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Abhishek Raghuram @ Samyoga2019, Annual Festival of Ranjani Fine Arts 09-Feb-2019

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : Akkarai Subhalakshmi

Mrudangam : Patri Satishkumar

List:

01 inta mOdi (varNam) – sAranga – Adi – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya ( O )

02 brOcEvArevvarE – shrI ranjani – Adi – Thyagaraja ( short Sketch, S )

03 jAnakI ramaNa – shuddha sImantini – Adi – Thyagaraja ( short Sketch, S )

04 shrI mAtrbhUtam – kannaDa – MishrachAp – Dikshitar ( A,S,T )

05 sumasAyaka – kApi – Roopakam – Swathi Thirunal ( A )

06 nannu brOcuTaku – thODi – Adi – Subbaraya Shasthri ( A )

07 tatvameruga taramA – garuDadhvani – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

08 murugA murugA enrAl – sAvEri – Mishra chap –  Periyasamy Thooran

09 suruTTi alapana

patiki hArati rE – suruTTi – Adi – Thyagaraja

10 nI nAma rUpamulaku – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

;——————-

*The downpour outside was paralleled with a downpour of musical swaras today.  Sriranjani and kannada swaras that was sung today has to be experienced. No words to describe.  If I am not mistaken, the kannada swaras were sung in 3 speeds.

*Sriranjani swaras had more interesting points, especially the way he prefixed raghupatE, ninnu vinA, srIrAma, sakala lOka nAyaka before ‘brOcEvarevvarE’ at different repeats. It was brilliant.

*First half, until kannaDa, there were no detailed alapana. KannaDa alapana was fabulous. Very typical of his style, which probably is a bit off-putting to some. Surprisingly, after some swashbuckling swaras, he asked PAtri to play the tani avartanam.

*He sang alapana ( fairly in detail way) for every thing that followed, including a teasing surutti  (for patiki harati rE).

* Sumasayaka, was sung like a varnam, with swara sahityam after chittaswaras, with some of his expressive twists and stretches.

*Garudadhwani alapana was also a novelty and the express-speed swaras.

*A very soulful sAvEri, among the forceful ( bit riotous, often) others, stood out.

*Both Akkari Subhalakshmi and Patri Satishkumar were excellent.

*I see a change in pattern in his singing, of late. Eager to see how it evolve. I like his concerts and his ability to inspire awe in me as a listener. It was no different,yesterday.

 

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Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Abhishek Raghuram @ Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha , 20 Oct 2018

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.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Pravin Godkhindi and Abhishek Raghuram @ Samarasa2018, PES University 23-Sep-2018

Hindustani Flute : Pt Pravin Godkhindi

Supporting Flute : Shadaj Godkhindi

Tabla : Pt Ravindra Yavagal

Carnatic Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin :  Parur M S Ananthakrishnan

Ghatam : Vazhappilli Krishnakumar

Phase 1 – Hindustani  ( Pravin Godkhindi – Shadaj Godkhindi – Pt Ravindra Yavagal )

01  Raag  madhuvanti    for 1 hr

Phase 2 – Carnatic Vocal Concert  ( Abhishek – Ananthakrishnan-Ravindra Yavagal – Krishnakumar )   – 1 hr

01 girirAja sutA tanayA – bangALA – Adi – Thyagaraja

02 inta sowkhyamAni nE – kApi – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A )

03 bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamAlika – Roopakam – Swathi Thirunal ( A – sAveri, nAtakurinji and dhanyAsi in detail, rest in a sweeping take )

Phase 3 – Jugalbandi  for 1 hr

01 dIpALi (h) / mOhanam (c)  – Alap & tarAna/tAnam

02 tani Avartanam ( Adi )

03 bhairavi (h) / sindhubhairavi (c)  – chandrashEkharA eesha

This was supposed to be a 2 hr concert of Pt Pravin Godkhindi followed by 2 hour of Abhishek’s concert. The unavailability ( unavoidable circumstances, says Abhishek) of ArjunKumar, who had to accompany Abhishek for his concert made the whole program to undergo a dramatic change. The 2+2 hr concerts have been combined ( and split into 3 phases) into a 3 hr affair. On a positive side, one could watch Pt Ravindra Yavagal, accompanying for a carnatic concert.

The first part of Pt Pravin Godkhindi was fabulous. A sedate madhuvanti ( late afternoon raga) was very impressive. His son, young Shadaj joined in brilliantly. With my near zero knowledge, I restrain myself here from further describing the concert.

Abhishek and the team  replaced the Hindustani counterparts for the next session. He was in super form, albeit a short concert. A quick Bangala kriti followed by a captivating kApi alapana and inta sowkhyamani. There was no time for a violin return. But I expected him to sing a few rounds of swaras. Probably owing to the time availability, he quickly started sAvEri alapana. He glided mesmerisingly into nAtakurinji. That opened up the hint. Ananthakrishnan had his chance now for playing a quick return. Dhanyasi was again sang in detail and moved on to Mohanam. The rest of the alapana was done in a long single take before retracting back in the same sequence to sAvEri. All the characteristics takes expected from Abhishek was performed for the kriti. Some twists, some sudden takes, move up and down the sthAyi,  laya variations at the chittasvaras , different sangatis on return to ‘bhAvayAmi’. I hope, he takes this up in a much larger scope in one of his future concerts, where his imaginations are not constrained by time.

The third phase was not very attractive. It was mostly a mutual admiration club on the stage and was largely satisfying to their own excesses. It did have its own ‘aha’ moments, but by and large, it disappointed me. There was insistence by both the lead artists to Pt Yavagal to play the percussion solo. And they duo definitely won a lot of applause with their electrifying tani avartanam. There was a quick bhairavi/sindhuharavi piece to conclude, where Abhishek part of the kriti ‘chandrashEkharA Eesha’.

Both the individual concerts were super class, despite the short duration.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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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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Abhishek Raghuram @ Seshadripuram College, 09 Apr 2017

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : Vittal Ramamurthy

Mrudangam : Sankaranarayanan

Morsing : Pramath Kiran

List :

01 dasharatha nandana – asAvEri – Thyagaraja

02 koluvai unnAdE – bhairavi – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

03 sItApatI nA manasunA – khamAs – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @prEmajUci nApai peddamanasu jEsi

04 endarO mahAnubhavulu – shrI – Thyagaraja ( A )

05 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

What a splendid evening. This list above is not the actual indication of what happened on stage, but if I say that is all he sang in a 3 hr concert probably give you an idea. Yesterday, he was in his sublime best. No exhilaration, none of the usual vocal and physical vigour. It was all a sedate, moving affair.

A brilliant start of asaveri, impressive selection of a kriti, sang very slow kicked off the evening. An outstanding alapana of bhairavi followed. Slow mesmerising phrases to start, continued in the same tempo almost the entire alapana, extremely pleasing.  It was ‘koluvai unnade’ again, almost a repeat of his Nadasurabhi concert 5-6 months ago. But who is complaining. Khamas alapana again was in the similar lines. He has taken some extra liberty here in his usual style, with some very refreshing phrases. Predicted ‘SitApatI na manasuna’ right. Another awesome neraval at premajuci. It was at the same venue, a couple of year ago, I heard one of the best ‘sItapatI’ from NEyveli Santhanagopalan with Narmada on violin. The kalpana swaras that followed was outstanding again. Wholesome feast, was enhanced by a entertaining tani avartanam bu the percussion duo. Sankaranarayanan on his part was brilliant through out the evening.

I was expecting a pallavi to follow, but he agreed to a request from an elderly gentleman for ‘endarO mahanubhavulu’. I guess, the person requested might have been expecting a ‘gOshti gAna’ type of endaro mahanubhavulu. Abhishek had other ideas. A sumptuous shrI alapana followed. I was hoping for a short tanam at this time, which would have taken the whole affair to a different level.  Arguably, after MDR I have not heard anyone sing ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’ to this impact. One to cherish for a long long time. I loved some of the add on he did during the chittaswara patterns. Fabulous stuff.

and that called for the bell. He had enough for the day, quickly closed the evening with a brisk mangalam.  But what an evening.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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