Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram
Violin : H N Bhaskar
Mrudangam : Patri Satishkumar
01 inta mODi ( varNam ) – sAranga – Adi – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya
02 lOkAvana caturA – bEgaDa – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja ( A, S )
03 vara nArada nArAyaNa – vijayashrI – Adi x 2 – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘prakaTambuga kIrti nosagene bhAvuka tyAgarAjanuta’
04 bAlAmbikAyAm param nahirE – kAnaDa – Adi – Dikshitar ( Raga Sketch, S )
05 lakSmaNamulu gala shrIrAmanuki – shuddha sAvEri – Adi – Thyagaraja ( S )
05b tani Avartanam
06 brhadEshvarO rakSatumAm – gAnasAmavarALi (gAnamUrti) – Roopakam – Dikshitar ( A )
07 sVamikku sari evare – kEdAragauLa – mishrachAp – Papanasam Sivan (Raga sketch, N )
neraval @ ‘pArkkaDal adanil paLLi koNDavan pAril nandagOpAlanAi pirandu, pAl tayir veNNai tiruDi uNDavan’
08 murugA murugA enrAl – sAvEri – mishra chAp – Periyasamo Thooran ( A,v )
viruttam ( en tAyum enakkaruL tanthaiyum)
09 candracUDa shiv shankara – darbAri kAnaDa – Adi – Purandara Dasa ( A )
10 rAmajOgi maNDu – khamAs – Adi – Bhadrachala Ramadas
11 thillAna ( tananA dhirana ) – khamAs – Adi – Lalgudi Jayaraman
12 mangaLam – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja
What a concert ! Very unusual, very ‘atypical’, very un-like Abhishek. There was no ‘main’, no elaborate 20plus minute of alapana, no looong neraval sequence. Take a look at the list again. It looks like he was in a mood to sing all those not often heard compositions. He was in a playful mood. Singing alapana in ‘ati mandrasthayi’ and suddenly leapfrogging to ati tArasthayi phrases. Often indulging in intrinsic laya formulations during swara prasthana with ever inspiring Patri Satishkumar. Very cerebral affair for someone who prefer a more traditional approach to concert. I am not in anyway suggesting that it was all a cerebral exercise of music.
The start of the affair was with a very unique take on begada. The Alapana itself was refreshing and engaging. For a piece immediately after the varnam, it was rather long alapana. HNB had a more traditional take in his turn. I was expecting vallabha nayakasya as is the norm. But he picked lOkavana chatura. There was an elaborate kalpana swaras for begada. With Patri, it gives him limitless freedom to express his ideas during swara singing and it was evident through out the evening.
The early phases of the slow alapana resembled varAli, but it was clear that he is singing a closely associated ragam. Vara narada, clarified the absence of dhaivatam 🙂 . There was no violin return of alapana. He sang few rounds of neraval with HNB at prakatambuga. Interesting. Not heard a neraval for this before. A few rounds of swaras to conclude an interesting selection. Soon another short alapana of kAnaDa. This time it was another not regularly heard Dikshitar composition. Again some nice rounds of kalpana swaras.
Lakshanamulu gala was another surprise. Well, there are compositions beyond darini telusukonti. Less than a week ago, I heard Saketharaman singing tAyE tripurasundari. Swashbuckling kalpana swaras. Exhilarating affair. So much was the energy and excitement, Abhishek pondered for a sec and requested Patri to play tani avartanam, to the surprise of the percussionist and the listeners. Which, of course, was on another level.
A ganamurti alapana, mostly done at the higher octaves were very moving. This time another rare piece of Dikshitar ( ganasamavarali as it is known ) was taken, sung beautifully. After a short sketch of kEdAragaula, he started at shyAma sundara jagan mOhana krishna , anupallavi of Papanasam Sivan’s composition, svamikku sari evare. He repeated, as in neraval, the long line ”pArkkaDal adanil paLLi koNDavan pAril nandagOpAlanAi pirandu, pAl tayir veNNai tiruDi uNDavan’ quite a while without a violin return. Again , very impressive.
When he started the saveri alapana, we all sat back anticipating the main. He started off at some very unusual place and after few phrases, stopped with a mischievous smile and glint in his eye, murmured ‘you can guess the ragam’ or some thing to that effect. But the ‘known’ sAveri did not hide for too long. This time, HN Bhaskar got his chane to play the aapana again ( after the bEgaDa). Since the alapana was short and stopped all of a sudden, I was thinking a two phase alapana as in the case of a Pallavi. But he had other plans and started a viruttam. When he started ‘muruga muruga enral’, there was still hope for a traditional main with neraval and swaras. Again, we were denied.
When he started the darbari kAnaDa alapana, the hope rekindled. It is rare to get a detailed darbari kanada alapana. I heard one of Madurai Somu and a pallavi ( must be Sanjay, but can’t be sure) before. Abhishek sang it fairly long ( 8-10 mins) followed by HNB about 5-6 mins. Liked it.
By now, it was sure that he was on a different plan for the evening and we might not have a traditional fair. He looked at the orgaisers for time and plans to wind down. Two khamas pieces, rAmajOgi manDu followed without any gap a thillana ( as though he wanted to extend it a bit) before he called it a day.
I am still getting reconciled to this concert. While experiencing it live, one couldn’t stop admiring his class. However, it did have the leftover of something missing. It wasn’t an Abhishek concert, one is used to attending. But, looking at the list above, and the way he presented them, I think, it justify the choice of picking Abhishek over Ranganatha Sharma, who sang at my backyard.