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Amrutha Venkatesh @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 12th March 2017

Vocal  : Amrutha Venkatesh

Violin : B K Raghu

Mrudangam :  B S Prashanth

List :

01.  karuNimpa ( varNam) – sahAna – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya

02.  shambh) mahAdEva – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ shambhO mahAdEva sharaNAgata janarakSaka ‘

03.  nagumOmu galanEni – AbhEri – Thyagaraja

04.  bArayya venkaTaramaNa – sAvEri – Thyagaraja ( A )

05.  mAyamma shubhamimma – ranjani – M D Ramanathan ( A,S )

06.  riNa madanuta paripAlaya mAmayi – behAg – Swathi Thirunal

07.  kaligiyuNTe gada –  kIravANi – Thyagaraja ( A,S,T )

08.  ugabhOga ( ninnanE pADuvE ninnanE pogaLuvE ) – hamIrkalyANi

smarisO sarvadA hariya – hamIr kalyANi – Purandara Dasa

09. Aj AyE shyAm mOhan – mishra pahADi – Swathi Thirunal

10.  eppO varuvArO – jOnpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharathi

11.  tillAna ( dhIm nanana tittillAna tillAna) – brindAvani – Balamuralikrishna

12. mangaLAm – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

One of the important ingredient of any successful concert is the balance of the team. If that is set right, the concert will be one to cherish. Last evening’s concert at Ranjani Fine Arts was one such. There are many other aspect which made this concert a beautiful one, but the teaming definitely helped the cause. Amrutha was at her usual best. Very intelligent, clever and articulate in presenting a brilliant concert. But the supporting crew in Raghu and Prashanth, the concert rose to something special. Raghu, despite a personal loss, accepted the concert and played some delectable violin. His alapana for pantuvarali, ranjani and keeravani were top class and gave many aha moments. Prashanth, whom I first saw accompanying TNS at Sanjay Nagar, 5-6 years ago, has grown multi fold in his stature over the years.

Apart from a rare, interesting ranjani piece of MDR the overall concert was did not have any novelty factor. To my dismay ( not picking a defect here), there was only one neraval in the entire concert. Despite all this, the concert was of a very high standard. Her sahana varnam itself was brilliant with some very innovative takes and improvisations. Fabulous alapana for pantuvarali, largely on longer bhriga based phrases. Nice neraval ( singing neraval at the pallavi line – is this a new trend ?)  and some awe inspiring swaras to end, aptly supported by Raghu. A short saveri alapana did not really make an impact. But the “Dasara pada” was quite nice.

A brilliant ranjani alapana, mostly build through short nice phrases lifted it up again. Am I the only one noticing some Sanjay traces in her singing alapana ( the quick takes , even the facial gestures at times). Raghu was even better. Expected the GNB composition to follow, but she announced the MDR composition, which was a pleasant surprise. The swaras were impressive too, anchoring around ‘sa ri ga’ for a long time. Keeravani main, with a very refreshing alapana.  So much so that, for a moment I thought if it was ‘gowrimanohari’. Most of the alapana’s we here for keeravani are the same stale often chewed cud. This was indeed very different. Kaligiyunte was no surprise, what was surprising was her decision to skip neraval. There was elaborate swaras befitting the main. Prashanth, played a good tani avartanam, extending his good form through out the evening.

Post main is noted for the ugabhoga+devarnama in hamirkalyani and the mishrapahadi bhajan of Swathi Thirunal, set to tune by Sri Balamuralikrishna. The thillana and the jonpuri piece were ok. I haven’t been attending many concerts since the start of the new year, but this one was worth the time spent. Very well delivered concert.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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TNS Krishna @ Ranjani Fine Arts, 10 Sep2016

Vocal : TNS Krishna

Violin : Nishant Chandran

Mrudangam : K P Parameswaran

List :

01 girirAja sutA tanaya – bangALA – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02 muNDu vENuka – darbAr – Thyagaraja ( O )

03 shiva shiva shiva enarAdA – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

neraval & Swara @ ‘Agamamula nutiyinci bahu bagulEni bhAsalu cAlinci’

04 shLOkam ( apadamapa hataram tadaram) – khamAs

sujana jIvana – khamAs – Thyagaraja

05 marukElarA – jayantashrI – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

06 sAvEri rAgAlApana

shLOkam ( ambA sAmbhavi chandramauli ) – sAvEri

kanna talli nIvu – sAvEri – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘anudinamonarincu satkriyAla nIkani palkina tyAgarAja rakSaki’

ragamalika swaras in nAta, Arabhi,varALi,bahudhAri,hamsadhwani,rEvti,bilahari, kuntaLavarALi, kadanakutUhalam, dEsh, bEgaDa, ____, nIlAmbari,______, malayamArutam, ranjani,_____, pUrvikalyANi, shrI, sAvEri

07 durmArgacharA – ranjani – Thyagaraja ( O )

08 ennagA manasuku rAni – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja

09 viruttam (nanmayum selvamum) – hamsAnandi

shObhanE (started at anupallavi) – hamsAnandi – Thyagaraja

10 nagumOmu galavAni – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

11 pAhi kalyAna rAma – kApi – Thyagaraja

12 mangaLam ( nI nAma rUpamulaku) – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

What a fabulous concert. Stupendous performance by the young vidwan last evening at the Ranjani Fine Arts. Well,he did have few low points but I am willing to overlook all that for the way he sang the saveri, pantuvarali and jayanthashree. They were top class and will make his guru proud.

To me the real explosion, if I may  use that word, started with the pantuvarali alapana. So much packed in that one. Some brilliant sojourn at the higher octave, the build up with which he progressed to the tarasthayi passages ( very typical of TNS himself), makes one to applause with out selfawareness. Many ‘aha’ moments. Brilliant wound up and conclusion. Breath taking neraval. K P Parameswaran made his presence felt with that one act of excellence at the beginning of the neraval. Equally strong kalpana swaras.

Jayanthashree alapana was a surprise. Not heard many attempting, the closeness to hindolam is evident. Interestingly Nishant Chandran did not play a return alapana here. Marukelara was not uncommon. And many sing swaras too.

Saveri alapana again was classy. Again I am impressed with the way he plan and execute the alapana. Nice mix of early short phrase, steady increase to some beautifully conceived long akara phrases, some impressive higher octave sancharas, some of the typical TNS style ‘up-down’ movements ( with a similar hand gesture) etc were pleasure to watch and listen. There was a couple of very innovative phrases too. Nishant Chandran played a commendable alapana in his turn. He was largely subdued and mantled the role of a supporting artist through out. As K P Parameswaran set to tune the mrudangam, Krishna started of with a nice shlokam from ‘Rajarajeshwari Ashtakam’.  I personally like when a kriti is preceded with a shlokam, after the alapana. Now the indication are clear that the kriti is going to be one on ‘Devi’. Tulasi Jagajjanani or dEvi pAvanE were my choices. He again surprised us with singing another very rarely heard kriti of Thyagaraja’s Tiruvotriyur Pancaratna. I heard this only from his father in one of the AIR program. Neraval was again very very good , with a long neraval line to my liking. Very trademark TNS school swara prasthana befitting the main. Some  of the intricate swara patterns were probably a bit complicated but the percussion support was awesome here, while violin might have found it too hard to mettle.  He did not stop there. Added a garland of fast swaras in a bunch of varying ragas, some of them went in a flash even before my poor brain to decipher.

K P Parameswaran, one of the prime disciples of T K Murthy is not featured in Bangalore much. I am seeing him for the first time and what an impression he made last evening. His tani avartanam too was notable for the way it was presented. Very measured and structured, not trying to make the repeated sarvalaghu patterns to fill, not stretching beyond what is needed,  yet making an impact. Good job overall.

Concert started with the bangala kriti and a darbar kriti following immediately. Darbar definitely wasn’t good to me. I thought it was too fast and a bit uneven in the kalapramanam. The overall concert in general as a notch faster than usual. But despite all that, he did a tremendous job. The way he mixed kritis, alapana, shlokams and viuttams, his command over laya evident in the neraval and kalpana swaras were impressive. If one closes the eyes and listens to him, one want blame for seeing the images of the senior in front of you.

An all Thyagaraja affair. Apparently, this being the 250th birth year of the Composer, organisers decided to pay homage to the Vaggeyakara. The above list is a result of the same. The post main too , barring a Tamil viruttam, adhered to the theme, with some nice picks.

I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and will make a point to attend his future concerts in Bangalore.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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O S Thyagarajan @ Ranjani Fine Arts , 14 May 2016

Vocal : O S Thyagarajan

Violin : Mullaivasal G Chandramouli

Mrudangam : Akshay Ananthapadmanabhan

List :

01 dinamaNi vamsha – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

02. teliyalEru rAma – dhEnuka – Thyagaraja

03. sItamma mAyamma – vasanta – Thyagaraja ( N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘dharajita bhAgavatAgrEsarulevvarO vArellaru’

04. dvaitamu sukhamA – rItigauLa – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

05. shrI kAnta nI eDa – bhavapriya – Thyagaraja

06. evvarurA ninnu vinA – mOhanam – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

07. dAcukO valEnO dAsharathi – thODi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval @ ‘saumitri tyAgarAjuni’

08. eppO varuvArO – jOnpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharati

09. shObanE – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja

10. vinAyakuni – madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

11. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

This was the second concert of OST in 7 days, at the same locality. As expected, this was again a ‘Thyagaraja’ special concert, making tribute to the legendary composer on his 250th birth centenary. To most of us who attended the previous concert, it felt as though he started off from where he left us last week. Same exuberance, same focus and involvement passed on to the others on the stage as well as the listeners. I found his voice to be in much better shape than last week. He was able to move up and down the octaves with ease, which he deployed extensively during alapana. However, he was a bit restrained from his free flowing mood of  the previous week, probably because of the ‘sabha concert settings’.

Ritigaula and mohanam alapana were the best part for me. I liked them more than the main thodi alapana he did. Both reetigaula and mohanam were marvelous. He did spent ample amount of time in setting the stage with slow short phrases to some extremely impressive ‘sanchAra’ moving across three octaves as he progresses. Few quick ‘akara’ phrases , quirky shifts of modulation, few longish higher octave expositions of the beauty of the raga were very very impressive for both reetigaula and mohanam, and to a much lesser effect in thodi. Mullaivasal Chandramouli almost always matched the sojourn of the lead singer with his violin during his turn. Some of his ‘deviations’, especially for mohanam was praiseworthy. With his special stand and the placement of violin was a bit unconventional but he was excellent through out.

Concert started with a harikamboji kriti as in the case of last week. It came to full flow only during the vasanta neraval. Interesting place to sing neraval and in his customary style he did a fantastic job. Ritigaula was fabulous. These days one get to hear only ‘janani ninnu vina’ and occassionally  a ‘paripalayamAm’ or’ninnu viDachi’. It’s  been ages since I heard ‘dvaitamu’  in a concert. He did sing this in a faster tempo, not sure  if that was the actual  ‘kalapramanam’. Fantastic rounds of kalpana swaras followed. I hoped for a neraval, though. After a short bhavapriya filler, mohanam came into fore.Very  good again and another nice choice of kriti. Thodi alapana was good in parts, but ‘dacukO valeNo’ choice was superb. Yet another masterpiece almost in obscurity. There was a grand neraval and much bigger and longer kalpana swara befitting a main. I still dont get why artists sing neraval at ‘saumitri tyAgarAjuni’, which to me sounds incomplete and meaningless. Akshay Ananthapadmanabhan was having a difficult day. He was continuously tuning his instrument through out the concert. Probably this pre-occupation affected his performance to some extend. He uses the modern mrudangam and had all the ‘handyman’ tools with him which he used after every kriti and post alapana before the song. The spanners, screw driver, hammer, ‘sAlagrAma :-)’ etc were used alternately. He is a talented musician and that was evident in the brilliant tani avartanam he played post the main.

Eppovaruvaro was an aberration in otherwise a complete ‘thyagaraja composition’ concert. OST sang that well, but one hoped for better support for this song. Shobane and vinayakuni completed the remainder of the evening before the closure. I always believe, singers can do a better preparation and present much better ‘post main’ kritis. Having said that this was another immensely enjoyable concert, very traditional and orthodox classical music performance.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Concert songlist

 

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Modumudi Sudhakar @ Ranjani Fine Arts ,19th Dec 2015

Vocal :  Modumudi Sudhakar

Violin : M S Govindaswamy

Mrudangam : R S R Srikanth

list:

01.  jalajAkSA (varNAm) – hamsadhwani – Manampuchadi Venkatasubbaiyer

02. pancha mAtanga mukha – malahari – Dikshitar  ( O,S )

03.  sangIta sAmrAjya sanchAriNi – mOhanakalyANi – Bangalore Ramamurthy ( O )

04.  enta muddO enta sogasO – bindumALini – Thyagaraja ( O )

05.  mariErE dikkevvaru – latAngi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,S )

06.  vandanamu raghunandanA – sahAna – Thyagaraja

07.  karuNa jUDU ninnu namminA – shrI – Shyama Shasthry

08.  RTP – mOhanam,hindOLam,darbAr – mishra jAthi jhampa  x 2kaLai , +1/2 eDuppu

Pallavi line : nannu pAlimpa naDaci vachitivO, sAmaja vara gamanA , rAmAbhi rAmA

tanam and svaras in all 3 ragas

08b.  Tani Avartanam

09. kaliyugadalli – chenchurutti – Purandara Dasa

10.  parama pAda? –  shubha pantuvarALi – ??

11. vEgA nIvu vANi rammanavE (javaLi) – suruTTi – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar

12. thillAna 9 dhim tana na thillAna) – brindAvani – Balamuralikrishna

13. rAmachandrAya janaka (mangaLam) – kurinji

He travelled all the way from Vijayawada and reached Bangalore in the afternoon,few hours before the concert, with a bad throat. He had to come and perform within a short span of time. In spite of all that he gave a  non truncated full concert at Ranjani Fine Arts last evening. He was struggling with the voice and was giving the indication of his difficulties, often massaging his through with his fingers and sipping from the flask to soothe the pain. Given the circumstances, he sang within the physical limits.

Concert started with hamadhwani varnam, where he chose to sing the pallavi line in two speed , poorvangam in slow speed and the uttarangam in the standard second speed. Malahari that followed was very good. The swaras he sung for pancha matanga mukha is the best part of the concert, brilliant stuff.

A mohanakalyani song ( very filmish it sounded) and bindualini kriti came soon before the first alapana in latangi. Not expanding much, no traversing through multiple octaves , but soft subtle alapana from the vocalist. M S Govindaswamy played a beautiful alapana on his turn. No beraval – in fact no neraval in the entire concert- but elaborate swaras followed. In the middle, there was a visible drift in the swaras, and I thought there could be a ‘swarabhedam’ or sort. It later sounded mostly a slip or what KSSR commented as ‘vishEshAl prayOgam’. Very emotive sahana and shri ragam came in succession, both were sung melodiously with a lot of emotive depth.

A three raga pallavi was the choice of main, which was a good idea given the condition of his health. Started with a long mohanam alapana, continued to hindolam and darbar alternating with the violin. Darbar, especially was very very good. Tanam was pretty decent. Pallavi line composed from the pallavi lines of three Thyagaraja kritis in the respective ragas did not sound very innovative.  He did sing some intricate trikalam with some clever mix. Srikant was very active through out the evening and played an impressive tani avartanam in a complicated mishrajati jhumpa.

Post main had a devarnama, a Poochi javali ( he sang only one charanam) and Brindavani thillana of BMK. Probably, yesterday’s concert is not the yardstick to know his calibre. I am looking forward to his next visit here.

 

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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T V Sankaranarayanan at Ranjani Fine Arts , 14th Nov 2015

Vocal : T V Sankaranarayanan

Violin : T H Subramaniam

Mrudangam : Mannarkoil J Balaji

List:

01.  shLOkam ( gajAnanam bhUtagaNAdi ) -nATa

mahAgaNapatim manasA smarAmi – nATa – Dikshitar ( S )

02.  nIvE nannu brOva – darbAr – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar ( S )

03.  bArayya venkaTa ramaNA – sAvEri – Purandara Dasa

04.  samAna rahitE – sArangatarangiNi – G N Balasubramaniam ( A,S )

05.  padmanAbha pAhi – hindOLam – Swathi Thirunal ( A,S )

06.  kandan enra pEril – kAmbOji – Sundararaja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’aruLvaram tEDi vandEn pannaga shayanA marugA murukA guhA?’

07.  aparAdhamulanOrva – rasAli – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

08.  RTP – ranjani – chaturashra tripuTa x 2 , +3/4 ( 6 akshara) eduppu

muraLIdhara madhusUdana mukundA | mAdhava murArE

rAgamAlika swaras in behAg & dEsh

09 viruttam ( nambanE ? ) – hamsAnandi , rEvati

nInE doDDavanu – rEvati – Purandara Dasa

10. eppO varuvArO – jOnpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharati

11. Notes

12. mangaLam – saurAStram – Thyagaraja

jayamangaLam – suruTTi

Stupendous ! Super class concert. Pure vintage stuff. Spell binding. I can go on and on with adjectives. 3 hrs of uninterrupted outstanding music. There is no point in picking up individual pieces. He was in his elements. Often reminding us on his Guru, by referring to his name or through the music. At the end, acknowledging the response from the audience ( a standing ovation), he sad he was able to connect with the listeners here and that gave him the strength.

From the first nata kriti, where he sung some fabulous swaras, a shear variety from the usual swaras I am accustomed to listending, I was hooked. The responses from T H Subramaniam was subtle and as memorable as the main artist. A darbar kriti of Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar and a saveri devarnama came in quick succession. He announced he is going to sing the GNB composition in sArangatarangiNi, after explaning its arohana /avarohana phrases. Samana rahite, registered in my mind and hence the alapana was enjoyable. T H started his return with a few ‘hamsanadam’-ish phrases. TVS came to the rescue, stating the difference between the two ragams are the ‘dhaivatam’. However, TVS’ alapana did not give any glimpses of hamsanadam. TH Subramaniam, later played some impressive phrases. Samanarahite was good with few rounds of kalpana swaras added at the end. Hindolam alapana was at a different style. I was told that he largely played keeping the ‘madhyamashruti’ ( there was no correction to the shruti box). Padmanabha pahi was again a good choice with another rounds of impressive swaras.

I’ve near 100% hit rate with kAmbOji as main in a TVS concert ( I think once I was lucky to hear Sankarabharanam and another with kApi). Typical MMI school alapana flowed, of pure classical fair. Even after listening to this umpteen times, it has not lost its sheen and charm. THS was again briliiant. I was speculating between mA jAnaki and maragata vallim, but he chose to sing a not so common kriti ‘kandan enra pEril’. Later he clarified this as a composition of ‘Sundararaja’. A superb detailed neraval and ever impressive kalpana swaras added to the overall class. Accompanying artist was in super form in supporting the main artist.

He started the alapana in rasAli, stopped and explained this as one of the favorite of his uncle. For once, I thought he is going to sing a pallavi in rasAli, but it wasn’t the case. Alapana was short and TH Subramaniam played beautifully in his turn. Again a few rounds of swaras added to the song.

Having come here at Ranjani Fine Arts, he said, ranjani has to be sung and he is going to do a short pallavi. Another brilliant alapana by both the artists. Tanam was equally good. He sang some ‘Anandam tA, anantam tA, dhanam tA, dAnam tA’ sequence in the middle ( thanks to Mouli for bringing this to my notice). Not a great pallavi line, and no innovative tala structure, but the overall pallavi was pretty good. No, detailed trikalam. He seems to contemplate on what to sing for ragamalika swaras before coming up with very good behag and desh. T H Subramaniam was fantastic here. Post pallavi had a beautiful viruttamm in hamsanandi and revati before the devarnama. En energetic eppo varuvaro and the Notes came before the mangalam, which lasted nearly 5 mins.

One should recognize and appreciate the contribution of the supporting artist on the stage. TH Subramaiam was outstanding. He not only played along superbly, but some of his ‘volleys’ were mesmerizing. He had a solo concert at Ananya on Friday, which i missed, but he impressed one and all. Mannarkoil Balaji was equally good, non-intrusive. He played an excellent tani avartanam. For the rasali song, TVS stopped and said this is how the legend Subramania Pillai play  for the pallavi line. A concert to remember for a very long time.,

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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