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Ramakrishnan Murthy @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali, 19th Apr 2017

Vocal : Ramkrishnan Murthy

Violin : B U Ganesh Prasad

Mrudangam : Bangalore V Praveen

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

List:

01 shLOkam ( sadguru gajAsyavANi) – shankarAbharaNam

02 chalamElA (varNam) – darbAr – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

03 budhamAshrayAmi satatam – nAtakurinji – Dikshitar

04 vAdErA daivamu manaA – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘dhAtru vinutuDaina thyAgarAjuni ‘

05 rAmakathA sudha – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @bhAmAmaNi jAnaki saumitri’

06 svAmi mukhyA prANa – yadukulakAmbOji – Purandara Dasa

07 RTP – thODI – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai +1 eDuppu

rAgamAlika tAnam in thODi,nAgasvarALi, behAg, surutti

pallavi line ‘tArayasadA rAmachandra mUrtE toDita shiva chApa kIrtE’

rAgamAlika swaras in aThANa, kApi, nIlAmbari, darbAri kAnaDa

tani avartanam

08 mAtADa bAradEnO – khamAs – Narahari Dasa

09 shAradE karuNAnidhE – hamIr kalyANi – Chandrasekhara Bharati

10 thillAna ( tOm tOm tadara) – pUrNachandrika – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar

11 mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya)

Brilliant concert from the young man last evening at the Mandali. It left me with a feeling of completeness in the end. Beautifully conceived and managed concert, with every element included. Everything presented to its fullest. Very measured , very classy.  Loved it.

The pantuvarali made the change. The alapana was good, but wasn’t an awe inspiring one. But the selection of the kriti, the neraval he sang and the swaraprasthana that followed were super class. Without much ado, he launched into an elaborate madhyamavati alapana. Very well done. BUG was equally brilliant in his turn. Ramakatha was my prayers and so it was. Another top notch neraval and fantastic rounds of swaras. The percussion duo played out a rather short tani avartanam. PRaveen was in high spirits, occasionally going over the comfort zone. Udupa as in his usual best through out.

A pallavi was sure to come. But there was a devarnama just before that, set to tune ( rather nicely) by his current guru R K Sriramkumar.  Majestic thOdi alapana started soon. The alternating , multi phase alapana between vocal and violin was real treat. Pallavi was even special. He glided from thOdi to nagasvaravali ( as in grahabhedam) moved to behag and a fleeting moment of surutti. BUG did the same in his turn. Interesting pallavi line, nice round of ragamalika, no trikalam were the highlight of the pallavi. There was another short tani avartanam at the end. Post main had a very moving mAtADa bAradEno, among other things.

A complete package, beautifully presented.

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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Bharat Sundar @ Sri Rama Seva Mandali, Fort School , 10 Apr 2017

Vocal : Bharat Sundar

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : S Ashok

Ghatam : B R Ravikumar

List:

01 evaraNi nirNayincirira – dEvAmrtavarSiNi – Thyagaraja

02 marivErE dikkevaru – latAngi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘monarimpa vinavE nI varada venkaTEshvara ‘

03 sharaNam sharaNam enrAnE – saurAStram – Arunachala Kavi ( A )

04 ninnADa nEla – kannaDa – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

05 koluvai unnADe kOdaNDapANi – bhairavi – Thyagaraja ( A, N, S, T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ toLi karmamanaga jUtamu rArE ‘

06 rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan

07 venkaTAchala nilayam – sindhubhairavi – Purandara Dasa ( A )

08 mangaLam – saurAStram / surutti – Thyagaraja

This was the second concert of the evening. I reached while Ritwik Raja was having an elaborate neraval for munnu rAvaNa. Both Bharat Sundar and Ritwik Raja were awarded this years Yuva Puraskar by the Mandali. Good choices and my congratulations to both the recipients.

Bharat Sundar’s concert started on a low key but steadily progressed very well. Like all the youngsters, he too had his inclination towards speed. If he had dropped the speed by a pint or so, this would have been more appealing.

He did not have cracker of a start. evarani was a dampner, some how it did not really impressed me. Had he started at anupallavi, it might have made some impact. Then came the  Latangi Express, fast neraval and faster kalpana swaras. Hmm.

Now he did a wonderful thing. Started alapana for Saurashtram. Despite being on a faster side, I liked it. One, no one sing saurashtram alapana these days. Second, he chose a kriti which isnt heard even if some one takes up saurashtram in a concert. Good job. Commendable.  Another fast paced Kannada kriti came, but I will let it pass.

Bhairavi was main. Long alapana, lot of fragmented intelligent phrases. Some fantastic passages creating aha moments. But, I am yet to recover from the previous days effect created by Abhishek at Seshadripuram. So, there. Koluvai Unnade again, second day in succession. Again, retention power to blame.  Having said that, Bharat Sundar sang a tremendous neraval at toli karmamanaga followed up with a decent kalpana swaras. Bangalore Brother S Ashok, this time on stage with Mrudangam played an impressive tani avartanam with Ravikumar. Percussion was on a lower volume level, but did accompany neatly through out.

By now, he was settled. I liked the next couple of pieces the best. Ramanai Bhajital was very good. The sindhu bhairavi alapana to me was the best of the evening. Mathur Srinidhi , who was having an excellent day added to the main artists alapana with his own impressive play.

Very talented youngster, excellent musical ideas. I am sure I will listen to many more of his concert in the years to come.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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S Sowmya @ Sree Ramaseva Mandali, Fort School Grounds 05 May 2016

Vocal : S Sowmya

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

List :

01. vanajAkSirO (varNam) – kalyANi – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar ( S )

02. alakalalla lAdaga – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja (S )

03. mAyUranAtham anisham bhajAmi – dhanyAsi – Dikshitar ( A )

04. manavinAlakinca rAdatE – naLinakanti – Thyagaraja ( S )

05. amba mInalOcani Ashrita – nAyaki – Mayuram Viswanatha Shasthri ( A )

06. vandE sadA padmanAbham – navarasa kannaDa – Swathi Thirunal

07. RTP – SaNmukhapriya – khaNDa triputa x 2 , +1.5 Eduppu

pallavi line ‘shrI rAma raghuvarA sadA mAmpAhi

tani Avartanam

rAgamalika swaras in ‘valaji, sunAdavinOdini ? , rEvati , surutti

08 bAgilenu teredu – rEvati – Kanaka Dasa

09. chaliyE kunjan mE – brindAvan sArang- Swathi Thirunal

10. mangaLam – saurAshtram

inally rain gods were happy and lashed the city. So was the musical showers at the Mandali last evening. Sowmya, whom I am listening live after a long gap, presented a scholarly concert in not so comfortable environment. Her voice seems to have lost some power and there was mild strain at higher octaves, but she sang very well within her limitations.  What impressed me immensely was the selection of kritis, not often ones in common ragas.

Kalyani varnam, vanajakshirO of Poochi Iyengar was a bright start, adding a few rounds of Kalpana swaras. A unexpected madhyamavati, a rather obscure kriti ( these days at least, not withstanding the MDR rendition available) was very well received. She did made few points regarding this kriti at the end, bringing references to the meaning ( mild movement of the lock of hair in the forehead of Lord Rama in breeze, musically represented by the composers in some flowing sangatis). She also mentioned the way MDR sing those sangatis bringing out the subtle beauty of the composition.

A classy dhanyasi alapana came in next. Long, elaborate and bringing out the shear beauty of the raga. Charulatha played an equally good alapana in her turn. Again, the selection of the kriti was highly appreciable. The only recent reference of some one singing mAyUranAtham is by Vid.Vijay Siva. One was hoping for a neraval and few rounds of swara , but she decided otherwise. She did amends with the next one, where she sang some mesmerising swaras, which also brought in thunder showers to the location. First signal came in with a stream falling on to  my right hand. Soon, there was multiple drops around, including a few on stage directly impacting Charulatha. She shifted two steps behind (from forward short leg position to squareleg) and Sowmya , who was already singing very close to the mike, inched forward a little. Few vessels ( basins) brought in and placed on stage for capturing the water. The whole melee took a short while, and finally the team moved to the right readjusting themselves to most suitable positions. The team on stage, were generally in good humour and not complaining.

Once settled, the concert resumed with a fabulous nAyaki alapana.Another not much heard kriti of Mayuram Viswanatha Shasthry was presented. A short navarasa kannada composition paved way to the main.Shanmukhapriya alapana was decent, but the tanam that followed was probably the best of the evening. Outstanding piece of singing by Sowmya with an equally brilliant violin support. Good pallavi line,deploying ‘swarakshara’ in the uttarangam ( sa da ma pa). Interesting trikaalam, where instead of the usual half speed ( 2 tala cycle) and multi speed ( two pallavi cycle in same tala cycle), she did 2 tala cycle and 3 tala cycle for pallavi.

Sudheendra and Udupa was in good form. Sudheendra probably was a little too excited through out the day. The duo played an entertaining tani avvartanam. Sowmya continued the pallavi with ragamalika swaras post the tani avartanam. Post main was again nothing noteworthy. But the concert despite the unforeseen circumstances was still a top class one.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 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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K V Krishnaprasad @ Ramaseva mandali, 13th Apr 2016

Vocal : K V Krishnaprasad

Violin : K J Dileep

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Ghatam : Srishylan

List:

01 shLOkam ( namastE shAradAdEvi shrIrangapura vAsini) – bhauLi

mElukOvayya – bhauLi – Thyagaraja

02 mArubalka – shrIranjani – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ dAri nerigi santasilli naTTi tyAgarAjanuta’

03 nAda lOluDai – kalyANavasantam – Thyagaraja

04  marukELarA – jayanthashrI – Thyagaraja

05 mInAkSi mEmudam dEhi – gamakakriya/pUrvikalyANi – Dikshitar ( A,t,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘madhurApuri nilayE maNi valayE’

06  shLOkam ( hara shambhO mahAdEva) – bhAgEshrI

bhaja bhaja gaurIsham ( bhajan) – bhAgEshrI – Smt Shantha Pati

07 shLOkam ( srIrAmam sugrIvam) – sindhubhairavi

thillAna ( tAm takiTa taka dhinuta dhIm ??) – sindhubhairavi – Own ?? ( mudra ‘padmanAbha dAsa’)

08 mangaLam – saurAStram/madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

Important to catch up on some of the new voices in the circuit. Away from the often heard and predictable performances. Despite my week physical condition, I ventured out to listen to Krishnaprasad last evening, having known about the changes in the artists ( his name wasn’t featuring in the original list). In the end my decision was proven to be right.

What an awesome start that was, almost like a dream sequence. round, mellifluous voice soothed itself into a fabulous bhauli kriti of Thyagaraja in such a moving way. Very well done. That probably is a start one should look for in a concert. He quickly started the shrIranjani alapana, mostly conveyed through fast paced bhriga laden spurts. Good effort, followed in a similar fashion by the accompanying artist. Marubalka, came in like water flow from the opening of a flood gate. Kriti followed by an impressive neraval and the kalpana saras were super fast. A kriti immortalised by Semmangudi, which he mentioned before the start and also singing a few swara passages we used to hearing in Semmangudi’s rendition were impactful. While it was exhilarating and done with a lot of verve, personally I would have appreciated it more with speed a notch or two lower for the shear beauty of the composition and the ‘bhAva’ of the rAga.

To balance it out, he sang the kalyanavasantham kriti with much leisurely way. Another short piece in Jayanthashri came in before the main. Purvikalyani alapana was grand. His strength is in speedy bhriga oriented phrases mostly done at middle and higher octave, which he deployed at ample occasions. Alapana did go a bit in  ‘to and fro’ way but it definitely was top class. K J Dileep did a commendable job in his turn as well. There was tanam, and was thinking in line of a pallavi. Tanam started off brilliantly , very slow and long deliberate movements which was very very good. He chose to sing a kriti instead of pallavi and Dikshitar’s master piece was in the offing. He sang the kriti pretty well. Neraval was good and adequately explored. His second speed neraval was impressive, but lacked a bit of clarity in breaking the syllables. Kalpana swaras were only in the higher speeds. He did some innovative ‘swarakshara’ explorations at ‘madhurapuri nilaye’. Jayachandra Rao and Srishylan, the percussion duo who were impeccably adaptive to the main artist ( I am impressed that he did not get carried away during the marubalka exhilaration ) made a memorable day. The duo played out a decent tani avartanam post the main.

Krishnaprasad sang a couple of kritis post the felicitation each of them preceded with a short shloka. I am always in favour of artists singing shloka or viruttam in the second part of the concerts. Both the bhAgeshrI bhajan ( written by Smt Shantha Pati, who was in the audience) and the sindhubhairavi thillana was good. Looks like the thillana was his own, as the mudra ‘padmanabha dasa’ was distinct.

Krishnaprasad is a gifted musician, with a strong yet melodic voice supported with musical acumen and skills. Good to see such young artists getting noticed and recognised in premier music events.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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