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Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Mohanam, Kongad 17th Dec 2016

Vocal : Cherthala Dr.Ranganatha Sharma

Violin : Palakkad R Swaminathan

Mrudangam : K Jayakrishnan

Ghatam : Vellattanjur Sreejith

List :

01. mEru samAnA – mAyAmALavagauLa – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02. cherarAvadEmirA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

03. kOrina varamosagu – rAmapriya – PAtnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘sari vArilOna nannu chauka jEya valadu nIdu’

04.  shrI kamalAmbikAh param – bhairavi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T)

neraval & swara @ ‘shrIkaNTha viSNu virinciAdi janayitryA’

05. bArO krSNayya – rAgamAlika – Kanaka Dasa ( O-mAND )

This concert was part of the felicitation function of one of the leading singers of Kathakali, Kottakkal Madhu, at his home grounds( the place where he hails from). The two day events enriched by performances of some of the leading artists in Kathakali, Percussion as well as Classical Music fraternity was an awesome opportunity for any connoisseur or lover of art to participate. I could manage to be part of the day two, by  shear luck and it was worth the effort on all count.

Back to the concert, which was the morning session of the day two, was a fitting tribute to a fellow musician and friend by Dr. Ranganatha Sharma, who had participated in a few fusion ( or juganbandi if you may) concerts with Kottakkal Madhu himself. Luckily, this concert wasn’t a jugalbandi. Ranganatha Sharma, as one would expect, presented a top class concert with some high caliber support from the supporting crew, especially the percussion duo. Swaminathan, was good most part but left me wanting for more at times.

A two hour concert, planned very well by the singer, without trying to fill in the list with many short pieces. Each compositions presented was given its due weight and respect. The brisk meru samana with few rounds of swaras, short and nice alapana for reetigaula, a much more detailed ramapriya alapana and a classy , formidable effort with bhairavi. Fabulous planning and execution. Bhairavi alapana was very special, mostly around the slow , longer phrases, not attempting the fast paced, bhriga-laden phrases ( barring a super impressive take towards the end of the alapana), the meticulous build up deploying on those moving slow patterns of melodious bhairavi were the highlights of the morning. Swaminathan’s return was more of the standard line, including those faster passages. Probably, the main artist sang with the idea of the kriti in mind and the violinist without the same. Dikshitar’s navavarana kriti as main was a glorious choice. The kriti, neraval as well as two speed kalpana swaras were top class. Percussion team demonstrated a commendable aniticipation and played exquisitely during the kalpana swaras. The duo, extended that to a well conceived tani avartanam.

The reetigaula and ramapriya , which preceded the main were equally good. Ramapriya alapana was again very good. There wasn’t much time left post the elaborate main. He indicated ‘one more’ to the organisers and concluded it with bArO krishnayya. To me, this concert shows the best of time utilisation in line with my personal preference, hence I was left with a great feeling. Brilliant artist, and a concert justifying his credentials.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Nadasurabhi , 17 Jan 2016

Vocal : Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma

Violin : Vittala Rangan

Mrudangam : V Krishna

Ghatam : Sukanya Ramgopal

List:

01 mAtE malayadhwaja (varNam) – khamAs – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( O )

02 tatvamariya taramA – rItigauLa – Papanasam Sivan ( S )

03 aTu kArAdani – manOranjani – Thyagaraja (A,S )

04  shrI kamalAmbikAyAm – sahAna – Dikshitar  ( O )

05 kAmAkSi kAmakOTi pIThavAsini – sumadyuti(simhEndramadhyamam) – Dikshitar ( A,N,S)

niraval & svara @’kamalEsha sOdari kamalAkSi nArAyaNi’

06 karuNAnidhi ilalO – thODi – Shyama Shasthri

07 Emi nEramu – shankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

niraval & svara @’ dIna bandhuDani dEvadEvuDani’

08 shLOkam ( yOgIndrANAm ) – sindhubhairavi, kApi, behAg, bhAgEshri

sAgara shayana vibhO – bhAgEshrI – MDR

09 nAma japan kyOn chOD diyA (bhajan) – madhuvanti – ?  (A )

10 rAma rAma rAma rAma rAmA ennirO – shubha pantuvarALi – Purandara Dasa

11 thillAna ( dhIm tana ta dhIm tanatana) – pahADi – LGJ

12 shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya ) – madhyamAvati

Dr Ranganatha Sharma’s music is to me is the reference to carnatic classical music. Powerful, natural voice with open singing, the clear and decipherable lyrics, the traditional path and musical aesthetics that goes with my appreciation, delectable ‘manodharma’ and a pleasant stage manners. Which is why I make a point to attend every possible concert of him in Bangalore. Yesterday was yet another display of his knowledge and skill.

While I thought the main was below par to his stature, the concert overall was again of a very high standard. A beautiful start to the concert with Mate malayadhwaja’; I wonder why not many people sing this more often. Quick reetigaula kriti and few rounds of speedy svaras set the concert in roll with the rest of them ramping up to the main artist.  Very good, albeit short, alapana of manOranjani came in ( he came in to the rescue by announcing the name) and as expected aTu kArAdani was taken. Very impressive svaras added to the kriti, with both vocalist and Vittala Rangan sang some nice svara patterns.

Sahana piece which followed , to me, was the best part of the evening. A very short delightful raga sketch, leaving me in trance , wanting him to continue. But he sang one of the most moving piece of the evening with ‘shrI kamalAmbikAyAm’, Dikshitar’s  ‘navAvaraNa’ kriti. Shear ectasy.

Simhendramadhyamam alapana was decent, Vittala Rangan played some good phrases in his turn. Dikshitar’s composition again, with good rounds neraval and nice rounds of svaras. Last month, V R Dileepkumar sang the same kriti at the same venue. Karunanidhi ilalo, interestingly came in before the main. At times, it is good to listen to a ‘thodi’ sans any ‘prefix’ or ‘suffix’.

Shankarabharanam was main and from then it was evident a Thyagaraja composition is to come. The alapana was good, but I’ve heard much better ones from him. Choice of Emi Neramu was again interesting. I was expecting ‘endukku peddalavale’ or ‘svara raga sudha’. Emi Neramu is a shorter composition and probably wasn’t big enough for the day since there was no pallavi to follow. However, he sang very elaborate niraval at deenabanchudani , and finished it with some classy extensive take. The kalpana svaras again were of top class in two speed with some brilliant laya variations. The conclusion of the swaras were again very very good.

PRof V Krishna and Sukanya Ramgopal played a spirited tani avartanam post main. The percussion duo did a commendable job through out the evening. Vittala Rangan was very good, played most of the intrinsic laya patterns of the main artist ( except  some confusion towards the end of the shankarabharanam swaras) and played most of the alapana commendably.

Post main was first class. Shlokam in ragamalika was awesome ( he gave young violinist chance at the end of each sojourn) and MDRs masterpiece in bhageshri was a pleasure to hear.  A shortish alapana (without violin return) in madhuvanti? before a bhajan,  a devarnama in shubha pantuvarali and Lalgudi thillana in pahADi were nice selection. Shubha pantuvarali was sang in ‘madhyamashruti’, I think.  I am used to the Hyd Brothers version of the thillana, and found this slightly different ( it could be my conditioning). He concluded the concert with a shlokam in madhyamavati.

Another good concert from Sri Ranganatha Sharma.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Odukathur Mutt , 01 Sep 2015

Vocal : Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma

Violin : Mysore Srikanth

Mrudangam : J Vaidyanathan

Ganjira : Anil Parashar

List:

01.  inta chAlamu – bEgaDa – vEnna Kuppiyer

02. siddhi aruL shivashakti bAlakanE – nATa – Neelakanta Shivan  ( S )

03. smaraNe ondE sAladE – malayamArutam – Purandara Dasa ( O,S )

04. parama krpA sAgari – yadukula kAmbOji – GNB (short Sketch)

05. E rAmuni nammitinO – vakuLAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ EkAntamuna sItA sOkOrchi jOgoTTa kAkAsuruDu cEyu’

06. inta tiru vaDivam – vasanta – Neelakanta Shivan

07.  gAngEya vasanadhara – hamIrkalyANi – Swathi Thirunal ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘gAngEya vasanadhara padmanAbha’

08. sattalEni dinamu – nAganandini – Thyagaraja

09. RTP -nAtakurinji –  Khandajati triputa , khanda nadai , +1 eduppu(?)

pallavi line ‘ shambhO mahAdEva vibhO pAhi prabhO santatam svayambhO’

pallavi trikalam in nAtakurinji & pantuvarALi ( after pantuvarali swara)

rAgamalika swaras in pantuvarALi , surutti, bhAgEshrI , sOhini/ hamsAnandi

10. chentAr sAyaka rUpa – behAg – Irayimman Thampi

11. hari guN gAvat nAchUngi – dIpALi?? – Meera Bhajan

12. mangaLam – saurAshtram / madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

Another fabulous concert by Sri Ranganatha Sharma. The smile and happiness on the faces as they were leaving the hall, were the testimony to what he delivered on this day. A sense of peace and tranquility prevailed. No exhilaration, no frown faces, no shuffling of the sequence; yet again another display of pure classicism. If you have substance, you dont have to engage in altering the form or devices to entertain the listeners. I only wish, he get more chances in Bangalore and the hall will have as many listeners as some of the lesser capable artist manage to gather.

I reached after the varnam. Neelakanta shivan’s kriti in Nata was on and a few rounds of swaras to add. I am so used to listening to the repeat of nata kalpana swaras in the same sequence from one artist to the other with no real variety. Malayamarutam kriti was also did not really make any ‘aha’ moment. Well, some kalpana swara phrases were impressive though. The kriti was sung in a slightly faster tempo. I would have liked it a notch or two lower. GNBs yadukula kamboji was pretty nice. I’ve heard him sing this a couple of previous occasions before.

4 kritis down and apart from a short Yadukulakamboji sketch there was no raga alapana until now. To me, the highlight of Ranganatha Sharma’s concerts are the way he explore the raga, the essence of it is beautifully delineat , carefully build and flourish in front of you  with exceptional clarity through the alapana. I could sense a mild strain in voice early on and he might have waited for the voice to warm up. The wait indeed had its good. What a brilliant vaklabharanam alapana that was. We were initially aligning our concentration to mAyAmALava gauLa, but soon realised we did not have to go that far, but stay a mEla lower. E rAmuni, removed the small doubt I had on my mind. This really changed the whole aura of the concert. An outstanding neraval at ‘ekantamuna’ added to the brilliant kriti singing. Kalpana swara, however, was much shorter to the overall build up until then. Phenomenal effort.

After another rare vasanta kriti of Neelakanta Shivan, he lunched into another emotive hamir kalyani alapana. Just as brilliant as the previous one. Mysore Srikant who did a phenomenal job through out the evening, was at his best here. I guessed venkata shaila to flow in, but gAngEya vasanadhara was even better. He did another great neraval at the pallavi line. I thought it is a bit tricky to sing neraval here, but he did not seem to have any trouble whatsoever. The kalpana swaras were again a cracker. Vaidyanathan and young ganjira artist played out a decent tani avartanam. Vaidyanathan was at his elements, and was accommodating the younger supporting artist. Some attractive time play was the highlight.

Again very carefully chosen naganandini kriti came before the pallavi. Two phase alapana of Natakurinji wasn’t grand but was very sublime and extracted essence. Tanam was pretty good. Though it is not appropriate to nitpick in such a great concert, I would have liked if he had selected a different pallavi line. The occasion was gokulashtami and the pallavi was apt for the Shivarathri series concert. I see very few artist take the occasion and location into consideration while planning their concert. TNS is probably the only exception to this. Having said that, the pallavi by itself was very very good. Trikalam was executed very effortlessly with some impeccable precision in a not so common talam and nadai. After natakurinji swaras he started the ragamalika swaras with pantuvarali and came back and did another pallavi trikalam in pantuvarali. I was expecting him to do so for the rest, but that did not happen. The last swara  sounded hamsanandi-ish, but I think it probably is a very close raga ( not sure if it was sOhini or sunAdavinOdini) to hamsanandi.

Post pallavi and the speeches was notable for the Irayimman Thampi’s javali ‘Chentar Sayaka Roopa’ in behag. I recently heard him sing this in a TV program, but this was better. A Meerabhajan concluded the concert.

Another gem of a concert again. Vakulabharanam, hamir kalyani and natakurinji as three main raga for the evening. Some very clever and impressive pick of the rest of the kritis , a few rare ones. No major ragas at all, but hey, who is complaining. Hope to see him more often in Bangalore.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 8th March 2014

Vocal : Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma

Violin : H N Smitha

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Ganjira :  ( missed the name !)

Song list:

01.  senthil vAzh murugayya – hamIr kalyANi – T R Subramanyam  (  O )

02.  gaNarAjEna rakshitOham – Arabhi – Dikshitar ( S )

03.  mOhanakara muthukumara – nItimati – Kotteswara Iyer ( A,S )

04.  SrI Sankara guruvaram chintayAmi – nAgasurAvali – Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer

05.  parAku mADadE parAmbarisi enna aparAdhangaLe -kharaharapriya – Purandara Dasa ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @’ nararoLage pAmaranu nAnu iha parake sAdhanavariye SrI hariyE’

06.  parama kripA sAgari – yadukula kAmbOji – G N Balasubramaniam

07.  SrI kAmakOTi pIThasthitE -sAvEri – Mysore Sadashiva Rao ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’kadambavana nilayE kanja lOcanE bhavAni

08.  rAma nanu brOvarA – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja

09.  innu daya bAradE – kalyANavasantham – Purandara Dasa ( A )

10.  irakkam varAmal – behAg – Gopalakrishna Bharathi ( A )

11.  alarSara paritApam – surutti – Swathi Thirunal   ( started at ‘jalajA bandhuvumiha’ )

12. viruttam ( vizhikk-tuNai )  – bhAgEShrI , Anandabhairavi, hamsAnandi , dEsh

thillAna ( takadhIm tadhIm ) – dEsh – Lalgudi Jayaraman ?

13. mangaLam – saurAshtram, madhyamAvathi – Thyagaraja

“Hey Jayan ! Ur jinx is broken”, said the sms, received as I was leaving the hall. It had nothing to do with the concert of the evening , but did provide a double bonanza on a Saturday evening. There is a story behind this. Every time I attend a concert at Ranjani Fine Arts, my team suffers a devastating loss. Last time, listening to Malladi Brothers, they (or we, rather) lost 5-1 to Liverpool. The previous occasion was worse, suffering a 6-3 loss against Manchester City ( Vasudha Keshav’s concert).  Yesterday’s match was the quarterfinal of the F A Cup, probably the only cup we might win this season. For that precise reason, I was in two mind about attending the concert. More over, the exam fever is at the highest and I was acting the role of the ‘tution-teacher’ with a stick , to add to the reluctance. But, the better sense prevailed and here I was, listening to one of the outstanding concerts witnessed in recent times.

It is always pleasure to revisit the concert of such brilliance. Some one asked me later as to what was my pick, as I usually drop a message on main, Pallavi and sub-main and my relative liking. Usually, it is limited to one or a couple of the kritis from the entire concert. Let me attempt with yesterday’s concert. The 4-5 minute alapana of kalyanavasantham post the main sAveri ? , the ragamalika viruttam with a brilliant bhageshri ? The classy neraval and kalpana swaras of sAvEri after an outstanding alapana ? or equally brilliant kharaharapriya with the surprise choice of kriti , or was it the neetimati ? the moving yadukulakamboji … I will have to put the entire list here.

A little disturbance in the beginning with the balancing of the amplification, a slightly high volume of mrudangam ( very uncharacteristic of Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, but largely its the halls ambience) which was corrected later, and Ranganatha Sharma’shis regular referring to the lyrics ( including alarshara paritapam ) … few spoilers to nitpick.

Everything else went as classy as one hoped for. A rare varnam ( of TRS, I’ve heard Sri Sharma sing this earlier at Nadasurabhi), brilliant arabhi swaras before an interesting neetimati alapana. I am not equipped to decode a neetimati alapana, and had to wait until he started singing mohanakara. All the alapanas of the evening, as one would expect from Sri Ranghanatha Sharma, was very rich, appropriate and classy. H N Smitha, on violin was very impressive. Every alapana, the neraval and swara returns and the general accompaniment was very good through out the evening. Percussion was largely handled by Anoor Anantha krishna Sharma, with his usual style.

kharaharapriya alapana was very measured and progressed meticulously, a feat repeated by Smitha. Dasa kriti was a big surprise, as I have heard this in a variety of other ragas. The rich lyrics, was apt for detailing and the selection of the neraval line to me was very apt. He did a fabulous job with the neraval and the kalpana swaras for kharaharapriya.  A short filler, the melodious yadukula kamboji, of GNB gave a nice break before the sAvEri main. A delectable alapana, great choice of kriti, fabulous neraval and ‘swaraprasthana befitting to the main.

Post main had more surprises to follow. Gem of a kalyanavasantham and behag ( possibly a request) alapana before the respective kritis. HN Smitha’s reply, especially for behAg was very good. the ragamalika viruttam before the thillana was like the icing on the cake.

A Lovely concert…

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma @ Fort High School Grounds, 08 May 2013

Vocal : Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma

Vocal Support: Shravan

Violin : C N Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam : J Vaidyanathan

Ganjira : Alathur Raja Ganesh

List:

01.  chAlamu sEya ( varNam) – valaji – Lalgudi Jayaraman ( O )

02.  parAku mADadE – kharaharapriya – Purandara Dasa ( A(short), S )

03.  sachAmara ramAvANi – hamsAnandi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,S )

04.  kshitijA ramaNam – dEvagAndhAri – Dikshitar

05. bhOgIndra SAyinam – kuntaLa varALi – Swathi Thirunal

06.  dhyAnamE varamaina – dhanyAsi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’dharanu velayu shrI rAmuni kOri

07.  varasikhi vAhana – supradIpam – Thyagaraja

08.  RTP – simhEndramadhyamam – Chaturasra tripuTa , misra naDai

pallavi line “ninnE nammiti nIvE gati nIraja nayana rAmA srIrAma sItArAma’

rAgamAlika swaras in ‘ mOhanam, kApi, sahAna, sindhu bhairavi’

09.  hari guN gAvat – dIpALi ?? – Meera Bhajan

10.  idu tAnO thillai sthalam – behAg – Gopalakrishna Bharathi

11.  rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

12. mangaLam – saurAshtram / madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

I guess, Sinhendramadhyamam and Keeravani will chase me through out this series. First 4 concert had them as main, and had another two as a welcome kriti, by young artist performing prior to the main concert ( one before TMK’s concert and the other before NSG’s). This time, it came in the form of Pallavi. Just sayin, no complainin…

Another classical affair today at the Fort High school ground. Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma as always presented a neat, planned, as expected classy concert. Again as expected, with only one neraval ( again just sayin) !  As many as 10 composers, variety of talam, as many as 4 alapana and a pallavi this time. A concert with a detailed dhanyAsi will always score high on my list..

Started dot on time with a LGJ varnam in valaji and the team soon set in motion. A very short kharaharapriya alapana came, and he insisted the violin do the same. Paraku Madade was nice, accompanied with a few rounds of swara. Hamsanandi alapana was very good. He sang it in short phrases and the return alapana was one of the high points of C N Chandrsekharan today. Tthe Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s kriti was sung in Bangalore before. This came with few superb rounds of swaras, played equally brilliant by CNC. Two fillers,in devagandhari and kuntala varali ( guess it was a request – many papers were handed over at this juncture) came in before main.

Dhanyasi alapana was grand, especially the initial phrases were outstanding. Again the build up was slow and progressed through short phrases and finished brilliantly. Violin return was ok. The choice of the kriti was also fantastic. The neraval was splendid especially in the slow tempo. The kalpana swara followed the same pattern starting with slow tempo and switching over to medium/fast paced swaras. Vaidyanathan and Raja Ganesh played subdued tani avartanam ( I mean, no banging the instruments, but playing some intricate complex korvai) and was very effective.

A pallavi was in the offing and there comes Simhendramadhyamam. The two phase alapana( one by violin) was on longer phrases and I felt, somewhat hurried through. Tanam was very well done. Pallavi was sung in trikalam with some good work by Vaidyanathan. But the pallavi line by itself, was ordinary, no innovations there. There was ragamalika swarams , albeit short. He concluded with some interesting swara patterns, which seems to have caused some confusion on the stage as the rest of them took a while to grasp.

A couple of short kritis post main, nothing to talk home about ( may be the meera bhajan with few hindustanish take as we see in the abhangist’s concert). Overall a top class concert ( and with dhanyasi main ) as expected from Cherthala Ranganatha Sharma.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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