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T M Krishna @Unnati Center, Gokulashtami Festival 06 Aug 2016

Vocal : T M Krishna

Violin : H K Venkatram

Mrudangam : Arun Prakash

Ganjira : Anirudh Athreya

List:

01 sarasa sAmadAna – kApi nArAyani – Thyagaraja (O,N,S)

neraval @ ‘hitavu mAtalentO bhAgabalkitivi’

02 yArukkAkilum bhayamA – bEgaDa – Subbarama Iyer? ( A,S )

03 vallabha nAyakasya – bEgaDa – Dikshitar ( Tanam, S)

04 chANarO ee mOhamu – khamAs – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar ( O )

05 RTP – mukhAri – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 Kalai , 1.5 eduppu

pallavi line ‘ kAdalippOm nAm anaivarum ‘aridAna?’ manita vAzhvai’

pallavi in rAgamAlika kIravANi, shrI,nAyaki, sahAna, sindhubhairavi

No swaras

tani Avartanam

06 cherarAvadEmirA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A )

07 hE gOvind. hE gOpAl. – kAmbOji – Surdas

08 pagh gunghurU rE (mIrA bhajan) – pIlu

Hmm.. What would you call the listener (me,in this case) who is confused between Bhairavi and Mukhari ? My friend AG came with an apt answer; Bhairavi+Mukhari = Bhikhari.

MukhAri, I said to myself, as soon as he started the alapana. Wait, am I hearing bhairavi ? No, there is clear mukhari phrases. Oh, tanam is sounding bhairavi. Could this be mAnji, no way. No, it is mukhari. Or should we wait for H K Venkatram to come to our rescue when his turn comes. Oh,no. There wasn’t a violin turn. Krishna is starting the pallavi. Let me freeze it on mukhari.

I am not the only one confused. The organiser’s mail came in the morning, which announced the pallavi is in bhairavi. Was I wrong then. Hold on, what is the second mail all about. Ah, they have corrected it. It now says, mukhari. Stop it Jayan, no more debate. Mukhari it is.

A couple of years back Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan gave a concert at Nadasurabhi on Allied ragas. And to his merit and credit,he chose to sing the pallavi in bhairavi+mukhari. I had no confusion then, between bhairavi and mukhari. Probably, it wasn’t my day. Or one should blame MDR, whose ‘eLAvatAram’ was playing in my car for the entire day.

This summarises my evening yesterday. The confusion did not end there. Ask about the Surdas bhajan. I am for kAmbOji, or was it harikAmbOji ? Did I hear traces of khamAs as he twisted the corners of the brief alap he did before the song?

Pardon me. I am lost. The blame is entirely and squarely on me. Krishna started majestically with a short kapi narayani sketch. Slightly stretched the neraval at hitavu matalento, but was top class, which he did alone, without a reciprocation from violin. However, the kalpana swaras was done by H K Venkatram, after a brisk start from Krishna.

Begada alapana started with some exquisite phrases, and this time he did announce it as begada to those who were looking perplexed. After the impressive start, he mostly did long slow phrases in middle and upper octaves. Yarukkakilum bhayama, popular in the bharatanatyam circuit was sung very leisurely, apt for a dance performance, way. Added to it a few rounds of lovely swaras. Some great great rounds in the upper octaves. Begada isn’t over. After mulling for a while, he started tAnam, mumbled ‘same one’ as he started. Dikshitar’s masterpiece was sung in much pleasing tempo followed with some faster rounds of kalpana swaras.

Khamas jAvali was to follow. This time pronouncing it as ‘chANarO’ with a clear ‘chh’ syllable to start. I have been listening to this as ‘jANarO’ for a long time, including that of Krishna. Probably a correction from his side. Interestingly, the karnatik.com site has the lyrics as ‘sAnarO’. Ramesh Swamy spoke after this and was followed by few felicitations to the new Magsaysay winner.

It is now the pallavi started. I have said enough about this. There was no swaras, but he sang the pallavi line in ragamalika. Looked like he got hooked on to sindhu bhairavi as he elaborated it for a while. There was no trikalam too, as he pointed to Arun Prakash for tani avartanam. Arun Prakash and Anirudh started with very slow pattern around the time division, doubling up as it progressed to greater speed. Except for some fabulous pattern he played towards the end, by and large it wasn’t very appealing.  There was  a large exodus post the tani avartanam, people seems to have taken the advise of Ramesh Swamy well, delaying the departure post tani.

HK Venkatram played a very nice alapana in reetigaula and TMK added to the impact with an impressive cheraravadEmirA, adorned with sangatis after sangatis of the pallavi line. This definitely was beautiful. The Surdas bhajan, spoke above, and a meerabhajan concluded the concert.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this concert. It was brilliant at patches and was confusing and sluggish at places. I’ve heard better concerts of his.

 

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ Odukathur Mutt , Gokulashtami Series, 24th Aug 2015

Vocal : Sanjay  Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Palladam Ravi

Ganjira : Alathur Rajaganesh

List:

01  jalajAkshi ninne ( varNam ) – chakravAkam – Patnam Subramania Iyer

02  jaya jaya, jaya jAnaki kAnta – nATa – Purandara Dasa ( S )

03  vinatA suta vAhanuDai – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja  (doubtful)   ( A,S )

04 shrI venkaTEsham vAram – thODi – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar  ( A )

05  kANA kannAyiram vENDum – nIlAmbari – Anai Ayya

06  sukhi evvarO rAma nAma – kAnaDa – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘sukhi evvarO rAma nAma’

07  vandE sadA padmanAbham – navarasa kannaDa – Swathi Thirunal ( O )

08  RTP – pUrvi kalyANi – mishra nadai

pallavi line  ‘tamizhukku amudenru peyar , inba tamizh engaL uyirukku nEr’

rAgamAlika swaras in hindOLam, simhEndramadhyamam, patdIp

09  ennamO vagayAy varugidu – khamAs – Ghanam Krishnaiyer

10  lALisidaLu maganA – rAgamAlika (dEsh, jOnpuri?) – Purandara Dasa

11  viruttam ( maruL uravE ennai mayakkiDum ? ) – kApi

Ishanenru guhanE ?? – kApi – ?

12  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

This concert probably would be talked about for a few days to come. This being his first concert post the announcement of the Sangita kalanidhi selection for this year , the expectations was huge. Concert started off decent, with a chakravakam varnam and the nAta kriti. Few rounds of swaras that accompanied jaya jaya jAnaki kAnta was again good. But his body language, showed a lot more excitement and indicated the mood for the rest of the evening. Those shake of head, those change in direction, the constant shift of seating, general display of restlessness ( in a positive sense, hardly waiting for Varadarajan to complete) were noticed from the beginning. To me, this is the signal of great things to come.

Yesterday, there were 4 alapana and that is the highlight of the evening. Each of them were detailed and presented with great deliberation and differentiation. Hari kamboji was the first and had mostly the traditional fair, hints of its more popular janya at places. The kriti was indeed a welcome change. I was deducing the possibilities and concluded on rAma nannu brOva as a potential choice. However he surprised with a rare piece, which is dubiously attributed to Thyagaraja. Vinata Suta vAhanuDai is a first time listening experience for me. Kriti itself , per se, was decent. He sang some brilliant swaras at the end.

Thodi alapana was the pinnacle of the evening. The start itself was very refreshing. Some of the techniques ( not finding a better word) and the phrases were very unique. The voice was at its best, allowing to experiment and deliver all that he was attempting. He did spend considerable time for alapana up in front. Varadarajan was excellent as always. Poochi kriti was again not often heard one in the concerts. Unlike the medium and fast tempo kritis earlier, this was in much lower speed. There was no neraval or swara here. Another slow neelambari came in before the main, to set the stage.

Kanada alapana was again grand. Largely deploying the familiar phrases, trying various speeds and octaves and focusing on the overall emotive aspect of the raga. Another brilliant return came from Varadarajan. He choose the pallavi line for neraval, started at rAma nAma and switching once ( or twice) to ‘tAraka rAma – sukhi evvarO’. Very elaborate and typical two speed variations , before finishing with a cracker. Surprisingly kalpana swaras was done in a looooong single sequence in the first speed.

Palladam Ravi was a refreshing change and presence on stage. He complimented brilliantly, often filling the pauses with some classy interludes. Often witnessed Sanjay allowing him to complete some of the plays be extending the time for him. The tani avartanam was again very nice. The head shakes and those laborious fast beating of the instrument ( which one usually observe) was much subdued if not eliminated. Alathur Rajaganesh was equally good during tani.

A beautiful navarasa kannada kriti of Swathi Thirunal was sung before the pallavi. I’ve heard Sanjay singing this in detail with an alapana and alpana swaras before. There was few ‘ninnu vinA nAmadentO’ style sangatis here. Not sure if it is in the original. Poorvikalyani was the pallavi. Alapana was again very good. Tanam was sung only in the second speed ( and third , fourth and ..). I am a fan of low speed tanam.  A Bharatiyar inspired pallavi line in Tamil was good. Hindolam and patdeep in ragamalika swarams were beautiful.

Already over 3 hrs, the post main was much short, despite the 3-4 songs he did. While they were all good, nothing to boast home about. Even the viruttam was very short ( one line?). But who is complaining, after entertaining us for 3.5 hrs. This was one helluva concert.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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S Sowmya , Gokulashtami Series, Unnati Centre, 10 Aug 2014

Vocal : S Sowmya

Violin : R K Sriramkumar

Mrudangam : J Vaidyanathan

Ganjira : anirudh Athreya

Song list :

01. chalamEla ( varNam) – nAtakurinji – Rangaswamy Pillai ( S )

02.  bAlakrishNan pAdamalar – dhanyAsi – Papanasam Sivan ( S )

03.  Ela nI dayarADu – aThANa – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ rArA dEvAdidEvA , rArA mahAnubhAva ‘

04.  bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLavarALi – Swathi thirunal

05. O jagadambA -Anandabhairavi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,S )

06.  brOva bhAramA – bahudhAri – Thyagaraja ( S )

07.  hannu bandidE – hindOLam – Purandara Dasa

08. RTP – harikAmbOji – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai , started at 1.5 ( 3rd beat) after samam

pallavi line ‘ srIkrishNam bhaja tE sadA, unnata padavi vrjarE manasA ‘

rAgamAlika swaras in ‘rEvati, ?, surutti

tani Avartanam

09.  srI mAdhava vAsudEva – behAg – Papanasam Sivan

10. bhajarE yadunAtham – pIlu – Sadashiva Brahmendra

11. thillAna ( tAm tAm udanitOm tananam) – khamAs – Patnam Subramanya Iyer

12. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Another top quality concert at the series at Unnati. S Sowmya and the team presented a very well coordinated concert yesterday. A cleverly selected kritis on the occasion of Gokulashtami and a rather surprising pallavi are some of the highlights of the evening. All the participants played very well and I am particularly impressed with young Anirudh Athreya on the Ganjira. She sang kalpana swaras for almost all the kritis until the main, each of them delivered with class.

Started 10 mins late on a Sunday evening, she started off with the natakurinji varnam adding a few rounds of swaras. I’m listening to Balakrishnan pAdamalar after a long time, and she sang the swaras pretty well. Athana was the first alapana and she started off with a bang ( many appreciative tch tch around) and progressed nicely. RKSK did one better in his turn taking off from where she left. An interesting neraval ar rA rA devadideva , was fabulous. Another elaborate Anandabhairavi alapana came soon after a filler. It was ok, not something that would blew me away. O jagadamba was good, and so was the ultra slow kalpana swaras that followed. Probably to shift the tempo she quickly sang an super fast bahudhari and an even faster fireworks of swaras. It was very impressive, nonetheless. Another slow devarnama followed soon after.

Harikamboji alapana was grand. I am never good at identifying with this, but after a few internal negotiations, I settled at the right place. Expecting a ‘dinaMaNi vamsha’, I was a bit surprised when she started her tAnam. There hadn’t been many instances of a pallavi in harikAmbOji, an MDR and one from Chittoor Subramanya Pillai are two that I’ve heard of. Tanam was good. Pallavi was cleverly coined, adding the ‘organiser’ mudra incorporated. Brilliant trikalam  for an intrinsic ‘eduppu’ was executed to perfection by all. There was no elaborated ragamalika swaras. She did a sweeping one stretch swaras in the final round briefly shifting from revati to surutti ( one more in the middle) and handed over the reign to the percussion. J Vaidyanathan and Anirudh Athreya was top class in accompanying. The duo played out a decent tani with no noisy riots.

Post main had a couple of short songs and a khamas thillana. Nothing to talk home about. A very enjoyable concert and a bonus surprise of the harikamboji pallavi.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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U Shrinivas, Mandolin – Gouklashtami Series, Unnati, 09 Aug 2014

Mandolin : U Shrinivas

Violin : H K Venkatram

Mrudangam : Srimushnam Rajarao

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

List:

01. chalamEla (varNam) – darbAr – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

02.  bhajamAnasa vighnEshwaram – bahudhAri – Tulasivanam ( O,S )

03.  kAmAkshi (swarajati) – bhairavi – Shyama Shasthri

04. parandhAmavati – dharmavathi – Dikshitar ( A,S )

05. telisirAma – pUrNachandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )

06.  nagumOmu – AbhEri – Thyagaraja

07. RTP – kalyANi, kIravANi, malayamArutam – chaturashra tripuTa , 2 kaLai

tani Avartanam

08.  thIrAtha viLayAttu piLLai – rAgamAlika – Subramanya Bharati

09.  bhajan – ?

10. bArO krishNayya – rAgamAlika – Kanaka Dasa

11. thillAna – rEvati – Lalgudi jayaraman

12. mangaLam – saurAshtram , madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

After missing the first week, yesterday was my first concert at this series at Unnati. As expected, Mandolin Shrinivas gave his customery high standard concert with some spirited support from the accompanying artists, especially veteran Srimushnam Rajarao. Concert progressed in a typical style with varnam , ganesha kriti pattern. Bahudhari kalpana swaras very very apt with all the constituents of the evening gelled well. A moving bhairavi swarajati came in before the first alapana of the day in dharmavathi. The kriti – I am pinning it for ‘parandhamavati’ against bhajanaseya rAda for both the kritis are set to ‘roopakam’ – was beautifully played, so was the short kalpana swara that followed. Two short kritis, were marvellous. Purnachandrika with its swaras and nagumOmu with some mesmerising sangatis he played with Srimushnam Rajarao.

He announced the main pallavi for the evening, in the form of kalyani, keeravani and malayamarutham. An interesting combination to choose. A rasika, landed on the stage at this juncture with a huge list of her preferences, causing some jovial moment. Acknowledging her, he said there has to be another concert to fulfill al her requests, but for time being he would like to continue with the pallavi.

The three raga alapana, from one to the next with violin taking turns was decent. Few catchy phrases with the fast paced sancharas was impressive. Venkatram was much more sedate and appealing, especially his keeravani and malayamarutam. There was no TNS style mixing or cross combination of alapana. Tanam sequenced in the reverse order with malayamarutam leading the fare. Here, he did some nice progression from one to the other. Overall tanam from both the instruments was very good with both receiving ample appreciation from the audience. He did not ‘sing’ or announce the pallavi line, but from the structure, it is evidently one of the popular ones, set to adi talam in 2 kalai. Ragamalika swara followed the same pattern not expanding beyond the pallavi ragas.

What followed was a scintillating tani avartanam. Despite the higher decibel levels, it was an awesome fare. The veteran percussionist leading the charge and Giridhar Udupa measuring upto every challenges thrown at him. There was an outstanding interplay towards the end, with one taking the lead while the other played the ‘takadhimi’ on his instrument. The duo received a standing ovation in the end for their outstanding contribution.

Post main, again had the known set of kritis. Baro Krishnayya, was one to pick for if I had to make a choice from the list. The concert concluded with a revathi thillana before the mangalam. Concert of an expected level from Shrinivas , with an exceptional support from Srimishnam rajarao.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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T N Seshagopalan, Gokulashtami Concert, Unnati Centre 13 Aug, 2013

Vocal: T N Seshagopalan

Violin : V V Ravi

Mrudangam : Trichur Narendran

Ghatam : Ranganatha Chakravarthy

Songlist:

01.  mahAgaNapatim – nAta – Dikshitar ( S )

02.  telisirAma chintana – pUrNa chandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )

03.  padmAvati ramaNam – pUrvikalyANi –  Oothukadu Venkata Kavi  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ sundarAnga Sobhita vadanam’

04.  rA rA vasudEva varakumAra – thODi – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar

05.  kshIra sAgara – dEvagAndhAri – Thyagaraja

06.  kanna tanri nI nannu brOchutaku – kuntaLa varALi – Veena Kuppaiyer ( A,S )

07.  ODODi vandEn kaNNA – dharmavathi – Ambujam Krishna

08.  bAla gOpAla pAlayASumAm – bhairavi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ nIla nIrada SarIrA

09.  tU dayAlu dIn hO – rEvati – Tulsidas

10.  SLOkam ( sAyankAlE vanAntE) – rAgamAlika ( chenchurutti, nAthanAmakriya, punnAga varALi + a flurry of raga at ‘navarasa pati’ and yamunA kalyANi)

krishNA nI bEganE bAro – yamunAkalyANi – Vyasaraya

11.  tirupugazh ( prEma muga?) – rAgamAlika

12.  mangaLam – sourAshtram – Thyagaraja

SLOkam ( srIyay kAnthAya) – madhyamAvathi

One thing I admire in his concert that the selection of kritis presented. They are always apt to the occasion and is to the right measure. Being Gokulashtami series concert, it was obvious that most of the kritis will be on Krishna. Even in such a theme, he brings in a large variety of composers and kritis in different tala. The look at the list above is testimony to his mastery. Yesterday’s concert was also noted for the kritis presented. It wasn’t one that sttod out, or one we are used to hear from him in not so long time. But this was pretty good concert in totality.

I reached the venue exactly at 6:00 pm. I was welcomed by the quickfire kalpana swara in Nata, in full flow. Its only 6:00 and are we already into the second kriti, almost ending. The concert might have stated a bit early. I later came to know that the concert started with ‘mahaganapatim’ and there was no varnam before this. So, I haven’t missed much. Purnachandrika also had some fantastic rounds of swaras and had finished with his usual flourish with long rounds of closing swaras.

Purvikalyani was the first alapana, which was fairly decent. Padmavathi ramanam was anticipated, and was very nice. NEraval and swara again was top class. This was followed by a not often heard( apart from TNS and his desciples, I guess) kriti of Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar in Thodi. Very appealing kriti. The line was sung with many sangatis, and one can see the itching to extend this to a neraval, which V V Ravi tried during the interval, but TNS continued to sing one sangathi after other, with out a chance for a violin return as in a neraval. Thodi followed by ksheerasagara , which I thought was very ordinary and one could sense the intensity dropping. This was one of the low points of the concert.

Concert came back to life with an interesting alapana in Kuntalavarali. While there are many short alapana heard in concert, this one lasted nearly 10 min was very different. Interesting phrases, few references of the popular kriti phrases, the general leisurely with many ‘akara’ singing was done pretty well. The kriti of Veena Kuppaiyer was new to me. It was followed by few rounds of swara singing, again pretty nice.

An Ambujam Krishna composition in dharmavathi ( was it set to tune by TNS himself ?) came in before the main. As I was hoping for before the concert, it was bhairavi that had the honour of being the main raga of the evening. The alapana ( large part of it was missed by me due to an urgent call) was just ok, as he choose to play in the safe zone. However, the violin return alapana by V V Ravi was stupendous. Beautiful, mellifluous , soothing alapana from the viling more than compensating for the main artist. TNS, however, came back strongly with a classy neraval with a stylish finish, and fairly long and typical kalpana swara as expected from him. The percussion duo, very supportive through out the day gave a decent tani avartanam. I have only one thing to say about Trichur Narendran. I wish the other mrudangam artist, reproduce the same ‘nAdam’ as he was able to do from his instrument. So pleasing to the ears, so clear and clean.

Arguably, the best piece of the day was krishna nee begane towards the end. After an elaborate viruttam, where one line was elevated to glory through a flurry of ragas, his voice suddenly found the right form. The bhajan sung in revati was also brilliant. Concert wsa closed with a tirupugazh ( whose lines were unclear) before the mangalam. Good concert by the master, with some brilliant selection of kritis.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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