obscurity. There was a grand neraval and much bigger and longer kalpana swara befitting a main. I still dont get why artists sing neraval at ‘saumitri tyAgarAjuni’, which to me sounds incomplete and meaningless. Akshay Ananthapadmanabhan was having a difficult day. He was continuously tuning his instrument through out the concert. Probably this pre-occupation affected his performance to some extend. He uses the modern mrudangam and had all the ‘handyman’ tools with him which he used after every kriti and post alapana before the song. The spanners, screw driver, hammer, ‘sAlagrAma :-)’ etc were used alternately. He is a talented musician and that was evident in the brilliant tani avartanam he played post the main.

Eppovaruvaro was an aberration in otherwise a complete ‘thyagaraja composition’ concert. OST sang that well, but one hoped for better support for this song. Shobane and vinayakuni completed the remainder of the evening before the closure. I always believe, singers can do a better preparation and present much better ‘post main’ kritis. Having said that this was another immensely enjoyable concert, very traditional and orthodox classical music performance.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Concert songlist

 

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