Veena : Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan
Mrudangam : Sri M Gururaj
01 sAmi daya jUDa ( varNam ) – kEdAragauLa – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya ( O )
02 shrI mahAgaNapati ravatu mAm – gauLa – Dikshitar ( A,S )
03 kumaran tAL paNindE tudi – yadukulakAmbOji – Papanasam Sivan ( A )
04 saraswati namOstutE – saraswati – N S Ramachandran ( A )
05 manasu karagadE svAmi – kAnaDa – Pranesha Vittala ( A )
06 sadAnanda bhakti – raghupriya – Koteeswara Iyer ( A , chitta svaras )
07 RTP – kIravANi – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai , +1 eduppu
tAnam in kIravANi, nAta, gauLa,Arabhi, varALi and shrI
pallavi line ‘ vANi gIrvANi kIravANi , vINApANi mAm pAhi ‘
rAgamAlika svaras in ‘madhuvanti , gurjari thODi, brindAvana sAranga , rEvati ‘
08 chinnam chiru kiLiyE – rAgamAlika – Subramanya Bharati
09 karuNai daivamE – sindhubhairavi – Madurai Srinivasan ( O )
10 SrI rAma rAma rAma ( utsava sampradaya kriti) – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja ( A )
11 karuNa jaladhE – nAthanAmakriya – Thyagaraja
12 shLOkam ( mantra pushpam )
Beyond the familiar dozen or so of the popular and the crowd-puller artists -with all respect to them-, are a vast treasure of musical legacy and richness that are not reached beyond a few closed group. There are brilliant musicians of various schools, lineage and practice to be listened and appreciated. One of the basic principles of ‘Rasanveshanam’ is to go beyond the established names and seek out to these gems. It was in pursuit of one such idea that the names of the likes of Vid. Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan cropped up. After successfully completing one year and five concerts, this small group of enthusiasts entered into the second year with a masterly concert yesterday at Sri Thyagarajan’s residence, jointly organised with his ‘Pranava Fine Arts’.
Personally, I have listened to vidushi Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan on four previous occasions in the past two years. My admiration towards her music only grew each time I listen to her. The concert of yesterday was no different.To hold an instrumental concert, that too with no other accompaniment apart from the sole mrudanga , for nearly 3 hours itself is a commendable, transporting every one in the audience to an entirely different world. Some intrinsic fingering techniques, two finger with two different and simultaneous shrutis, the ‘beyond the frets’ playing and near to the main bridge and many other playing styles which goes beyond my grasp of things.
A huge one hour fifteen minutes of Keeravani pallai, sort of, encompasses the entire music to me. The rest of the kritis, each were a gem, would be discussed around and along with the keeravani that she played yesterday. An elaborate alapana, both technical and melodious passages in keeravani was awesome. The tanam was even better. After a 4 speed tanam playing in the main raga, she switched to the ‘ghana panchama raga’ beautifully gliding from one to the other. Pallavi was again sung in detail with trikalam in both pallavi and svaras. The ragamalika svaras had even better things to offer starting from madhuvanti to gurjari thOdi ( very similar to shubhapantuvarali and I remember she clarifying the difference in an earlier concert) , ending with rEvati.
She started her concert with kEdaragauLa varnam before starting of on a journey which pinnacled at the Keeravani Pallavi. Each steps in the 3 hr journey was memorable. Short Gaula alapana before the Dikshitar composition and the svaras of gaula were class. The other thing I notices in her alapanas in general was the first few strokes and phrases were so impactful, they immediately brought out sounds of admiration from the listeners. Gaula, Yadukulakamboji, saravathi, kAnada and neelambari ; each were rich with ‘raga bhava’ in the initial take itself. Yadukula kamboji and kAnada were of special mention. She also played a detailed raghupriya alapana, which kept all of us guessing, before she herself came to our rescue. She said, she had added ‘chittasvaram’ for this composition, wondering whether we in the audience will approve the same. 42nd Melakartha , raghupriya isn’t very familiar but the chittasvaras were good.
Gururaj played very subtle through out the concert. We were asking him to accompany her during tanam, which he politely refused, indicating he would go with the decision of the main artist. She was too immersed in her music to take notice. He played a short tani avartanam in khanda triputa, keeping the overall serene mood of the evening intact.
Post main was even more melodious. the instrument literally sang chinnnanchiru kiliye , karunai daivame and the utsava sampradaya kriti. The short neelambari alapana was also very nice. She concluded her concert with the regular ( I heard her play this in most of her concerts) nAthanamakriya and the manthrapushpam ending with Om shanti, shanti shanti :