Tag Archives: Neyveli Santhanagopalan

Neyveli Santhanagopalan @ Seshadripuram Rama Seva Samithi, 27 Apr 2014

Vocal : Neyveli Santhanagopalan

Violin : Dr.G Narmada

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Ghatam : Giridhar Udupa

Song list:

01.  SLOkam ( vakratuNDa mahAkAya) – nAtakurinji

chalamEla jEsi ( varNam) – nAtakurinji – Rangaswamy Nattuvanar ( S )

02.  sarasIruhAsanepriyE -nAta – Puliyur Duraisami Iyer ( A,S )

03.  sItApatE nA manasuna – khamAs – Thygaraja ( O,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘prEmajUci nApai pedda manasu jEsi’

04.  rAmabhadra rA rA SrI rAmachandra rA rA – Anandabhairavi – Bhadrachala Ramadasu ( short sketch)

05.  uyyAla lUgavayya – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja ( O )

06.  teliyalEru rAmA – dhEnuka – Thyagaraja

07.  rAma nI samAnamevvaru – kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’paluku palukulaku tEnelolugu mATalADu ‘

08.  rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

09.  rAma nAmamE tudi manamE -dEsh – Tanjavur Sankara iyer

10. tirupugazh – madhyamAvati

11. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

Certain days, when all the constituents of the concert come alive, listener would want it to go and on. Yesterday was one such evening. Every one of them were excelling in their profession and there was no indication of fatigue of a long journey ( NSG, we heard returned from a a long tour of US in the morning) on the main artist.  The energy the excitement of the concert prior to the post main break died down quickly, leaving me a bit disappointed. However, one remember this concert for an awesome khamas neraval and a very refreshing kharaharapriya.

The mic-asura played havoc again. The sudden ‘hooting’ noise during the alapana, or a breathtaking swara prasthana played spoil sport many a times. It was funny but sad to see all four artists plugging their ears with their fingers at one point of time. It seemed to have settled later, but the potential threat was looming forever, like you hear a distant thunder giving a feel of an imminent rain.

Concert started with a brisk varnam in natakurinji rounding of with few rounds of fast swaras. A short nata alapana came before the kriti, an interesting choice, and some cracking swaras. The team settled and teamed very well from this point on till the rest of the evening. As we were driving to the venue, I was listening to a kathakalipadam in khamas ( kandEn nikaTE from naLacharitham) and was making a remark of khamas not being a favourite of mine. I might have said it a bit early, as I was to be treated with a real gem of khamas. He sang a stupendous neraval at prema juci nApai. Toying with the word ‘prEmajUci’ he build a tremendous musical castle in front us. Dr Narmada, was in equally brilliant during her turn. A cracker neraval should have an amicable finish, and the swara singing exactly did the same. Awesome affair , awesome.

Two-three short pieces came in succession, probably obliging to the slew of requests that started arriving as soon as the concert started. People had no sense of timing, walking in and out even during alapana or while Narmada is playing her return on violin for a swara essay. The dhenuka piece was especially interesting, with some interesting briga-laden sangatis he was portraying. Neelambari was sung in a very leisurely way, probably bit slower than what I usually hear. It was very appealing.

Kharaharapriya was the main, after he claimed a lot of request for rAma nI samanamevvaru. This was another treat. Instead of the usual standard alapana, he progressed it through multiple fragmented medium length phrases. The violin return more or less followed the similar pattern. While I might not be able to pin point the differences, I found it very refreshing. Rama ni samanamevvaru was good, neraval was grand , again he did the same effect as earlier with the words ‘paluku palukulaku’.  this reminded me of the Mani Iyer masterpiece ‘ethanayo piravi’ neraval for thookiya thiruvadi. A very intrinsic swara pattern followed, singing the swara in lower speed and the line paluku paukulaku in the higher speed, which he replaced with ultra fast arohana-avarohana pattern. Violin support faithfully followed the same to precision.

Percussion duo was very engaged through out. Giridhar Udupa, played to an equal measure to Jayachandra Rao. They accompanied brilliantly through out and played out a spirited tani avartanam. Post main was a disappointment in general. Even though he announced that “the concert will end at 9:15 and all of us leave together” to the people leaving midway, he quickly wound up with a devarnama and a quickfire tirupugazh before mangalam.


Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Concert songlist


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Neyveli Santhanagopalan, thematic lecture-concert on Allied Ragas at Nadasurabhi, 19th January 2014

Vocal : Neyveli Sri Santhanagopalan

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Arjun Kumar

Ghatam : Ranganatha chakravarthy

Thematic concert on Allied Ragas


( this being a lecture concert, it might not follow the typical concert format. Few of the kriti’s aren’t sung in full)

01. valachi vAchi ( varNam) – navarAgamAlika – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( S )

swaras in  sankarAbharaNam/kalyANi/bEgaDa … kAmbOji/yadukula kAmbOji…bilahari/mOhanam

02.  mInAkshi mEmudam – pUrvikalyANi – Dikshitar ( N,S )

neraval @ ‘madurApuri nilayE maNi valayE’

(demonstrating pantuvarAli / pUrvikalyANi differences)

03.  tirupugazh – rItigauLa&Anandabhairavi… Arabhi&dEvagAndhAri –   ( tuned by Sri Santhanagopalan to demonstrate the allied raga concept)

04. nI bhakti bhAgya sudhA – jayamanOhari – Thyagaraja

( demonstrating abhOgi/srIranjani/jayamanOhari)

05. lAvaNya rAma – pUrNashaDjam – Thyagaraja

srI mAnini manOhara – pUrNashaDjam – Thyagaraja

(comparing pUrNashaDjam with the above group)

06. marivErE – Ananda bhairavi – ShyAma Sastry

janani ninnu vinA – rItigauLA – Subbaraya Sastry

( Ananda bhairavi & reetigaula connection )

07. SrI soundararAjam – brindAvana sAranga – Dikshitar

( demonstration of brindAvani / brindAvana sAranga and SrI )

08.  viruttam ( nanmayum selvamum) – kEdAragauLa

vENugAna lOluni – kEdAragauLa – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

(demonstration of nArAyaNagauLa & kEdAragauLa )

09.  RTP – mukhAri & bhairavi – Chaturasra triputa x 2 kaLai , samam eduppu

rAgam & tAnam in mukhAri & bhairavi

pallavi line ‘ daSamukhAri sOdari, bhairavi paramESwari’

swaras in mukhAri and bhairavi

10. chEtASri bAlakrishNam – dwijAvanti – Dikshitar

(demonstrating sahAna/yadukula kAmbOji / harikAmbOji/ dwijAvanti )

11.  demonstration of dEvamanOhari & guharanjani

12.  demonstration of kharaharapriya & nAtakapriya

13.  demonstration of shaNmukhapriya & jyOtiswarUpiNi

14.  comparison of harikAmbOji janya ragas  ( bahudhAri / kApi nArAyaNi / saraswathi manOhari / nArAyaNi / ravi chandrika)

bhajanasEya – nArAyani – Thyagaraja ( only pallavi line)

15.  niravadhi sukhadA – ravichandrika – Thyagaraja

16.  demonstration of mOhanam & navaroz

17. viruttam ( kunDari kumAri ??) – kAnaDa , phalamanjari , darbAri kAnaDa , miyAn ki malhAr, surutti, dEsh, madhyamAvathi – ?

vinAyakuni – madhyamAvathi – Thyagaraja ( S )

18. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

It is difficult to write about this concert. For one, this is not in typical concert format . Nor was this a standard lecture demonstration. Hence, I took the liberty to write this as “Lecture-concert”. As is my practice, I carried a short piece of paper along with me to note down the kritis for writing this report. And this is not a typical concert but with lot of explanation in between, and I am sure to have missed to gather/absorb a great amount of his wisdom. What my ailing memory can retain after 40 hours is what you read here. Others do can fill in, as this is one which should be retained and recorded. The error, which I expect to be aplenty, is only mine.

Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan , probably is the best, to take up such a theme. His music, his overwhelming knowledge, his uncanny ability to connect with the audience, the subtle wits ( not the laughter riots , but simple elegant way of cracking an odd one) , his ability to carry the rest of the performers along with him ( especially for such a program) and his pleasing stage mannerisms makes one to sit and listen to him forever. It was no surprise, that the hall was over flowing even before the commencement of the concert.

He started his lecture, as the ‘mike-vidwan’ hadn’t arrived for 5-10 mins (he used the word mike vidwan, not me) . He said, this can be described as a concert or a lecture demo as you please.he said in tamil, ‘pAttupOla pEcchu’ is agreeable, but ‘pEcchupOla pAttu’ is a disaster.

Allied ragas, he said are like friends. There has to be some common interests or traits to be friends. There are two approach to this topic. One is ’emotional’ and the other ‘technical’. One need to rely upon these to distinguish the ragas from one another. A lay listener will rely on the emotional aspect of the raga than going for intellectual analysis. Its the question of heart versus mind. However, he added few of the discussion will have to have the intellectual analysis to understand the connection and or differences of some of the allied ragas.

The best place to do this is by singing kritis and ragas and then discuss about them. He said the navaragamalika varnam of Patnam Subramanya Iyer is a prime example of how allied ragas are deployed. Starting at kEdAram, moving to SankarAbharanam , kalyAni and bEgada as one group, then kAmbOji and Yadukula AmbOji as the second group , bilahari and mohanam in third group before concluding with Sriragam. He elaborated his points by singing the respective lines again and singing kalpana swaras at these allied ragas, to demonstrate the subtlety and nuances.

He joked that for the last 40 years of his concert experience, the most common question had been regarding pantuvarALi and pUrvikalyANi. Quizzing the audience with a starting phrase of the alapana ( a clever and effective tecnique he used through out the evening), he said it is important to use the ‘jIva’ phrases to start the alapana for easy identification. Demonstrating pantuvarali and purvikalyani phrases, he moved on to sing dikshitar’s master piece in detail. Both in neraval and kalpana swaras, he tried in incorporate the ‘pantuvarali swaras’ to test(the audience) and demonstrate the difference. He said pUrvikalyani in the ancient ages was called ‘sa da ri pan’ ( few surviving ‘pans’ from the olden era). He did mention the difference in Dikshtar’s school where it is ‘gamakakriya’. He added, that is another topic by itself ( purvikalyani Vs Gamakakriya) and he will not dwell into that now.

He tuned a tirupugazh in allied ragas to demonstrate the next couple of alied raga. He started with reetigaula and ananda bhairavi. But shifted to Arabhi and dEvagAndhari elaborating the differences between Arabhi and dEvagAndhari. He did a clever alapana using both the raga ‘symptoms’ ( starting the phrase with arabhi, drifting into devagandhari) , with a mischievous smile on his face, asked the audience to identify the ragam. He turned his gaze later to Charulatha who smiled and evaded the question, and to Smt Neela Ramgopal who was present in the audience. I couldn’t here what she replied, but there was hearty laughter in the front row and with the artists. He said, one shouldn’t do these things, but is only trying to establish a point with the listeners for making it clear.

Abhogi/srIranjani were the next group and after singing both the ragas he shifted to jayamanOhari to show the similarities. Jayamaonhari paved way to pUrNashaDjam ( I am not still able to understand that connection. Helps , welcome !) singing both lAvaNya rAma and Sri mAnini ( incomplte, though). He said the ‘nishadam’ of pUrNashaDjam almost touch the ‘shaDjam’ as if pushing it further, and probably that is why it is called ‘pUrNashaDjam.

Coming back to reetigaula and Anandabhairavi, he did the same exercise of mixing his alapana to demonstrate the drift. He said, it is difficult to start the kritis in such ragas from places other than the shadjam, but mari vEre is an exception.

Brindavana saranga and brindavani were the next. He demonstrated the hindustani style of singing these raga, and said Dikshitar understood the nuances of these ragas and adopted them into Karnatik mould. He said the difference between brindAvani and brindAvana sArang is the addition of gAndhAram in the later. He moved from brindavana sarang to Sri , a shift or similarity I had never observed previously.

Narayanagaula and kedaragaula combination was next. Without mentioning the raga, he sang few sangati’s of nArayaNagauLa, mentioned this was a popular raga a century ago, slowly moved to obscurity taken over by the popularity of ‘kEdAragauLa’.  “Swallowed by kEdAragauLa” , remarked Arjunkumar from the flanks.

Continuing on the concert form, adding further glamour to the ‘allied raga’ theme, he decided to sing a pallavi in dwi-raga. What an apt choice ! MukhAri alapana followed by bhairavi. Thanam was in the reverse order ; bhairavi came first before mukhAri. He said, while singing a difficult combination, he decided to retain the rest of the variables to the simplest; tALam, edupu and naDai. Pallavi line was very nice.Pallavi itself was alternating between the ragas to begin with and later split as purvanga in mukhari and uttaranga in bhairavi. He did the same with kalpana swara , but to a lesser effect and impact ( it did not seems to have come out as good as the tanam and pallavi) . He later joked that “What we thought as mukhari and sang should have appealed to you as mukhari and what we thought as bhairavi and sang should have come out as bhairavi” or something to that effect.

Arjunkumar, always on the appreciative end of the main artist, played well and with restraint through out. He added his flavour in the tani avartanam, by mimicking the ‘allid raga’ concept into tala, played a complicated tani ( he did explain the structure intricacies but I fail to recollect now) along with Ranganatha Chakravarthy.

The allied theme continued post the pallavi into Sahana/ yadukula kamboji / hari kamboji and Charulatha completing it with dwijavanti. Upon which he sang chetasri balakrishnam. In one place, he compared the ‘lines’ to the yadukula kamboji similarity ( dont remember the place). Devamanohari versus guharanjani ( a raga identified by Muthaiah Bhagavathar), kharaharapriya versus nAtakapriya ( the similarity in the first four “swara sthana” ), shaNmukhapriya versus jyothiswarUpiNi were explored mildly.

He took on the janya’s of harikambOji later by comparing bahudhAri, kApi nArAyaNi, saraswathi manOhari and nArAyaNi, before singing a short ravichandrika. He also mentioned some commonality in mOhanam and navarOj.

One should learn all these intricacies only through ‘keerthanam’ and not by merely following the ‘ArOhaNa – avarOhaNa’ pattern. He explained with examples of  the gItam ‘lambOdara’ ( the “sa ri ga ri sa” usage) and the sAvEri varNam ‘sarasUDa’, where the arohana-avarohana grammar is deviated ( I could be wrong here, feel free to correct me). Concert concluded with a rAgamAlika viruttam again set to allied raga pairs, and a madhyamavathi kriti, before the traditional mangaLam.

While the initial expectations was more for a traditional concert of ‘allied rAga’ theme, on the after thought, I prefer this method of mixing the concert and lecture in a right proportion. This was very informative, engaging, and aesthetically planned by the vidwan. His free flowing narrative, the controlled wit, his prudent anecdotes ( there are a few but not putting it here) , the crisp analysis, the measure of the audience and their level of understanding made this presentation a memorable event. The supporting artists, was in perfect alignment with the lead singer. Charulatha reproduced most of his expositions with her own improvisations and Arjunkumar did fill in with his own mastery strokes to lift the overall effect.


Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Concert songlist, Lec-Dem


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Neyveli Santhanagopalan , JP Nagar 14 Sept 2013

Vocal : Neyveli Santhanagopalan

Violin: Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Tumkur Ravishankar

Ghatam : Tumkur Shashishankar


01. SLOkam ( kuNDina kumAri kAMAkshi? ) – Anandabhairavi

02. endarO mahAnubhAvulu – SrI – Thygaraja

03. gurulEka eTuvaNTi – gowri manOhari – Thyagaraja  ( N,S )

neravl & swara @’tatva bOdhana jEsi kApADu tyAgarAjAptuDanu

04  rAmanukku mannan muDi – hindOLam – Arunachala Kavi  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ paTTam kaTTa EtavanDi-rAman’

05  aTu kArAdani – manOranjani – Thyagaraja (O, S )

06  akhilANDESwari – dwijAvanti – Dikshitar ( A)

tani Avartanam

07 viruttam ( ullAsa nilA ?) – sindhubhairavi

manadir kugandadu – sindhubhairavi – Tanjavur Sankara Iyer

08  tirupugazh? – madhyamavathi

09 srI chakrarAja sihAsanEswari – rAgamAlika – Agastyar

10 SLOKam (kAvEri thIra vAsAya ) -dEvagAndhAri

nI nAma rUpamulaku – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

If a concert give you something to cherish for a long time, something that linger with you beyond the concert hall, to me that concert has been a good one. Sri Neyeli Snathanagopalan’s concert always have one such instance, which I speak for a long time. Be it the outstanding ‘pUrvikalyANi’ he sang at the Odukathur Mutt, or the breathtaking swaras for Nata at the Karanji anjaneya temple, or the mayamaLavagauLa with UKS in a small hall a couple of years back. Yesterdays concert did provide a similar experience. What a phenomenal hindOLam he sang yesterday, and to top it another brilliant kalpana swaras for manOranjani.

concert started slowly with the pancharatna kriti as the listeners and the performers settled in. He quickly moved on to Guruleka etuvanti, with couple of rounds of neraval and tatva bOdhana and few rounds of swara. It was the hindolam that lifted the whole concert to a different level. 4-5 minute alapana and a short violin return, he started the Arunachala Kavi’s ‘rAmanukku mannan mudi’ in some style. The neraval was outstanding. In pausing at PAttam katta with various approached, I rememberd the MAni Iyers neraval at ‘ethanayO piravi’, giving the stress at appropriate places, moving from one word the other, with Charulatha following every nuances with utmost precision, the whole neraval was outstanding. The kalpana swaras that followed was stood up to the neraval with some fantastic swaras. Some interesting swara takes at sa,dA, ma,ga ( sa da for a minute or so) later moving to sA,ma,ni,ga,ma  ( cleverly spiting at sAma nigama and sAmani gama), before moving on to the more regular and longer set of swaras. The finale was a breath taking affair, which reproduced brilliantly by Charulatha.

Manoranjani was a similar story with another brilliant swara singing. At a point, there was some clever ‘alternating’ play between the vocal and violin to the delight of the listeners. Dwijavanti was the main ( so to say), which had an elaborate alapana by the vocalist. There was no violin return, as he launched into akhilandeswari. There was no neraval and swara ( probably due to time factor) and the percussion brothers, who were very supportive through out, played out a good tani avartanam.

Post main had the Tanjavur sankara Iyer’s sindhubhairavi and a couple of requests. To me the hindolam and manoranjani made my evening, and that is what a good concert all about.



Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Concert songlist


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Neyveli Santhanagopalan @ Rama Seva Mandali, Fort School Ground 3rd May 2013

Vocal : Neyveli Santhanagopalan

Violin : M A Sundareswaran

Mrudangam : S V Ramani

Ganjira : N Amrut


01 sarasijanAbha (varNam) – kAmbOji – Swathi Thirunal ( S )

02  panchamAtanga – malahari – Dikshitar ( S )

03  nannu brOva nIkinta tAmasama – AbhOgi – thyagaraja ( S )

04.  endukku peddala vale – SankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’vEda shAstra tatvArthamu telisi bhEda rahita vEdAntamunu telisi’

05  RTP – shaNmukhapriya – chatursra jathi Mattya tAlam tisra gati , started at samam

pallavi line ‘ srI rAmam chintayE jImUta shyAmam chintayE’

06  rAmabhadra rA rA – Anandabhairavi – Bhadrachala Ramadas

07. rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

08  viruttam ( nanmayum selvamum) – yadukulakAmbOji

09  mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

mangaLam kOsalEndrAya – madhyamAvati

As the musical showers enthralled the audience inside, the summer rains lashed the outside of the world, giving some relief to the scorching temperature in the city. Sri Santhanagopalan on his part gave a measured but restrained concert at the Mandali yesterday. I said, restrained, because I felt, he was not at his best of vocal abilities. One could sense the difficulties as he started the varnam. However, it dd open up a little , but he largely explored the area of his comfort, singing kalpana swara at the end of every kriti, which he did brilliantly well.

Kamboji varnam was preceded with few rounds of swaram before the malahari kriti. A beautiful rendition, added on with some crisp swaras in line with the geetham, which was very enjoyable. The next, abhogi, was the best of the evening to me. The kriti was sung with such a class, he continued with some brilliant kalpana swaras culminating with a cracker of a finish. One conclusion of his swara downpour, he requested MAS to continue which hs did with class. I’ve heard him singin abhogi swaras at many places and every time, it was brilliant.

Sankarabharanam alapana came in soon, the first of the day. Ideal and typical to Sankarabharanam, most of the initial phrases were very slow and shortish. The entire build up was a slightly different affair. Bit refreshing and innovative. I thought, MAS excelled in his turn, on a day otherwise he was very uneven. Endukku peddala came in all grandeur. However, I was disappointed with the neraval. To me ‘vEdasAsthra’ is one of the best neraval line ever. So, the expectation was great, but some how it dd not create any ripple in me. It was long and he did play with the words ‘arthamu’..tatvArthamu, sAsthra tatvArthamu, vEdasAstrha tatvArthamu’… but it was just ok.  However, it was covered adequately with some nice round of swaras, almost a repetition of the abhogi affair, rounding off with a return by MAS.

Tani Avartanam was very good. The percussion duo was very active through out and did their bit to elevate the concert experience. S V Ramani, playing for the first time for NSG shown a lot of anticipation and played with nimble fingers appropriately and raised the tempo and the level as the swara singing raised to the higher levels. Amrut was equally brilliant. M A Sundareswaran was very uneven. Started very patchy and scratchy which is very unusual to him. But he shown his brilliance during abhogi swara, Sankarabharanam alapana and the shanmukhapriya tanam.

Immediately after tani avartanam, he started the alapana of shanmukhapriya. The ‘ghost of amplification’ appeared at this point. There was some hum in the background along with the voice, causing a lot of discomfot to the singer and violinist. He stopped many times, and remarked ‘mike is singing along, and the shruthi is not matching”. That somewhat marred the alapana and there was no violin turn. Tanam that followed was spectacular by both NSG and MAS, deploying some folk-ish tune to great effect. Pallavi was nice and short, but with trikalam and a few rounds of swara. Therre wsa no ragamalika swaras.

Post felicitation and thanks giving, the concert was conluded in a haste. There was nothing remarkable in those anandabhairavi or jonpuri. Overall, it was a good concert, but I’ve heard many better concert from the master.


Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Concert songlist


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Neyveli Santhanagopalan , Nadasurabhi Annual Festival , 12 Nov 2011

Vocal: Neyveli Santhanagopalan

Vocal Support : Guruprasad

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma

Ghatam : G Omkar

Thematic Concert on Muthuswami dikshitar Kritis


01  swAminAtha paripAlaya – nAttai – Dikshitar ( S )

02  srI saraswathi namOstutE – Arabhi – Dikshitar

03  kanchadalAya dAkshi – kamalA manOhari – Dikshitar  ( O, N, S)

       neraval & swaras @ rAkA shashivadanE suradanE rakSitamadanE ratnasadanE ‘

04  rAmachandram bhAvayAmi – vasantha – Dikshitar

05  parimaLa ranganAtham bhajEham – hamIr kalyANi –  Dikshitar ( A,S )

06  trilOchana mOhini tripurANi – bhairavi – Dikshitar

07  srI rAmam ravikulAbdhi sOmam – nArAyaNa gauLa – Dikshitar  ( A,S )

08  pAlayamAm pArvathIsha – kannaDa ? – Dikshitar

09  kamalAmbikE – thODi – Dikshitar

10  srI subrahmanyAya namastE – kambOji – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

       neraval & Swara @ ‘ bhUsurAdi samastha jana pUjitAbja’

11  srI ramA saraswati – nAsAmaNi ( nAsikAbhUshaNi ) – Dikshitar

12  mAmava pattAbhirAma – manirangu – Dikshitar

13  srI venkaTa girIshamAlOkayE – surutti – Dikshitar

14 slOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati

A fabulous concert on a saturday morning at Nadasurabhi by Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. Themed as Muthuswami Dikshitar Compositions, he started to ( to my fear) with the familiar set of kritis. Swaminatha with some good set of swarams ( nothing to beat the same he did a few months back at Karanji Anjaneya Temple) he quickly moved on to Arabhi and regular kamala manohari kriti. Though the neraval was very detailed and unlike the usual fast paced ones, I was sceptical with the line the whole concert was taking.  Not often heard kriti ‘rAmachandram bhavayami’ , changed the course.  He checked whether the audience like rare kritis or the familiar ones ? Response was for a mix of both.

Explaining the background of the ‘parimala ranganatham bhajeham’, connected to the temple in the same name at ‘Thiru Indalur’ near Mayavaram ( correct me if I gathered the name of the place wrong), he said there are two versions ( pATantharm) to this song.  He chose to sing the hamIr kalyAni ( he did not explain the other version), with a detailed alapana ( first of the morning).  Alapana was very interesting, as he sang mostly in longer phrases, occasionally holding for a deep inhale. Charulatha’s return also followed the same longish phrases line.  A nice kriti, accompanied with some swara singing, this time looping in the shishya called Guru in the proceedings (Of course, he did a good job).

He continued the rare kritis with a bhairavi ( or was it mukhAri?) , trilOchana mohini before another surprice in the form of Narayana gaula. He said, this raga used to be one of the ‘ghana panchaka’ ragas in the earlier days, but lost out after kEdAragaula becoming popular. These days, T M Krishna, sort of revived this , taking it up to the prime slot in a couple of concert and also with a pallavi. Narayana gaula Alapana was very good ; slow and melodious. Interestingly, Charulatha did not play back ( they had a quick word in between) , not sure why. I would have liked to hear her playing this. Krithi was also sang brilliantly. As an after thought, after the percussionist played a round of korvais and concluded the kriti, post the customery applause after the piece, with a pause,  Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan initiated the swaras for narayanagaula, which he and the team did commendably. Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma was at his best during this.

Couple of fillers in kannada and a navavarana kriti in thodi,  the main kamboji alapana came in. Like yesterday, this too failed to create any real excitement in me. The choice between O rangashai and Subrahmanyaya namaste were on the card, and it was the latter that he decided to sing. Kriti was majestic and it was a fitting rendition. He indicated to the mrudangist after the kriti,  and to our relief, Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, requested the artist to continue with neraval and swara.  It was beautifully constructed and performed between all the participant on the stage. Neraval was excellent and so was the swara that followed.

Percussion support was superb through out the day. Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma leading the way with Omkar giving a spirited performance. They continued their good form with a solid tani avartanam. Charulatha was as good as she always is.  Post main had a few kritihis including one of my favourite mamava pattabhirama’ in manirangu.  In all, a solid performace by Guru and his Guru.

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Concert songlist


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