Tag Archives: Chowdiah Memorial Hall

Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Ganjam Flights of Fantacy , Chowdiah Memorial Hall, 23-Nov-2014

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Ganjira : Guruprasanna


01 vandana monarinciti (varNam) – vacaspati – Tiger Varadachary

02  mA kELarA vicAramu – ravichandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )

03  tyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam – Ananda bhairavi – Muthuswamy Dikshitar ( S )

04  narasimhuDu – kamalA manOhari – Mysore Sadashiva Rao ( A )

05  Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE – kalyANi – Gopalakrishna Bharati ( A,N,S )

neraval @ kAlai tUkki – Ananda kUthADinAr ambalam tannilE , ponnambalam tannilE    ( change to tOm tOm enru-ananda kUthADinAr… a few times )

06  vandanamu raghu nandanA – sahAna – tyAgarAja  (started at shrIdAma nAtO)

07 RTP – kalyANavasantam – chaturasra triputa x 2 kaLai , starting at  +1

pallavi line :  nIvErA kuladhanamu, nIvErA jIvanamu rAmA

rAgamAlika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa and darbAri kAnaDa

07b  tani Avartanam

08  dAsara nindisa bEDa – bhAgEshrI – Purandara Dasa

09  rInAmadanuta paripAlaya mAmayi – bihAg – Swathi Thirunal

10  uyyAla lUgavayyA – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

11  rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan ( O )

12  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

The first thing that was noticed and was appealing to the eyes were the stage decor and the ambient at the hall. Very tastefully decorated back stage, with a tinge of maroon, appropriate light on the stage, the hall lights dimmed to give the serious feeling about the event to start. Four, sparkling white clad artist on stage in contrast to the back drop. Great atmosphere to listen to an awesome concert that followed.

Sanjay started with another new varnam, this time the vacaspati varnam of Tiger Varadachary. His voice was patchy and wasn’t coming out well, giving a shiver through the spine for having traveled all the way across the city to listen to him. Even on a bad throat day, he usually delivers something that can be cherished, hence I wasn’t overtly worried. Luckily, the voice trouble did not last long. In the second kriti, it suddenly opened up and cleared, and it was more or less stable through out the evening. Ravichandrika swaras were very good. It also brought the percussion team into action, as one saw the excited ‘wiper’ movements of the head of Neyveli Venkatesh at its best.

Thyagaraja yoga vaibhavam to me was the start of the great things that followed. Beautifully sang the kriti and added some mesmerising kalpana swaras. Very interestingly sang the swaras at ‘tyagaraja yoga vaibhavam’ to start with and subsequently moving to ‘agaraja yoga vaibhavam’, raja yoga vaibhavam ..till bhavam and vam ( for these two he continued tyagaraja). Haven’t heard that from anyone before and I thought that was very nice. Kamala manohari ragam was the first of the alapana to come. Both Sanjay and Varadarajan sang a good alapana. Venky texted me ‘narasimhuDu’ a new favorite of Sanjay and so it was. Mysore Sadashiva Rao’s composition in ‘break-neck’ speed , probably do not have the appeal of the Dikshitar’s composition. I was expecting a quickfire swara rounds, but he decided otherwise.

Kalyani alapana was fabulous. Despite my cold shoulder towards this raga, I liked the alapana immensely. Very detailed, long alapana in typical style with many gestures and movements of Sanjay ( at one point he had a posture of ‘bow and arrow’ directing at violinist) was reciprocated by equally brilliant return from Varadarajan, after a short interlude. There seems to be some trouble with the shruti of the tanpura which Varadarajan seems to be not happy about. Sanjay did the damage control by re-tuning the tanpura before Varadarajan continued with his alapana.

Talking heads…talking heads all around at this time. Few stern look did not stop them from continuing. I had to resort to the techniques of the French Open Referees with a ‘S’il vous plaît ‘ to silence the talking heads. I also saw a large chain of people walking out during the violin alapana, probably seeking the relief of abdominal pressure, contrary to my suspicion of them being the fellow members of ‘Kalyani haters club’.

Back to the concert. Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Ananda koothadinar ambalam tannile’ was outstanding. Kriti, more popular in the dance circuit as I was told, was very very good. He sang a splendid neraval taking from the last line of first charanam and mixing it with the pallavi line. It had tremendous impact and definitely was the high point of the concert to me. He made a couple of deviations to thOm thOm enru – ananda koothadinar, instead of kalai thooki ananda koothadinar , which again was a great idea. The kalpana swaram matching to the kriti and neraval in two speeds was as impressive. Surprisingly, there was no tani avartanam taken at this point but he started with ‘shrIdAma nAtO’ from the kriti vandanamu raghu nandana in sahana. He kept singing sEtu ‘bhandana’ instead of sEtu bandhana through out.

By now the expectation for a grand pallavi was on, as he skipped tani avartanam of the percussionist after kalyani. Kalyanavasantam alapana was very good by both the artists. Tanam was even better, and elaborate. Usually his tanams are very enjoyable, so was today. Pallavi line was improvised on the begada kriti, set to adi talam. There was no trikalam for neither pallavi nor swaras. He sang ragamalika swaras in bEgaDa, bhairavi, pUrvikalyANi, husEni, kannaDa in quick succession and then launched into a phenomenal five minute bliss of darbari kAnada swaras. What all did he try in that.. including an attempt to sing a hindustani-ish take. The applause at the end of it as ever lasting. A waiting Varadarajan ( to end the applause) was prompted by Sanjay to start his play. Varadarajan as he did through out the day made another brilliant reply including the hindustani style phrases. However, towards the end  the percussion was so loud with excited bashing, we could hardly hear him playing. The percussion team played a commendable tani avartanam. Guruprasanna, especially, was very very good.

As it was already late, he sang few kritis post main. The bihag kriti of Swathi Thirunal was very nice. There was no viruttam, which probably cold have been included in place of a piece. But who is complaining after the feast that was served. Indeed a grand finish to the 3 day long Ganjam Festival.


Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Srivalsan J menon , Raga Sambhrama @ Chowdiah Memorial Hall 03 Feb 2012

vocal : Srivalsan J Menon

Violin : Sandhya Srinath

Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra

Organised by : Bharatiya Saamagaana Sabha

Ragam : Anandabhairavi


01 SLOkam ( Om namO bhagavathE vAsudEvAya) – Anandabhairavi

       cheluvudA nine kOri ( varNam)- Anandabhairavi – Ammachathram Kannuswami Pillai

02  kamalAmbA samrakshatu – anandabhairavi – Muthuswami Dikshitar

03 O jagadamba – Anandabhairavi – Shyama Shastry ( A,N,S ,T)

       neraval & swara @‘rAjamukhi sarOjanayana suguNa rAjarAjita kAmAkSi’

04  kaLaganji ?? – anandabhairavi – Allama Prabhu ( 12th century vachana poet)

Unlike his predecessors, Srivalsan J Menon decided to give a mini concert ( Eka rAga concert style) in his stpulated 1 hr.  I would have preferred a single kriti or a pallavi for 1 hr as done by the others. However, given the time and the scope,  he has done a good job.

He started the concert with a slokam in anandabhairavi, moving to a not often heard varnam of Ammachathram Kannaswami Pillai ( heard this earlier when malladi brothers sang at Gayana samaja , 4 yrs ago).  Dikshitar’s navavarana kriti ‘kamalAmba’ followed soon. A very emotive rendering, unhastened, with some good anticipatory responses by H S Sudheendra. He concluded without singing any kalpana swaras. mentioning Shyamashasthry for all those majestic compsitions in anandabhairavi, he choose to sing ‘O jagadamba’ for the main piece. Alapana was exquisite, very moving and measured. Sandhya Srinath, on her turn produced some of the magical phrases of the vocalist.  O jagadamba came in all its grandeur.  Neraval , especially, was very interesting at ‘  rAjamukhi sarOjanayana  ‘ , which I thought is not all that easy to pull it off.  Kalpana swara was brilliant, with some able accompaniment.

True to the nature of the concert and the bhava prevailed, Sri Sudhindra gave a sublime thani avartanam, albeit short. I liked the way he finished the tani easing into the conclusion. No fireworks, no fast paced finger play, no structurally complicated and loud exhibition of his capabilities. It matched to the evenings and the raga moods perfectly. He concluded the concert with a kriti of Allama Prabhu ( a 12th century poet ) set to tune to Anandabhairavi.

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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Concert Schedule


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Mysore Nagaraj& Manjunath, Raga Sambhrama, Chowdiah Memorial Hall 03 Feb 2012

Violin Duet : Mysore Nagaraj & Dr.Manjunath

Mrudangam : Arjunkumar

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

Organised by : Bharatiya Saamagaana Sabha

Raga : Hindolam

Day 3 of the Raga Sambhrama Festival organised by bharatiya Saamagaana Sabha. I missed the first 2 days, and the first concert of the 3rd day. I liked the ida of ‘rAga sambhrama’, one hour concert each by the performer on a ‘selected raga’. Having Shanmukhapriya ( Abhishek Raghuram),Sarasangi ( Shashank), Keeravani ( Unnikrishnan) on Day 1, Shulini ( R K Padmanabha) , Darbari Kanada( Jayatheerth Mevundi -hindustani) and Mohanam( Ganesh&Kumaresh) on Day 2, Day 3 was for Thodi , Hindolam and Anandabhairavi. I missed the Thodi of Rudrapatnam Brothers.

01   alapana – hindOLa

         tAnam – hindOLa

        pallavi ‘ kailAsapatE paSupatE umApatE’

        no Ragaalika swara

        tani avartanam

Myspre Brothers, chose to sing a pallavi in hindolam. Manjunath anchored the proceedings, and started the alap in mellifluous way. Detailing the phrases slow and deliberate, easing into the faster paced and higher octave prayogas, alternating between them, I personaly liked the alapana.  I thought, Manjunath cleverly incorporated  some folkish tunes brilliantly into the alap. Thanam was rather short, but highly effective. Being a shorter version of the concert, I thought it would have been appropriate to have the percussion to join in for tanam. Manujnaths closure rounds of tanam was brilliant. 

Pallavi was set to Adi ( chatursra triputa) and deploying ‘naDai’ variations. Pallavi was good, but the highlights were on the kalpana swara that followed. It was the typical affair, one expect in their concert. Beginning in slow shorter variations, increasing hte duration and the speed, reaching the cresendo in high speeed and high octave , mesmerising the audience as it progressed, ending with a thuderous applause fro mthe audience. These efforts were amply supported by equaly enthused and excited percussion team.

While there was no ragamalika swaras, which could have added some flavour to the overall concert, they gave sufficient time for a short tani avartanam. Arjunkumar and Giridhar Udupa, made the best use of the time given to them with some brilliant ‘stroke play’ ( apologise for the use of such word).

As the ‘expert’ who commented in his speech, for the first time, the concert was apt to the name of the series, ‘raga sambhrama’. Good 1 hr concert by Mysore Nagaraj and Dr.Manjunath with a captivating hindola.


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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Concert songlist


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T N Seshagopalan @ Academy of Music Concert, Chowdiah Memorial Hall

Vocal : T N Seshagopalan

Violin : V V Ravi

Mrudangam : Trichur C Narendran

Ganjira : Guruprasanna


01 Alapana –  pUrvikalyANi

       SLOkam ( srI vidyAm shiva vAmabhAga nilayAM ) – pUrvikalyANi

       mInAkshi mE mudam dEhi – pUrvikalyANi ( gamakakriya) – Adi x 2 – Dikshitar ( A,N,S )

        neraval & swara @’vINa gAna daSa gamakakriyE’

02  amba vANi – kIravAni – Adi-  Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( S @varavINa pANi)

03  RTP – bhairavi & sindhu bhairavi  – khanDa triputa, 2 kaLai

        pallavi line ‘ kapAlini trishUlini Ezhil sindhu bhairavi pAhimAm’

       no Ragamalika swaras

       tani Avartanam

04  SLOkam ( jagati vijita manthram) – jAunpuri

        rAma manthrava japisO – jAunpuri – Purandara Dasa

05  thillAna ( dhim tadana tani nadru dru dru dhIm ) – bilahari – Poochi  Srinivasa Iyengar ?

06  mangaLam – saurAshtram – thyagaraja

        SLOkam (srIyAy kAnthaya ) – madhyamAvati

The concluding concert of the 5 day Academy of Music Festival at Chowdiah hall. The concert was shortened due to the extended falicitation ceremory, to a mere One and half hour affair, and that was a bit disappointing. He seems to have warmd up but the constant glance at the watch indicated a shorter concert with greater disappointment. On his part, he did not fill in the available time with lot many kritis. Upto the tanam of the pallavi, it was grand. The time pressure seems to have taken off with the tanam and the rest of the concert was not worth mentioning.

Earlier the evening , he received the covetted K K Murthy memorial Chowdiah Award from Suttur Guruji, along with Rudrapatnam Brothers.  The speeches and garlands went on for a while , despite the function starting on time. It was 8 ‘O clock, before the concert to kick start. Guruji, bagan his speech mentioning that the audience are here to listen to the concert, and went on to speak for another 20-25 mins.

TNS started off with a brilliant alapana in pUrvikalyani, and some how it reflected as he removed the first couple of pieces from his original list. The alap was detailed and long. Continuing with a slokam before the Dikshtar’s master piece ‘mInAkshi mE mudam’. He chose to do neraval at ‘vIna gAna dasa gamaka kriyE’ with a lot of emphasise on ‘dasa gamakakriyE’ . Kalpana swara was done in two speeds,  taking around 35 mins on this composition.

A fast paced AmbavAni followed along with a quickfire rounds of swaras. though it was of high octane and bit rashy, I liked it ( personaly I prefer slower version of Keeravani). Bhairavi alapana ,which followed had all the ingredient of a main. The slow build up, the deliberate and unhurried phrases , the high octave sancharas, the dhruta prayogas that followed and the landing. Including the mrudangist, everyone was ready for a bhairavi heavy weight to follow, but came sindhu bhairavi. Equally eloquent in his typcial fashion, the alapana was fabulous. There was the ‘crowd puller’ grahabhedam ( to what I cant recollect). Alapana concluded with the alternating phrases between the two chosen ragas.  Tanam was fast and somewhat hurried. There was no pause as he was clearly trying to catchup on speed. From here the rest of the concert was pretty quick and not very great. Tanam was done in a coupleof avartanam, pallavi was short, there was no trikalam, swara singing was also shortened with no attempt for ragamalika swaras. Tani Avartanam was also short. Trichur Narendran and Guruprasanna was very supportive through out the concert.

Despite the short duration, there was another break with the speech and flowers. Concert was wound up in next 5 mins with a dasar nama and a thillana. On the whole, it was not satisfying, as I did not come for a one and half hour concert. But, it is my experience , that any concert followed by a felicitation function will eventually be truncated by the extention of speeches and the associated delays.


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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Concert songlist


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