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Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan , Veena Concert for Rasanveshanam @ Pranava Fine Arts 22 Feb 2015

Veena : Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam : Sri M Gururaj

List:

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 ‘

tani Avartanam

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 :

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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Guru Utsava @ Ranjani Fine Arts , 12th July 2014

On the occasion of ‘guru poornima’ Ranjani Fine Arts come up with an innovative idea to celebrate the day with the performances of music teachers in the vicinity.  Day 1 was set aside for Carnatic Music and the Day 2 is for Hindustani. There were nearly 18 concerts of 30 mins duration , yesterday for Carnatic music.  I couldn’t make it to the first half of the proceedings, but did catch up with 9 concerts ( 2 of them partially) yesterday. It will be difficult to look at each of the concert in isolation, but to look at the major points.  We should also note the shear variety of kritis, the attempts by music teachers – few highly established and reknown as performers, and a few probably are getting a stage – to showcase their capabilities in front of their disciples as well as the music lovers.

An event like this guarantee participation from the students and their parents, hence there was no dearth of audience for the performance, though it thinned towards the end. I was very impressed with the way it was organised and the way teachers as well as the students absorbed the event to its fullest intent and potential. Kudos to the organisers.

Here are what transpired on stage, while I was 100% present. The list is only to demonstrate the vast knowledge and repertoire that these elite musicians held in themselves. I will not get into the details of each of them. Given 30 mins to each, it would be a tough task to come up with a satisfying performance, but most of them did a commendable job. Unusual, heavy weight kritis chosen to elaborate after a short introductory piece ( varnam in a few cases) and winding up with a devarnama. Most of them limited their concert to 3 or 4 kritis, but making an impact with one of them in particular.

Sumitra Nitin, chose to sing to the occasion with cleverly picked kritis on the theme ‘guru’,each of them brilliantly sang while Vid Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar, in her meditative mood, lifted the entire audience to a different mood with her music.She played a breathtaking alapana for Andolika. Shobha Kukke with a cracker of neraval for a rather rarely heard kriti in rAmapriya of Vasudevachar, Vid Rajalakshmi with a bEgaDa, Chitra Srikanth gave another gem in dharmavath , a dasara pada by Vijaya Vittala Dasa , apt for the occasion. Priyasri Rao gave an elaborate alapana in bhairavi and decided to sing ‘sari evvaramma’ in Khanda Jhumpa (?). Highly talented Arun Achanta, gave the final performance with a skillful ritigaula.

The supporting artist did a decent job. RSR Srikanth was awesome, lifting the concerts with his brilliant accompaniment. His disciple Swaminathan, did a commendable job. Prema Vivek , Anirudh and Chandramouli on violin was good. T Raghavendran, playing for Arun Achanta, had the only chance to play a tani avartanam , albeit short, and was impressive.

Here is the list :

Shobha Kukke (vocal) – Vid Shylaja ( Vocal Support) – Pramod Keshav ? ( violin) – Sridhar Rao ( Mrudangam)

01. chalamEla jEsE (varNam) – nAtakurinji –  Rangaswami Nattuvanar

02. nIvE nannu paripAlinchutaku – kAmbOji – Misu Krishnaiyer ( A )

03.  SrI vAsudEva SrI ramaNa mAm pAhi – rAmapriya – Mysore Vasudevachar ( A,N,S )

neraval and swara @ ‘ navanIta dadhi chOra nandagOpakumAra’

04. sundara mUruthy mukhya prANA – khamAs? – Purandara Dasa

Rajalakshmi ( Veena) – V Anirudh ( violin) – Swaminathan ( Mrudangam)

01.  varNam – valachi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

02.  Sankari nIvE – bEgaDa – Subbaraya Sasthri  ( A )

03.  jananI ninnu vinA – rItigauLa – Subbaraya Sasthri ( A )

04.  rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

Chitra Srikanth ( vocal) – Cnahdramouli ( voilin) – RSR Srikanth ( Mrudangam)

01. guruvaruLum tiruvaruLum – AbhOgi – Gaurishankar Stapathi

02.  guru purandara dAsarE – dharmavathi – Vijaya Vittala Dasa ( A,S )

03.  alOkayE SrI bAlakrishNam – ?  – Narayana Theertha

04. sai bhajan

Priyasri Rao ( vocal) – Prema Vivek ( Violin ) – RSR Srikanth ( mrudangam)

01.  aruL seyya vENum ayya – rasikapriya – Koteeswara Iyer ( S )

02.  sari evvaramma – bhairavi – Shyama Sasthri ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @’ mAdhava sOdari gaurI’

03.  tillAna ( tana dhIm jhum tadhIm tana dhiraNA) – kadana kuthuhalam ? –  Lalgudi Jayaraman

Sumitra Nitin ( vocal) – Prema Vivek (violin) – RSR Srikanth ( mrudangam)

01.  SLOkam ( gurur brahmA gurur vishNu..) – hamsAnandi

guruvina gulAma – hamsAnandi – Purandara Dasa ( S )

02.  jagadgurO dayAnidhE – aThANa – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ nigamAgamasAra suguNa nitya shuddha muktulaina

03.  SLOkam ( pUjyAya rAghavEndrAya) – nIlAmbari

lAli lAli lAli lAli, lAli rAghavEndra lAli – nIlAmbari – Jagannatha Vittala

Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar ( Veena ) – RSR Srikanth ( mrudangam)

01. aruLpuri ainkaranE – saraswathi – Papanasam Sivan ( O,S )

02.  rAga sudhA rasa – AndOLika – Thyagaraja ( A )

03.  kusumAkara shObhita – kOsalam – Dikshitar ( A,t)

04.  taruNam Idamma – gauLipantu – Shyama Sasthri

05. pAhi kalyANa rAma (divya nAma kIrthanam) – kApi – thyagaraja ( A )

06.  SrI rAma rAma rAma ( utsava sampradaya kriti) – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

07. dEvarnAma ( … sthita vendu..) – rEvati – Purandara Dasa

08. SLOkam ( manthra pushpam ? )

Arun Achanta ( vocal) – Chandramouli ( violin) – Raghavendran T ( mrudangam)

01. intha chaukasEya ( varNam) – kAmavardhani – Mysore Sadashiva Rao

02. jananI ninnu vinA – rItigauLa – Subbaraya Sasthri  ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’ tAmasamu sEyakane brOvumu’

03. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

*********************************************************************************

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan , Artsforlife Foundation @ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 11 May 2014

Veena : Vid Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam : C. Cheluvaraju

Duration : 1.00 hrs

List:

01.  sarasUDa (varNam ) – sAvEri – Kotthavaasal Venkatrama Iyer  ( O )

02.  gajAdhiSAdanyam na jAnE ham – nATakurinji – Mutthuswami Dikshitar ( A,S )

03.  saraswati namOstutE – saraswati – N S Ramachandran ( A )

04.  ceDipokE O manasA – laLita – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar ( A,t,S )

rAgamAlika swaras in kalAvati, gurjari thODi, dEsh

05. karuNA jaladhE – nAthanAmakriya – Thyagaraja

Arts for Life Foundation, a brain child of Arvind Brahmakal conducted a full day ‘IDEAS CONCLAVE”, yesterday at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, on “Karnatak Music- Towards a Mass Appeal”. This event conducted in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, was an after effect of the initial programe that was held at Chennai, which was on the ‘Social Relevance’ of carnatic music. I could be present during the first half of the proceedings where the eminent panel discussed about the importance of bringing the young people to familiarise with carnatic music ( many educationist participated) and the second on the ‘ corporate patronage’. While the attendance was moderate, there were many very high participation from the crowd, with some interesting suggestions.

Smt. Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan’s concert was part of the morning session, immediately after the inaugural function. The concert itself was promoted as ‘meditation through music’, and that exactly what the vidushi did in the given 1 hr of time. Another gem of a concert from the vidushi, with apt selection of kritis and their treatment on a Sunday Morning, with some outstanding percussion support – nimble, sensitive, playing to the mood of the kritis – by sri Cheluvaraju.

Slotted for 1 hr, she made the best use of the time. Credit to be given to the percussion artist who subtly rejected the offer of the time for tani avartanam. We indeed congratulated him for his thoughtful gesture. Her selection of the ragam, the kriti for each of them, the appropriate expansiveness for each of them need appreciation. Every thing she played yesterday was top class.Few rare kritis , both the natakurinji as well as the lalita were new to me. Each of her alapana were brisk and the real essence, the tanam for Lalita, the ragamalika swaras that followed, each were refreshing. I thought she played shubhapantuvarali in the ragamalika, but she corrected me that it was ‘gurjari thODi’ ( shubhapantuvarali minus ‘panchamam’ ?) that came before desh. She concluded the concert with a emotive nathanamakriya. Fabulous concert yet again ..

PS : More info on Art For Life Foundation can be found here. www.artsforlifefoundation.org . I expect, the outcome of the IDEAS CONCLAVE will be available for larger rasikas for contemplation and continuation of the discussion. As and when I have the details, I can provide the link here.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran, Veena Concert @ Nadasurabhi Cultural Association, 15th Dec 2013

Veena : Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Morsing : M. Gururaj

List:

01. varNam  – nAyaki – Kothavasal Venkataramana Iyer ( O )

02. bhajamAnasa vighnESwaram – bahudhAri – Tulaseevanam ( A,S )

03. saraswati namOstutE – saraswati – N S Ramachandran ( A,S )

04. parama purusham – laLitA panchamam – Swathi Thirunal ( A,S )

05. ethanAi nAL tEDi vandEnE – husEni – Achutadasar ( O )

06. RTP – nAttakurinji – chaturasra jhumpa x 2 kaLai  +3 eduppu

tAnam in Natakurinji , nAttai, gauLa, Arabhi, varALi, SrI

pallavi line :  *       ( couldn’t decipher)

rAgamAlika swarams in shivaranjani, brindAvana sAranga, shubhapantuvarALi, rEvati

tani Avartanam

07. manadir kugandadu ? – sindhubhairavi – Tanjavur Sankara Iyer   ( O )

08. harivarAsanam

09. bhajarE yadunAtham – pIlu – Sadashiva Brahmendra

10. xxx dEviyE sharaNam sharaNam – kurinji – Jaya Anantharaman

11. kAvadi chindu

12. ??  ( another kAvadi chindu?)

13. tungA tIra virAjam – sAlaga bhairavi – Kamalesha Vittala Dasa

14. karuNA jaladhE – nAthanAmakriya – Thyagaraja

15. tirupati venkaTa ramaNA – kannaDa ? – Purandara Dasa?

16. rAmachandrAya janaka (mangaLam) – kurinji – Bhadrachala Ramadas

SLOkam ( manthra pushpam)

The last time I heard her ( at Ranjani Fine Arts), she won everyone’s heart with some exquisite veena playing. The dwijavanti still linger in my memory. Hence the expectation was very high as I entered the hall. It was 4:10 and she was already seated , ready to start. The hall was sparsely populated, a surprise as Nadasurabhi has one of the best captive audiences we can find. The organisers delayed the ‘kick-off’ to another 5 minute by reminding her that the concert is scheduled to begin at 4:15. Luckily and to the goodness of music, the hall filled up as the concert progressed and stayed on until the end of concert, deservedly so.

Yet again, she started off giving me goose bumps, with that short nAyaki sketch. The music originated from those nimble fingers, spread across the room to the minds of the people. A beautiful bahudhari alapana, short and nice saraswati came in full splendor adorned with classicism, continued with few rounds of kalpana swaram for both. Lalitha panchamam alapana was a bit longer, compared to the previous.This was probably, the first time I am hearing an alapana for lalitapanchamam. Swathi Thirunal’s kriti was again brilliant. Another bhava filled husEni came in before the main.

Natakurinji was taken up as main, probably a bit early in the concert, as there was no other detailed piece she performed. The alapana was detailed and proved her mettle again. But what was more appealing was the tanam that followed. Easily switching from one raga to the other in a seamless execution, the effect she created was spellbinding. She did sing the pallavi line along, but I did have difficulty in deciphering the words. The ragamalika swaras were equally eloquent. Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma and Gururaj, two senior percussion vidvans supported the concert very well through out the evening, beautifully playing along with the instrument. The duo, later played an amazing tani avartanam.

Post main has a long chain of kritis, which kindle the thought that she could have probably included another big piece before the main. However, the long list of ‘tukkadas’ were impressive. The short sindhu bhairavi and nAthanAmakriya raga sketches she played were beautiful. Another beautiful concert from the vidushi yesterday at Nadasurabhi.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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Smt Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 12th Oct 2013

Veena : Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam :  C. Cheluvaraju

Ghatam :  N. Gurumurthy

List:

01.  viribONi ( varNAm ) – bhairavi – Pachimirium Adiappayya  ( O )

02.  siddhi vinAyakam anisham – chAmaram ( shaNmukhapriya) – Dikshitar ( A,S )

03.  akhilANDESwari – dwijAvanti – Dikshitar  ( A )

04.  saraswati namOStutE – saraswati – N S Ramachandran ( A )

05. SrI dum durgE – srI ranjani – Dikshitar ( A,S )

06. mAtADadE mannAru krishna  – behAg – Vijaya Vittala Dasa

07.  aruLa vENDum tAyE – sAramati – MM Dandapani Desikar ( O )

08.  rAma rAma krishNA – gauLipant – Thyagaraja

09.  bhUri bhAgya lahari – pratApa varALi – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

10. RTP – kIravANi – khanda triputa   starting ( eDuppu) at +1

‘ghana rAga’ tAna mAlika in nAta, gauLa, Arabhi, varALi and SrI

pallavi line ‘ vANi gIrvANi kIravANi vINApANi mAm pAhi’

rAgamAlika swaras in ‘valaji, shubhapantuvarALi? , dEsh, rEvati

11. Arabhi manam – rAgamAlika – Tarangampadi Panchanada Iyer

12. dEvi bhavAni – jOg – ?  ( A )

13.  karuNA jaladhE dASarathE – nAdhanAmakriya – Thyagaraja

14. rAmachandrAya janaka ( mangaLam)- kurinji – Bhadrachala Ramadas

SLOkam ( shanthi manthram)

What a blissful evening. Such a serene and pristine concert. The Veena sang, she sang along, to herself at times, louder at other times. The music flowed out of her instruments, occasional shruthi realingment, nothing else distracted her or interrupted the proceedings. I closed my eyes (and listened) through out the concert. What an evening of music.

I am not picking and choosing one kriti from the rest. But had I been listening to this dwijavanti on a record, or on the TV, I would have switched off the device and refused to listen to anything else for the rest of the day. The four or five minutes of dwijavanti alapana was, for want of the right word, out of this world. Those four minutes made my day.

Shanmukhapriya, Saraswati and to a lesser extend Sriranjani each of the alapana were very good. The short kritis that came in before the main, be it behag, saramati, pratapavarali or gowlipant, were noted for the selection and presentation. These aren’t those familiar kritis which are in circulation in the concert circuit as regulars.

Keeravani was grand. Though I am having an overdose of keeravani this year, I was already in a mood to receive anything that was coming from those fingers. A typical grand alapana, followed with somewhat restrained tanam and an elaborate pallavi, with trikalam. Pallavi was the highlight of the day. She played some brilliant kalapramanam both in the pallavi and in the kalpana swaras. Cheluvaraju played brilliantly here. He seems to be correcting the talam, by gesturing his assistant ( the man with ghatam, in general had a silent day). Cheluvaraju, seems to be enjoying the concert as we were at the audience, and every response from him was measured and going with the spirit of the evening. He played a decent tani avartanam along with his disciple on Ghatam.

I said enough. Go listen to her if you get a chance !

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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