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S Shankar @ Essae Music Foundation, 13 Nov 2016

Vocal :  S Shankar

Violin :  Mysore Nagaraj

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : G Guruprasanna

List :

01 shLOkam ( vyAsO naigama charchayA) – kAmbOji – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar

02 mEru samAnA – mAyAmALavagauLa – Thyagaraja ( O,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ aLakala muddunu tilakapu tIrunu’

03  dAsharathi ninnu kOri – riSabhapriya – Bidaram Krishnappa ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘kamalabhava sEvanuta charaNam vimala guNagaNa nAsharahita??’

04 anAtHuDanu gAnu – jingaLa – Thyagaraja

05 tuLasi bilva –  kEdAragauLa- Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘karuNatO nenarutO paramAnandamutO niratamunu’

06 mI valla guNadOSamEmi – kApi – Thyagaraja ( A )

07 manavi nAlakinca rAdaTE – naLinakAnti – Thyagaraja

08 entani nE varNintunu – mukhAri – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘kanulAra sEvinchi kammani phalamula’

09 amba brOvavE – dharmavati – Bidaram Krishnappa

10 kaddanu vAriki – thODi – Thyagaraja (A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘baddu tappaka bhajiyinche bhakta pAlanamu sEyu’

11 shrIrAma jayarAma shringAra rAmayani – yadukulakAmbOji – Thyagaraja (O)

12 shLOkam( mangaLapanchakam) – sAvEri,SaNmukhapriya, Anandabhairavi, hamsAnandi, surutti  – T N Padmanabha

This annual music event at Essae is one which I usually try not to miss. For last 9 years or so, if I  am not mistaken, Prakash and Srividya conduct concerts under the Essae Music Foundation, and November concert is always by his Guru and one of my favourite Vidvan Bangalore S Shankar. I like his music for a variety of reasons. It probably is as clean and clear as one can get. Clear diction, adherence to ‘pAThAntaram’, no unwanted baroque presentation, very impressive selection of kritis and their appropriate positioning and elaboration. And my special interests in neravals, which he gives me in big numbers :-).

Yesterday’s concert was again in the above lines. What a beautiful concert it was. Nice selection of kritis , 6 alapana, 5 neravals and an classy thOdi as main. He probably is not one who gives you that intellectual kick, but  his music has a charm, a freshness and thus an appeal.

The concert was announced as a tribute to Thyagaraja on his 250th year of birth as well as Sri Bidaram Krishnappa, whose 150th birth anniversary is in 2016. The concert was with some commentary, anecdotes and explanations as he introduced the compositions. After a shloka of Thyagaraja by one of his prime disciples, Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar, he talked some nuances of Thyagaraja’s compositions. Before which, he gave a brief sketch on the life and music of Sri Bidaram Krishnappa. Hopefully, one day we could have a detailed lecture on some of these lesser known Musicians from Mysore.

Sri Shankar sang alapanas for rishabhapriya, kedaragaula,kapi,mukhari and an elaborate thodi. There was neraval for almost all of these. What was most impressive about them was also the selection of kritis, especially some of the fillers. A rare jingaLa, Bidaram Krishappa’s dharmavati composition and the kApi with a sweet alapana. Mysore Nagaraj was fabulous. The short kApi alapana he played still gives me goosebumps. Neyveli Venkatesh played excellent through out, and played a swashbuckling tani avartanam. While the exhilaration was in the air, he was much restrained this time. The percussion duo was fantastic.

If the concert started with a shlokam on Thyagaraja, it concluded with a mangala shlokam on Thyagaraja, which I presume was set to tune by Sri Shankar himself.

A musical feast. I loved every bit of it.

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Posted by on November 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Bangalore S Shankar @ Sree Ramaseva Mandali, 03 May 2016

Vocal : Bangalore S Shankar

Vocal Support :  Ramani Shankar

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Ghatam : B R Ravikumar

List :

01 chalamEla jEsEvura (varNam) – shankarAbharaNam – Swathi Thirunal ( O )

02 siddhi vinAyakam anisham – SaNmukhapriya – Dikshitar ( A,S )

03 bhajarE rE mAnasA – AbhEri – Mysore Vasudevachar ( O )

04 shrI venkaTEsham varam – thODi – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘mArajanakam mAdhavA nAmakam ‘

05 shrIdhara kEshava nArAyaNa – kalyANavasantam – Nadopasana Srinivasan

06 pakkAla nilabaDi – kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ tanuvuchE vandana monarincucunnArA ‘

07 akhilANDEshvari rakSamAm – dvijAvanti – Dikshitar

08 RTP – shankarAbharaNam – Chaturashra Triputa x 2 , +3/4 eduppu?

pallavi line ‘dAsharathE karuNA, payOnidhE inakula tilakA’

no rAgamAlika swaras

08b. tani Avartanam

09 navarasa shLOkam ( shringAram kshiti) – khamAs (shringAram), aThANa ( veeram) , sahAna ( karuNam), rEvati ( adbhutam) , mOhanam ( hAsyam), ranjani (bhayAnakam/bhIbhatsam) , kApi (raudram/shantam)

09b  charaNamulE nammitE – kApi – Bhadrachala Ramadas

10 shringApurAdhIshvari shAradE – kalyAni – Padmacharan ( A V Krishnamachar)

11  manavE mantrAlaya – suddha sArang – Padmacharan ( A V Krishnamachar)

12 tirupati venkaTa ramaNA – sindhu bhairavi – Purandara Dasa

13 thillAna ( dhIm na na na tillillAna) – brindAvani – Balamuralikrishna

14 mangaLam – saurAshtram/ madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

Vid Shankar’s concert is like a cool breeze on a hot summer evening. It can have such a soothing effect on you. Very traditional, very involving, subtle ascend through the concert and ,though predictable a nice rounded off wind up. It might not give you the exhilaration or an adrenalin rush like ‘performers’ but will give you a sense of completeness. I particularly likes his concerts, largely because of the ample neravals he plans in his concerts.

Yesterday’s concert was no different. It did have a breezy start with the shankarabharanam varnam ( not often heard these days) and reached the top with a classy pallavi in the same ragam , as is the wont in the older tradition. He did  sing some ineffective pieces in the middle, like the Nadopasana Srinivasan’s composition and not so emotive akhilandeshwari, but otherwise it was one of the top class effort from the team.

One should also give a lot of credit to the supporting artists on the stage. K U Jayachandra Rao played with such brilliance ( with some on stage prompting and gestures from Shankar) through out the evening. His following for the composition was such a delight to watch last evening. Charulatha was her usual high standard, probably over did a bit during alapana a couple of times. His son Ramani who sang along and also shared alapana of kharaharapriya and thodi(?) pretty decently.

Shankarabharanam pallavi was the best of the evening. Beautifully delineated two stage alapana from Shankar and an apt return from Charulatha. Tanam was even better singing with a lot of deliberation and done in two speedss, with a few aha moments. Pallavi neraval again was classy. I thought he did a splendid job at the pallavi, with some interesting sangatis thrown in. Very elaborate trikalam was done by both vocalist as well as violin. Swara was rather short for not having ventured into typical ragamalika swaras of pallavi. The percussion duo played a good tani avartanam.

Shanmukhapriya ( albeit short) and kharaharapriya alapana were good. Thodi alapana was even better. Neraval for both thodi and kharaharapriya was very well done. Kalpana swaras were sung for all three, but I thought they were rather shorter affair. Ramani chipped in for all neravals and kalpana swaras with his guru.

Navarasa shlokam was the highlight of the post main group. Some interesting selection of ragams to each ‘rasa’. I especially liked the choice of aThANa for veera, mOhana for hAsya and sahAna. This was again very very impressive. He sang a couple of compositions of Padmacharan. Having concluded a workshop on the compositions of Padmacharan ( a week ago) by Vid Shankar, I was expecting one or two to feature in the concert. Felicitation and Vote of Thanks was done at this time and the artist concluded the evening with a devarnama and a thillana.

Very traditional, well conceived and planned, complete in every aspect,  concert from Vid Shankar and team.

PS : While the concert was in full swing, the audience as well as the artist on the stage were involved  in another entertaining game. Picking and removing a small black insect from body.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Bangalore S Shankar, Magical Memories , MSS Tribute at Essae Music foundation 15th Nov, 2015

Vocal : Bangalore S Shankar

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : K V Prasad

List:

01. shLOkam ( Om nama: praNavArthAya )

vanajAkSi ninnE kOri (varNam) – kalyANi – Palavi Gopala Iyer

02.  gajavadana karuNAsadana – shrI ranjani – Papanasam Sivan ( A – short)

03.  ennagANu rAma bhajana – pantuvarALi – Bhadrachala Ramadas ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘rAmachiluka nokaDa penci prEma mATalADanEpA’

04.  brOchEvAravarurA – khamAs – Mysore Vasudevachar ( A )

05.  kAmAkSi ambA (swarajati) – bhairavi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘shyAmakrSNa sahOdari shivashankari paramEshwari (ambA )’

06.  nArAyaNA ninna – shuddha dhanyAsi – Purandara Dasa

07.  O rangashAyi – kAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘bhUlOka vaikuNTham itiyani ‘

08.  rangapura vihArA – brindAvana sArang – Dikshitar

09.  bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamalika – Swathi Thirunal

10. shLOkam on MSS ( shAradAnugraha lasita) – kIravANi, Anandabhairavi, bEgaDa, yamunAkalyANi? – T N Padmanabha

maithrIm bhajata – yamunAkalyANi+kApi ?  – Chandrashekhara Saraswathi

This is the ‘unofficial’ annual concert of  the Essae Music Foundation. Every year in the Month of November, a concert of Vid Shankar used to feature with Mysore Nagaraj and N Vasudev as accompaniment. Each year, I used to attend this and each one of them were real gems. This time, the concert was announced as a tribute to M S Subbulakshmi on her birth centenary year. The program was called “Magical Moments – Evergreen Renditions of M S Subbulakshmi”. Hence what is in store was very clear. The only difference this time was the change in accompaniment. Sri K V Prasad, who had accompanied MSS for over 20 yrs, was an apt choice for such a program.

Despite this being a concert consists of kritis popularised by MSS, Sri Shankar was very judicious in his picks. While the list was 100% in adherance with the theme, he carefully picked and varied the ‘tALa’ as well as the composers. He also did another important thing by singing each of these compositions in his own style, not necessarily reminding us of the MSS rendition by mimicking the style.

He also spoke at the beginning and through the concert while introducing each composition. He started the evening telling us about his early association with the music of MSS. He recollected the 1966 UN concert of MSS, which was being shown n various part of India. His first encounter was through these as a 16 year old boy. He also explained the connection of MSS family with Bangalore, through various cousins and relatives of Sri Sadashivam in Bangalore.

Concert by itself was of very high standard as one would expect from Shankar. Many alapna, albeit short ones for shriranjani and khamas, three neravals which I always cherish and some impressive swara prashtana. Pantuvarali was the first with a detailed alapana. Bhadrachala Ramadasa kriti was excellent. So was the neraval. I like this line for neraval instead of the ‘rAma rAma rAmayanucu’. His khamas alapana was cut short as he decided to give few snippets about the vaggeyakara ( a book of Vasudevacharya’s composition with notation in English is being written /prepared by Shankar is set to release on next sunday ). Varadarajan compensated for that miss with a mesmerising short khamas alapana. Bhairavi alapana and the swarajati was very good.

I was betting between O rangashai and Shankaracharyam to be the main, more shifted to Shankarabharanam after he sang the khamas kriti. But he started kAmbOji alapana to settle the matter. I am still recovering from a brilliant kamboji of TVS a day before, and not planning a comparison here. Shankar sang a majestic alapana and Varadarajan did another wonderful return. O rangashai came in its grandeur with a brilliant neraval and fitting swara prasthana. K V Prasad gave an amazing tani avartanam at the end. He was just brilliant yesterday.

Missing Dikshitar composition till now was filled in with a sedate rangapuravihAra and as expected bhAvayami raghuramam from Swathi Thirunal’s bucket. I found he sang this a bit faster than usual ( or I am hard coded with MDRs version in my head). He concluded the concert with a mangala shlokam written in praise of M S Subbulakshmi by Sri T N Padmanabha. This was writtern for a felicitation function, he explained but details of which I fail to recollect.

A very well thought out and planned concert by Shankar and a fitting tribute to the legend whose centenary year is being celebrated this year.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Bangalore S Shankar , Karnataka Vaibhava , Nadasurabhi 15 Aug 2014

Vocal : Bangalore S Shankar

Violin : H M Smitha

Mrudangam :B R Srinivas

Ghatam : Ranganath Chakravarthy

Songlist :

01. evarunnAru nannu brOvu (varNam) – naLinakAnti – Mysore Vasudevachar ( O )

02. vandisuvadadiyalli gaNanAthana – nAta – Purandara Dasa ( A,S )

03. dASarathi ninnukOri – rishabhapriya – Bidaram Krishnappa ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ kamalabhavana sEvanuta charita (?)

04. satatamu nInE SaraNamu nInE – SivakAmbOji – B K Padmanabha Rao ( A )

05. amba vANi nannu – kIravANi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,N,S )
nerava& swar @ ‘ varavINapANi vAgvilAsini’

06. chintayAmi jagadamba – hindOLam – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( O )

07. raghuvIrA raNAdhrIrA daSaratha sukumAra – hamsAnandi – Y K Sreekantaiah ( A )

08. SrI kAmaOti pIThasthitE – sAvEri – Mysore Sadashiva Rao ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @ ‘ kadambavananilayE amba kanchalOchani’

09 manavE manthrAlaya – sudhasArang ? – Padmacharan ( Krishnamachari?)

10. thillAna ( dhiraNa thana dhImta dhiraNa ) – chenchurutti – Veena Seshanna

11. vachana ( nuDidarE muttinahAradanta irabEku ) – ? – Basavanna

12. vandEmAtaram(kannada version) – dEsh – D V Guntappa

This must be the third edition of the ‘karnataka vaibhava’ series by Nadasurabhi, a concert series featuring the rich tradition of vaggeyakaras from Karnataka. This year’s series is naugurated yesterday by Vid.S Shankar, followed by a concert by him. True to the spirit, he presented an array of vaggeyakaras from Karnataka and introduced them as well as their compositions in a befitting scholarly way. The concert itself is interesting for the selection of the composers, kritis and ragas – a few in the expected lines and a few rather unheard of in the regular concerts. Most of the prominent ‘modern day’ composers were presented and with the exception of the Purandara Dasa, not many from the ‘haridasa’ musicians.

Starting with the Nalinakanti varnam, Shankar’s concert in its approach and structure was one I am used to and like. A short alapana of Nata with the ‘pitamaha’s ganesha kriti was supplemented with few rounds of kalpana swaras. First alapana came pretty soon in the form of Rishabhapriya. Violin return was adequate, but the Bidaram Krishnappa’s kriti was very good. A short neraval and a detailed kalpana swara was very good. He sang a short alapana for Shivakamboji, and Smitha excelled here with her own interpretation was very appealing. I cant be sure of the technical prowess here as I haven’t heard this much, but she was complimented for her efforts by the main artist. A kriti of B K Padmanabha Rao, a disciple of Mysore Vasudevacharya was sung. This was new to me as I am aware of a Wodeyar composition in Shivakamboji.

Keeravani alapana was long and very well played by both the artists. I like Amba Vani for its briskness ( bored of kaligiyunte) and its catchy neraval line at that speed. This is a consecutive ‘amba vani’ at Nadasurabhi, MS Sheela singing a gem last time there. Neraval was grand and so was the swaras. Two fillers, a hindolam kriti of Wodeyar and an unheard hamsanandi of Sreekantaiah ( not sure how do we spell him). Shankar mentioned that Sreekantaiah’s kritis was sung by Balamuralikrishna and Voleti in their concerts.

I did predict the main to be saveri and the magnum opus of Sadashiva Rao. His alapana was very short for a main ( around 5-6 mins), so was the violin return. But the kriti was presented to its due credit with beautiful neraval and kalpana swaras. Tani avartanam was also very short and nice. Srinivas, despite his sober looks and soft manners on stage played to the spirit of the evening.

Post main was again an interesting choice, from Basava vachana to the popular thillana in chenchurutti. He concluded the concert with D V Gundappa’s version of Vandemataram, a kannada adaptation of the national song set in the same tune.

Good start to the series which should bring more such hidden gems of compositions to the forefront.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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S Shankar @ Nadasurabhi Monthly Concert, Heritage Academy Koramangala 15 Jan 2012

vocal : Bangalore S Shankar

Vocal Support : Ramani Shankar

Violin : Nalina mohan

Mrudangam : Cheluvaraju

Ghatam : sukanya Ramgopal

List:

01   ugabhOga ( ADigaLisi..) – nAtta- Purandara Dasa

        vandisuvudadiyali gaNanAtha – nAtta – khaNDa chapu – Purandara Dasa ( S )

02  kaNDa jUDumi – vAchaspati – Adi – Thyagaraja ( A , N, S )

        neraval & swara @ ‘ alanADu soumitri pAda sEva’

03   entha muddO entha sukhasO – bindumAlini – Adi – Thyagaraja

04  tatwameruga taramA – garuDadhwani – Thyagaraja

05  Emi jEsitE nEmi – thODi –  mishra chApu – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

        neraval & swara @ ‘  vara mantramanyulakupadEshinchatE nEmi’

06  karuNAnidhiyE – malayamArutam – Purandara Dasa ( O )

07  marukELarA – jayanthashree – Thyagaraja

08  anupama guNAmbudhi – aTHANa – Thyagaraja

09  pAlisamma muddu shAradE – mukhAri – Purandara Dasa ( A )

10  raghuvarA nannu – pantuvarALi – Adi x 2 – thyagaraja  ( A,N,S,T )

       neraval & swara ‘manasunA nannu maravu konnAnu’

11  SrIkAntha enagisTu daya mADO – darbAri kAnaDa – mishra chApu – Purandara Dasa ( O )

12   hari smaraNe mADu srI rangada – yamunA kalyANi – Purandara Dasa

13  sItA kalyANa vaibhOgamE – kurinji – khaNDa chApu – Thyagaraja

14  ugabhOga ( dhanyayuL trithAyudAdi) – sindhu bhairavi

        tambUri mIti tava – sindhubhairavi – Purandara Dasa

15  mangaLa SLOkam (thyagarAjaya mangaLam)  – rAgamAlika ( sAvEri,hindOLam, Anandabhairavi, bEgaDa, madhyamAvati)

       nInAma rUpamulaku – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Vid.Shankar and the team gave a brilliant concert yesterday at the Madasurabhi Monthly music Concert.  Being the season of ‘Thyagaraja-Purandara Dasa Aradhana’, the entire concert was on the compositions of these two composers. Started with a quick nAtta kriti and a set of swaras, he quickly got into the groove with a nice presentation of Vachaspati alapana. Kanda jUDumi, had the expected neraval and some intersting sets of swaras.  Couple of fillers came before a grand alapana of thOdi, pretty early into the concert.  Thodi was detailed and had all the typical phrases one likes to hear. Emi jesite, came in as we were contemplating the choices. The neraval and swara between the two vocalists and the violinst were very good.  Another couple of fillers came before Sankar asked his son to continue the proceedings. Ramani sang a quickfire aTHAna ( 3 fillers were unwanted though).  As one was expecting a pallavi, after a grand thOdi, mukhAri alapana started. However, alapana was short and he sang pAlisamma with no neraval ( I liked his neraval at ShringAra nagari nEle ) and swaras.

It was pantuvarAli as main. The alapana from Sankar , with some interlude from Ramani was very good. Violin return was also god, but was too short ( less than 3 min) for the main piece of the day. But, then I prefer neraval and swaras for pantuvarali than an elaborated alapana. Raghuvara nannu was treated very well with some brilliant support from the percussion team. Detailed neraval and swara followed keeping up the status of the main kriti of the day.

Sri Cheluvaraju and Sukanya stole the show from here on with a stupendous tani avartanam. I haven’t seen or heard him play so well over all these years, for which he received appropriate appreciation from the audience. Post main wsa also intersting with a very emotive darbari kAnaDa and a longish mangaLa slokam ( was it his own composition ?).  Being my first concert attendance of the year, I could not have asked for more.  

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Concert songlist

 

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