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Abhishek Raghuram @Nadasurabhi Annual Festival , 31st Oct 2017

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : Vittal Ramamurthy

Mrudangam : Sai Giridhar

Morsing : M Gururaj

List:

01 sarasUDa ninnE kOri (varNam) – sAvEri – Adi – Kottavasal Venkataramana Iyer  ( O )

02 vallabha nAyakasya – bEgaDa – rUpakam –  Dikshitar ( S )

03 mariyAda gAdayya – bhairavam – dEshAdi – Thyagaraja

04 nAkabhaya varamosagi – nAtakurinji – rUpakam – GNB  ( A,N )

neraval @ ‘rAga tALa rasabhAva rakti bhakti paripUrita ‘

05 ninnu jeppa kAraNamEmi – mandAri – Adi x 2 – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,S )

06 vinatA suta vAhana shrI ramaNA – jayantasEna – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

07 RTP – dharmavati – Adi x 2 , pUrvAngam in chaturashra and uttarangam in khanda , @ samam

tAnam in dharmavati , chakravAkam(shrutibhEdam) and malayamArutam

pallavi line ‘pAlincu bangAru kAmAkSi, bhagavati guNavati dharmavati

Pallavi in dharmavati and once in hEmavati

rAgamAlika swaras in dharmavati , aThANa and sindhubhairavi

07b  tani Avartanam

08 alarshara paritApam – suruTTi – Swathi Thirunal

09 tappu nODadE bandayyA – tilang – Purandara Dasa

10 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

What a cracker from Abhishek, while the rest of the team sat clueless, helpless on stage. When the lead artist in such a form, at the peak of creativity, imagination, the voice range and control, I guess it is difficult for the rest to catch up with him. With all credit to him, I would consider this as a ‘cerebral’ type of concert. It appealed immensely to your intellect and arguably to a lesser extend to your right brain. Here is a concert when you are in awe of the musician and not of the music. But all that apart, Abhishek was fabulous last evening , a very self satisfying concert for himself, as he was visibly pleased with some of his own exploits during the alapana.

It is going to be tough to pick and discuss each of them. The onslaught started with bEgaDa swaras, outstanding stuff.  The only sedate piece in the entire evening was the leisurely sung bhairavam kriti, high on emotive content. Natakurinji alapana take of was jaw dropping-ly interesting. Brilliant alapana followed by GNBs kriti nAkabhaya varamosagi, without giving a chance for violin to play the alapana. An outstanding neraval at ‘rAgatAla rasabhava’, with some good emphasize on the lyrical beauty.

Mandari alapana was also long and elaborate. Mandari is difficult to decipher for a lay listener like us, with the similarity to pantuvarali. In all his alapanas of the evening, he was stretching his voice to all octave from anu manthrasthai to tArasthai shadjam, also some of the fast paced, longish akaara sancharas.  Vittal Ramamurthy played a decent return here. Nannu jeppa, cleared the raaga confusion.  He started the kalpana swaras in the second speed at nannu jeppa, and later switched to first speed at kAraNamEmi. This had tremendous impact with an tricky take off. The way he started “sa ri ga ma kAraNamEmi’ gave goosebumps to me.

A short alapana in jayantasena ( again without a violin return) before he started the kriti vinatA suta vAhana from the anupallavi line. Few rounds of swaras here too. Quickly he started a fantastic dharmavati alapana, elongated, trying out multiple tings, moving up and down covering 3 octaves, short slow patters to some breathtaking long sancharas.  If I was having a second thoughts on the raga, Vittal added to the confusion with an ambiguous start.  Tanam was super, with a grahabhedam to chakravakam and the shift from chakravakam to malayamarutam.  TNS’s pallavi was to present in a ‘truncated version’ ( according to Abhishek). He added his on complexities and intricacies with the uttarangam. In one of the pallavi neraval, he shifted it to hEmavati, and sang with the change of raga name. He could have continued with manavati, kalavati, saraswati etc :-). Even ragamalika was randomly at atana and sindhu bhairavi.  Percussion duo played out a decent tani avartanam, on an evening where they were clearly struggling to cope up with the exuberance of the main artist.

There wasn’t much left to do post main. Swathi padam, alarshara paritapam was sung in Abhishek style, not very appealing to me, before mangalam.

Nadasurabhi, to their usual high standard of conducting the program had a quick inauguration of the events. Brisk and to the bare essential with no unwanted speeches and long acknowledgements. Wishing them all the success for the annual festival.

 

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Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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R Suryaprakash @ Suswaralaya Festival, Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira , 29th Oct 2017

Vocal : R Suryaprakash

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : Srimushnam Raja Rao

Ghatam : Trichy S Krishnaswamy

List :

01 shLOkam ( vakratuNDa mahAkAya) – rItigauLa

vanajAkSa ninnE kOri (varNam) – rItigauLa –  aTa –  Veena Kuppiyer

02 brOva bhAramA – bahudhAri – Adi – Thyagaraja ( S )

03 sahasrakara maNDitE – vAcaspati – Adi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ kara sahasradi varava koDuva ninna caraNa kamalavanu shiradali dharisi

04 nimma bhAgya doDDadO namma bhAgya doDDadO – aThANa – rUpakam – Purandara Dasa ( A )

05 tUkkiya tiruvaDi tuNai ena nambinEn – shankarAbharaNam – Adi – Suddhananda  Bharati ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ettanaiyO piravi eDutteDuttEn iLaittEn’

06 kaligiyuNTE gada – kIravANi – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja

neraval & Swara @ ‘bhAgavatAgrEsarulaku nArada’

07 RTP – vasanta – tisra tripuTa , samam eDuppu

pallavi line ‘ ninna nODi dhanyanAdenO , shESAcala vAsA

rAgamAlika swaras in behAg, kEdAragauLa , nihara, darbAri kAnaDa

08 shLOkam ( pUjyAya rAghavEndrAya)

thillAna ( nAdru dhIm nAdru dhIm tana dhiraNA) – sindhu bhairavi – Srimushnam Raja Rao

09 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati

Splendid concert , befitting the grand finale of the ‘Suswaralaya Music Festival’ at Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira by Vid. R Suryaprakash. Every thing he sang was brilliant, not a dull moment through out the concert. Mathur Srinidhi was at his sublime best, playing outstandingly good. Senior Vidvan Srimushnam was at his usual exuberance, albeit a notch on higher side, as one would expect.

There was a short delay to begin the proceedings as the organiser ( H S Sudheendra) spoke for 5-10 minutes on the final day of the three day long festival, thanking all those were involved in making it a success ; from Gurus, desciples, mike man, SRLKM, Audience, patrons ,sponsors etc etc. It did not in any way hamper the musical proceedings as Suryaprakash did not compromise and sang well over three hours.

Into the music now, after the lady interrupted him as he started the shlokam for some long introductions, he started with the reetigowla varnam of Veena Kuppaiyer. Things quickly changed gear with a brisk bahudhari kriti and some mesmerising swaraprasthana, reminding one of his ‘parama guru’ Madurai Mani Iyer. Srinidhi added to the flair. Beautiful vachaspati alapana came soon,  very impressive. Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s  composition in Kannada, was again a speciality of the Mani Iyer clan. A top class neraval at ‘kara sahasradi’ and another rounds of brisk swaras.

A shortish atana alapana preceded the devarnama. He did not sing all the charanams though, before switching over to my personal favourite ‘tUkkiya tiruvaDi’. As expected there was neraval at ‘ettanaiyO piravi’, in typical Mani Iyer style. This seems to have gone very well with the audience as well as the fellow accompanying artists.

Keeravani alapana was grand, and he did move through some of the not often heard phrases. To me, having used to listen to often repeated keeravani alapana, this was refreshing. Srinidhi, went a step further, taking off at a unique place, receiving immediate response from every one. Kaligiyunte, was nice but what was striking was the hange in the neraval line from the standard ‘baguga sri raghu rAmuni’. This , I think was clever from the artist and was very impressive.

Tani Avartanam was very long. One can understand that, on this occasion. He played some delectable rounds and was indeed loud. But, I am not going there. Trichy Krishnaswamy was all in awe of the maestro and played a subdued ghatam through out the evening.

There was more to come in the form of a pallavi. Nice alapana by  both the artists.  Tanam started very well, but was joined by the percussion from the second round. I am in support of a passive percussion follow for tanam, just to add to the laya aspect,  but yesterday it was an active mrudangam accompaniment for tanam and it took away the charm of tanam singing. This is my personal opinion and preference. So, no offense meant. Pallavi, said to be a composition of Srimushnam Rajarao. Nothing great on the pallavi line or the tAla.  Eduppu or arudi also had nothing spectacular to talk about. However, I was educated that the ‘sAhitya’ had some intricate laya aspect to it, as none of the ‘syllable’ falls on the beat. Sounds interesting. I need to check if ‘Shale’ still  has the concert available online. Ragamalika swaras had nice twist. He sang swaras in a rAga called ‘nihara’ ( announced by the artist) and the glide and oscillation of notes sounded it like a hindustani one. This was later clarified as a janya of pantuvarali with ” S,g,m,d,N,s / S,N,d,m,g,s” scale. Vidvan Suryaprakash concluded the concert with a thillAna of Srimushnam Raja Rao in sindhubhairavi.

Concert was attended by a large crowd and was webcasted live by Shale.com. It indeed was a fitting grand finale for the 18th Annual Festival of Suswaralaya College of Music. Fabulous concert by Sri Suryaprakash.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Ranjani & Gayathri @ Gayana Samaja 22nd Oct 2017

Vocal : Ranjani & Gayathri

Violin : H M Smitha

Mrudangam : Delhi Sairam

Ghatam : S N Narayana Murthy

List:

01 vanajAkSa (varNam) – hamsadhwani – Adi -Manampuchadi Venkata Subbaiyer ( O )

02 sakala grahabhala nInE – aThANa – rUpakam – khaNDachAp – Purandara Dasa (O,S )

03 inta parAka nIkinta – mAyAmALavagauLa – rUpakam – Anai Ayya ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘kaNNAtalli tanri sujanulanna tammu sati sutulE’

04 evaru manaku samAnam iLalO – dEvagAndhAri – Adi-Thyagaraja

05 shrI kAntimatim – hEmavati – Adi x 2 Dikshitar ( A,S,T )

06 niravadhi sukhadA – ravichandrika – Adi – Thyagaraja

07 RTP -hamsadhwani – khaNDa tripuTa x 2  +2.5or+3 eDuppu

pallavi line ‘dhwani, sad-dhwani,hamsadhwani.. nI nAdamE paramAnandamu

rAgamAlika swaras in kApi nArAyaNi, AbhEri, laLit(shrutibhedam to ShubhapantuvarALi)

08 abhang ( javu dEvachIya gava) – bhImplAs – Thukaram

09 mangaLam – saurAStram/madhyamAvati  – Thyagaraja

Inaugural concert of the 48th Annual Music Conference of Gayana Samaja. The hall was packed and over flowing. Having reached the venue 45 mins ahead of the schedule, we had to settle for the seats in the balcony. The influx of the fans continued well after the start time. A few plastic chairs was brought in, but the crowd continued to pour. Many had to sit on the floor, many moved into the stage and many stood through out the concert in the aisle. Heartening to see, such enthusiasm.

Concert was well planned and delivered and received with equal enthusiasm by the audience. Gayathri, was in super form through out. Her alapanas stood out for its variety and freshness. Her faster paced upper octave passages were delectable. The tanam was exquisite , so was the MMG neraval. So, if there is a ‘player of the match’ , it will go to her. HM Smitha played competently through out, her returns during the ragamalika were brilliant. Delhi Sairam was equally impressive.

Concert started with a brisk varnam in hamsadhwani. Nice atana piece before Ranjani sang the alapana for Mayamalavagaula. Good effort, and the selection of the kriti was more impressive. Neraval was top class,  especially from Gayathri. Good rounds of swaras continued. Nice little dEvagandhari kriti, not often heard these days was appreciated before the main.

Gayathri sang a detailed alapana for hemavati, with a grahabhedam to rEvagupti and it had to be Dikshitar’s master piece. No neraval , but an elaborate swara prasthana, which was very good. Delhi Sairam played an impressive tani avartanam, with some support from NArayana Swamy. A pallavi was in the offing. A quick ravichandrika found its way before.

Pallavi was probably the best of the evening. Beautiful alapana, especially the second part from Gayathri, outstanding tanam by all three and some cracking ragamalika swaras in the end. Pallavi line by itself wasn’t all that great, but it was structurally constructed well. Here again, Gayathri performed a shrutibhedam in the swaras from laLit to shubhapantuvarali. Overall a well executed pallavi.

There was no time left to sing all the ‘abhangs’ that was on request. However, the conceded to the request of the organiser and sang a shorter one, and concluded the concert.

The ‘Yellow brigade’ must be very pleased. They thronged the stage at the end. Guess, we are likely to see more of these ( of fan club banners, garlands to the hoarding, cheering etc) in classical concert in the coming days. So long as the quality of the delivery is maintained, there is no reason to complain.

One request to the organisers : When the hall is full, the place is very difficult to breathe. Personally I suffered nausea yesterday. Some thing needs to be done to improve the air circulation in the hall. This was an issue before, and it continued even after renovation.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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O S Thyagarajan @ Nadasurabhi 15th Oct 2017

Vocal : O S Thyagarajan

Violin : Vittala Rangan

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

List :

01. erA nApai ( varNam) – thODi – Adi -Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( O )

02. nI bhakti bhAgyasudhA – jayamanOhari – rUpakam -Thyagaraja ( S )

03. sundara tara dEham – pantuvarALi – Adi – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘rAgAdi samhAram rAghavam udAram’

04. sanAtana paramapAvana – phalamanjari – Adi – Thyagaraja

05. rAma daivamA – surutti – Roopakam – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

06. amma rAvamma tuLasamma – kalyANi – khaNDachAp – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘tAmarasa daLanEtru tyAgarAjuni mitru’

07. ETi janmamidihA – varALi – mishra chAp – Thyagaraja

08. chakkanirAja mArgamu – kharaharapriya – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ kaNTiki sundarataramaku rUpamE ‘

09. lAli yugavE -nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja (  O )

10. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

Vid OST’s concert have some staple ingredients. These days, they are largely limited to Thyagaraja compositions. He has a sense of measure to his singing. The alapana, neravals and kalpana swaras each of them takes a set pattern, they are apt and appropriate quantities. Which is why I like to attend his concerts. One comes back home with a sense of experiencing the essentials of carnatic music.

Sunday’s concert was also rich in the selection of ragas and kritis. While he mentioned in the middle of the concert that this is going to be an all Thyagaraja composition concert, relating his name and the residence number to the great composer, on a lighter note. However, his selection of kritis and the elaborations were very impressive. We were talking about surutti , the same after noon, and about its disappearance from concert these days and here comes a majestic alapana. Fablous neravals for pantuvarali ( as I always mention, an early pantuvarali neraval and swara can definitely lift the concert), nice selection of jayamanohari and phalamanjari in the middle, grand surutti piece before a surprise kalyani neraval and swaras ( I was happy there was no alapana for kalyani, but I can always manage to sit through kalyani kriti and neravals) were very good.

One should talk about the accompanying artist here. In most of the times it is they who make or break the concert to the audience. From the start it was evident that there is great synergy on stage. Vid Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, played delectably through out the evening, supported outstandingly by Udupa. Vittalarangan was on his elements, while following and in his turns. They made the difference in the evening.

Kharaharapriya alapana was very elaborate and good with some interesting phrases and a classy wind up at lower octave. I was hoping for ‘ni samanamevvaru’ but it had to be ‘chakkani raja margamu’. One does not get tired of listening to it again and again. Majestic neraval at ‘kantiki sundara’, detailed swaraprasthana in two speeds etc followed as expected. Percussion team played an excellent tani avratanam. There was no ‘banging’ the instrument, no gesticulation, no unwanted exhilaration, but delectable rhythmic poetry of instruments. I loved some of the ghatam returns.

There was nothing left to do post the main as he had spent enough time through the concert on larger pieces. The concert was soon wound up with a nilambari kriti and mangalam.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Arun Achanta-S Chandramouli-Raghavendran T @ J P Nagar , 01 Oct 2017

Vocal : Arun Achanta

Violin : S Chandramouli

Mrudangam : Raghavendran T

List:

01 mahiSAsura mardani ( varNam) – AndOlika – Adi- Muthaiah Bhagavathar

02 Ekadantam bhajEham – bilahari – Mishra Chap-  Dikshitar ( S )

03 mAyamma yani nE – Ahiri – Adi -Shyama Shasthri

04 sarasvati vidyuvati – hindOLam – rUpakam – Dikshitar

05 amba brOvavE – dharmavati – rUpakam – Bidaram Krishnappa ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ mahiSAsura madamardini madanavairi dOSiNi ( tOSini)

06 nannu kaNNatalli – sindhukannaDa – Adi – Thyagaraja

07 pArvati ninnu nE – kalgaDa – Adi tisranaDai – Shyama Shasthri

08 pAlincu kAmAkSi – madhyamAvati – Adi x 2  – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ kAntamagu pEru ponditivi kAruNyamUrti ‘

09 paluku tEnala talli – AbhEri – Annamacharya

10 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

This trio of musicians have been performing together for a while. The last time I listened to them was few years ago at Ranjani Fine Arts, during the ‘Gurupoornima’. Arun is an excellent singer, the rItigaula he sang last time was brilliant. When the invite came in, I had decided to listen to them again. The program was a small ‘chamber concert’ attended by 20-25 people at Mouli’s residence.

The concert was very very good. Selection of kritis to the way it was presented, despite few minor slips, was commendable. The start with a rare varnam itself was a bright start. It took a while for the team to warm up, with a bilahari kriti and a leisurely sung ahiri. Mayamma was a bit slower than the usual tempo, bringing out the essence of the raga.

Dharmavati alapana was grand and very impressive by both the artists. Amba brovave was a huge surprise. I’ve heard S Sankar and MS Sheela singing this composition. Arun’s effort was equally brilliant with some classy neraval and swara prasthana. To me, this was the high point of the concert. To good fillers came in. Both nannu kanna talli and kalgada kriti were very good. On public demand, he sang the pallavi &anupallavi of the Thyagaraja kriti in Kalgada.

Madhyamavati was main, running 15-20 min late into the stipulated time. The alapana was limited to some collected phrases of importance of the ragam. I thought that was clever, given the time constraints. However, he did justice to the kriti with detailed neraval and swaras. Chandramouli was eloquent as ever. Played some delectable phrases of dharmavati and followed the neraval and swaras with considerable elan. Raghavendran played an intricate tani avartanam. True to his school, his accompaniment was apt for the kritis and the improvisation of the main artists.

A very commendable effort by the team, to an appreciative audience.

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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