Tag Archives: Saketharaman

Saketharaman, Navarathri Sangeethotsavam @ Puthanalkal Bhagavathy Temple, Cherpulasseri 14 Oct 2018

Vocal : Vid Saketharaman

Violin : Vittalarangan

Mrudangam : Vijay Natesan

Ghatam : Vashappilli Krishnakumar

List :

1 mAyAtIta svarUpiNi – mAyAmALavagauLA – Roopakam – MD ( O,N,S )
neraval & swaras @ ‘mAyAmALavagauLa dEshamuna’

2 mA jAnaki – kAmbOji – Adi – Thyagaraja ( O )

3 mAmava sadA janani – kAnaDa – roopakam – ST ( A,S )

4 ambA nIlAmbari – nIlAmbari – Adi x 2 – Ponnaiah Pillai ( A )

5 tAyE tripurasundari – shudha sAvEri – khanda chAp – Periyasami Thooran

6 pAlincu kAmAkSi pAvani – madhyamAvati – Adi x2 – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S,T)

neraval & swaras @ ‘kAntamagu peruponDitivi kAruNyamUrtivai jagamu’

7 karuNai deivamE karpagamE – sindhubhairavi – Adi – Maduri Sreenivasan (O)

8 shree jagadeeshwari durga mAtA – Ahirbhairavi- Adi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

9 thillAna (tana dhimta dhimta dhirana) – mAND – Lalgudi Jayaraman

10 mangalam – saurAStram – Adi – Thyagaraja

shLokam (sarvamangaLa mAngalye) –  madhyamavati

It is always nice to catch up on a concert or two while you are in your home town. The setting is different, the ambience is different and the audience are different from those of Bangalore. Hence it is interesting to see the artists choice of kritis and ragas and the reaction from the listeners. It is becoming very predictable here in Bangalore.

Saketharaman and the team did a commendable job. Nice selection of devi kritis from various composers ( including the thillana and the mangala shlokam , to his credit) , with appropriate elaboration and mixing it up well.

Fantastic start with the mayamalavagaula. Elaborate neraval at the ‘ragamudra’ and few rounds of swaras in the second speed was the perfect beginning one could ask for. The entire team and the listeners were energized.  Small humming of kAmbOji gave high expectations. Ma Janaki came in little forcefully , like the cricket ball skidding on the surface and rushing to the batsman. It was rushing to you, and despite all those beautiful sangatis it was hard to appreciate. I generally observe this at times in his singing.

A beautiful kAnaDa alapana came in next. Full credits to both the lead singer and the violinist here. As expected it was mAmava sadA janani, which he started at sadA janani ( swarAkshara ??) a couple of repeats before singing the complete pallavi line. The swaras were even better. I like kAnaDa in its mandrasthAyi and  madhyasthAyi sancharas. He loitered around in these two octaves for a while with a lot of phrases pivoted around ‘gA,gA’, which was immensely enjoyable.

Another little gem of nIlambari alapana. To add to the feel of the raga, he even reduced his singing volume to some mesmerizing effect. Ponnaiah Pillai’s composition was nice too. TayE tripurasundari put the concert back in its original mantle after a slow neelambari. I like the chittaswaras here ; one of the top10 in the carnatic compositions in my opinion.

Madhyamavati main. Somehow the alapana of Saketharaman did not impress me much. He had a lot of ideas and interesting phrases, it lacked coordination. Little bit of ‘to and fro’ feeling. On the otherhand, Vittalarangan played a brilliant alapana, systemically progressed phrases, covering most of the aspects making it a wholesome affair. However, Saketharaman covered more ground than lost with a classy neraval and swarakalpana for Palinchu kAmakSi. The percussion duo, played an excellent tani avartanam. Vijay Natesan and Krishnakumar played very well through out the concert. They were brilliant while accompanying for the kriti, especially after mA jAnaki. Vittalarangan was superb through out the evening, with his sweet sounding violin and measured follow of the main artist.

Post main compositions too were on devis. The Ahirbhairav composition of Lalgudi is not something we hear often in concert. Concert concluded with the mAND thillana before the mangalam.

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Posted by on October 16, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Saketharaman @ Nadasurabhi , 17th Sept 2017 – Lalgudi Jayaraman Remembrance Day Concert

Vocal : Saketharaman

Violin : Apoorva Krishna

Mrudangam : Sai Giridhar

Ghatam : G Omkar Rao

Theme : Lalgudi Jayaraman Remembrance Day


01 senthil nagar mEvum dEvA ( varNam) – nIlAmbari – Adi – Lalgudi Jayaraman ( O)

02 Isha pAhimAm – kalyANi – rUpakam – Thyagaraja ( O,S )

03 ADmODi galadA – cArukEshi – Adi -Thyagaraja ( A,S )

04 kanDE kanDE kanDE namma – varamu – Adi – Purandara Dasa

05 pAlincu kAmAkSi – madhyamAvati – Adi x 2 –  Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,T )

neraval @ kAntamagu pErukoNDidivi kAruNyamUrti

06 kaNNanai kANbadeppO – rAgamAlika – ??

07 jatiswaram ( dhA pa ga ma ri sa ) – sindhu bhairavi/ swarabhedam to ??, behag,mohanakalyani,tilang – Adi tishra naDai – Lalgudi  Jayaraman

08 kaNDEnA gOvindana – chandrakauns ? – Purandara Dasa

09 thillAna ( dhIm tadara dhIm tada) – pahADi – Lalgudi Jayaraman

10 mangaLam – saurAStram / madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

shLOkam ( mangaLam kOsalEndrAya) – madhyamAvati

Special concert on the 87th birthday of Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman by one of his prime disciple yesterday at Nadasurabhi.  True to the day and theme, Saketharaman presented the concert including a few of the composers kritis as well as a few popularised by him.

Saketharaman sang in his typical style. Full of energy and speed. He marveled at the high speed swara singing. Unfortunately, both his alapanas were also in the same vein, as longer fast paced phrases.  While they were interesting and had some excellent passages for both charukeshi and madhyamavati, the beauty and essence of his efforts would have made more appealing impact with a reduced speed. Apoorva on her turn did exactly that. She started in such a mellifluous way, unhurried through slow and measured phrases in the early stages of her alapana. She was very impressive through out the evening. Sai Giridhar, seeing for the first time, also made a lasting impact. The tani avartanam was brilliant.

There was a elaborate neraval( and only one for the evening) for madhyamavati, excellently done. Surprised, when he decided to skip the kalpana swaras. I thought, he had plans for a pallavi for the evening, which did not come. Considering the concert was for a little over 2:30 hrs, it wasn’t time pressure. Not sure, what was the intention behind it.

Post main had an interesting jatiswara composed by the legendary musician. The clever swarabheda from sindhubhairavi was nice.  A Pahadi thillana concluded the concert.

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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Saketharaman @ Nadasurabhi annual festival , 04 Nov 2015

Vocal : Saketharaman

Violin : Mysore Nagaraj

Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra

Ghatam : Ranganatha chakravarthy

List (partial)

(assuming I missed first 2 items )

03.  abhimAnamennaDu – bEgaDa – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A?, S)

04.  niravadhi sukhadA – ravichandrika – Thyagaraja ( O )

05.  munnu rAvaNa – thODi – thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

grahabhEdam to mOhanakalyANi, sAramati?

neraval at ‘rAjarAja virAjavAha ravikulajAbdhi

svara @ ‘ravikulajAbdhi’

06.  idu bhAgya idu bhAgya idu bhagya vayya – dEsh – Purandara Dasa ( O )

07.  RTP – ranjani mAla – sankeerNa jAti triputa x 2 kalai , 7th beat eduppu

alapana – ranjani , srI ranjani, janaranjani, karNaranjani

tAnam – ranjani , srI ranjani, janaranjani, karNaranjani

pallavi line ” ranjani manjubhASiNi, pAvani shrIranjani, janani janaranjani, pAhimAm karNa -ranjani…

swaras in ranjani , srI ranjani, janaranjani, karNaranjani  + sumanEsaranjani , manOranjani,shivaranjani

08.  tirupati venkaTa ramaNa – hamsAnandi – Purandara Dasa

09. mannipugazh kOsalai – rAgamAlika – Azwar

10. thillAna  ( dhIm tadara tAni) – rAgEshrI – Lalgudi Jayaraman

11. mangalam

A fabulous thodi, outstanding. An excellent ranjani mala pallavi. That’s all that matter and needed to remember this concert for. I still have goose bumps. Phenomenal stuff with thodi. First of all, he did not start his alapana in the usual style, the cliched often heard, a path beaten umpteen times. I am not against that, but the way Saketharaman begun his thodi alapana was very refreshing. Thodi is one such raga, one can explore and build numerous paths and forays as one experience and progress. Through out his alapana, that is what he did. Many many unique phrases through out among the standard, comfortable, classical ones that one is familiar. Clever shruti bhedams to mohana kalyani and saramati ( I could be wrong here, corrections welcome), executed with ease and measure. All the traditional multi speed, multi octave singing the fast ‘akara’ phrases as one would expect. This thodi was outstanding stuff. Mysore Nagaraj played equally brilliant, including the shrutibhedams and some of those impressive phrases Saketharaman sang. Selection of munnu rAvaNa itself was grand. Very well sang. Neraval was grand and pretty long culminated with the traditional fervor in higher tempo.  Kalpana swaras were another hall mark. The typical two speed variation gathering the speed and excitement. The overall exhilaration it created in the hall was evident. He did the shrutibhedam (swarabhedam?) during the swaras too, but only to mohanakalyani.

Ranjani mala pallavi was the other highlight. When he paused and allowed Nagaraj to play after a short alapana of Ranjani, I smelled what is in the offing. The first thought was a repeat of S Kalyanaraman’s famous pallavi. While Saketaraman, did something similar, did not replicate the same. Each alapana lasted around 2 mins. Nagaraj’s return was very impressive and probably more appealing. Tanam followed the same pattern. Tanam of ranjani and karnaranjani stood out for me. Pallavi line isn’t all that great but was effective in a complex tala + eduppu with changing the ragam after each pause. He sang a few combination with two ragas in stretch for a while with different grouping. There was trikalam, which I thought was done very well. Standard swaras were sung in each raga in sequence, and a few combinations before switching to ragamalika swaras with few more ranjanis. Sumanesaranjani swaras were the best, closely followed by manoranjani. Nagaraj was in his top form here, playing some exquisite swara forays. I am usually moved by shivaranjani, but yesterday it did not appeal to me much. Not comparing this with the legend, but this too was excellent.

Let me not talk about anything else. I reached the venue late from office and a classy begada greeted me. Some fast paced swaras were nice. He then sang a niravadhi sukhada in a break neck speed, which wasn’t all that great. Again, it reminds me of S Kalyanaraman. In general , I see Saketharaman sings in a slightly faster kalapramanam. But, today I am not looking at all those. The thodi is still lingering in my ears.

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Saketharaman @ Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha Annual festival 25 Jan 2014

Vocal : Saketharaman

Violin : Mysore M Nagaraj

Mrudangam : Umayalpuram Sivaraman

Ganjira : Guruprasanna


01. intha chAlau jEsi (varNam) – bEgaDa – Veena Kuppaiyer ( O )

02. dhariNi telusukoNTi – suddha sAvEri – Thyagaraja ( short alapana , S )

03.  nambi kettavar evarayya – hindOLam – Papanasam Sivan ( S )

04.  nIdu mahima pogaDa – hamsAnandi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,S )

05.  eppaDi manam tuNindadO – husEni – Arunachala Kavi

06.  rAma rAma rAma rAma , rAmA ennirO – vasanta – Purandara Dasa

07.  SrI subrahmaNyAya namastE – kAmbOji – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

      neraval & swara @ ‘ vAsavAdi sakala dEva vandidAya varENyAya’

08.  pArukkuLLE nalla nADu – bhImpLAs – Subramanya Bharati

09.  jagadOdhAraNa – kApi – Purandara Dasa

10. thillAna ( dhIm tana dhIm dhiraNa)  – behAg – Lalgudi Jayaraman

11. mangaLam – saurAshtram / madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

I haven’t listen to Saketaraman live for over two years. The accompanying artists are the best in their respective fields. And the location is nearer to my place. These three reasons weighed it against traveling to IIM, Bangalore and attending L Subramanyam followed with Hyderabad Brothers. The decision wasn’t wrong and was rightly rewarded. The initial feedback from the other venue wasn’t all that encouraging.

Saketharaman presented a fantastic concert. An outstanding hamsanandi and a classy kamboji main marked the evening with the stalwarts in accompaniment. Concert started with the begada varnam and the master percussionist was immediately made his difference felt. A short alapana of sudhasaveri ( one hoped for a longer one) did not have any violin return. UKS was phenomenal at the pallavi line, varying his ‘play’ for every sangatis Saketaraman sang.  The fast paced hindolam had a matching fireworks of kalpana swaras.

Hamsanandi was the first detailed alapana. Both Saketaraman and Nagaraj excelled in their respective turns and the Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s master piece was an eloquent exposition. There was a hope for neraval , but he moved to an elaborate, mesmerising, kalpana swaras. What a treat ! Two quick fillers husEni and vasanta came in before the main. Somehow, husEni had too many mAnji shades ( notwithstanding the similarities),  apart from the pallavi line, the rest had more manji touch than huseni, to me.

Kamboji alapana was befitting to a main. Very sedative and slow and short phrases to begin, with some interesting patterns in the middle, the longish alapana was top class. Nagaraj was even better in his turn. There was a hint of ‘Sri Subramanyaya namaste’ in the violin alapana and we were right. A fantastic neraval , and equally brilliant swaras made the main worth its status. UKS, played ‘tani’ avartanam which had many many ‘aha’ moments as one expect from the master. Guruprasanna, largely donned the role of the non-striker ( no pun intended ! ) during the evening, giving as much strike as possible to the master. His part of the taniavartanam was also short compared what UKS played.

Post main had a patriotic song ( being the eve of the republic day) and a Lalgudi thillana, apart from a beautifully rendered jagadodharana ( reminded me of KVN). He sought the permission of the elders to wind up the concert with the traditional mangalam.

The concert was top class, and I have no second opinion on that. However, for a two and half hour of uninterrupted concert, it had only two alapana and only one neraval. Personally, I would have preferred another alapana and the sub main with a short neraval. But that’s me, a sucker for neravals…

Earlier in the evening Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman was honoured with the ‘Purandara Award’ by Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha, in the presence of the World Wide Head of Chinmaya Mission ( pardon me for this use, one cant escape the corporate jargon, as I came in late and did not gather his holiness’s name) and legendary R K Srikantan. Congratulations to the ‘Master Percussionist’ and pray for his health and wish him many more awards and recognitions.

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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Concert songlist


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Saketharaman , Gayana Samaja 20 Sept 2009

Vocal : Saketharaman

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Tumkur Ravishankar

Ghatam : Tumkur SashiShankar


01 sAmi ninne (varNam) – Sri – Garbhapurivasar

02 jalAndhara – valachi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( O , N, S )

        neraval & swara @ ‘bhava rOganivAriNi bhaktajana paripAlini’

03 SivakAma sundari – mukhAri – Papanasam Sivan ( A )

04 yArE rangana yArE krishNana – hindOLam – Purandara Dasa ( S )

05 kamalAmbAm bhajarE – kalyANi – Muthuswami Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )

     neraval & swara at pallavi line

06 RTP – saraswati – Tisra Ata

     pallavi line ‘ vANi saraswati aruL puriyavANi vINA pustakadhAriNi’

    ragamalika swara in dhanyAsi, hamIr kalyANi, sindhubhairavi

07 srI jagadISwari durga – Ahir bhairav – Lalgudi Jayaraman

08 thillAna ( tada dhim ta dhim dhiraNA ) – mAND – Langudi Jayaraman ?

09 mangaLam – saurAshtram, madhyamAvathi – Thyagaraja

Saketharaman gave a very good concert yesterday at Gayana Samaja. As expected, Kalyani krithi of Muthuswami Dikshitar was taken up as main and it was splendind ( despite my non-preference to kalyani).  There was ample time for a pallavi and Saketharaman did not disappoint us. Saraswathi was the raga for Pallavi, and a first time for me.  Charulatha Ramanujam, who did a brilliant job through out, was outstanding in her retun for saraswati. The pallavi with tripalam, the ragamalika swaras were also very good.

Earlier, he started the concert with Sri raga varnam, followed with a superb valavhi krithi. The neraval and swara was very good. The detailed mukhari alapana was also pretty nice. Tumkur brothers was very good at the percussion. Ravishankar, especially, was superb. 

Now, the complaints.. Concert started at 5:15 and was wound up by 7:45. I guess, Saketharaman was in a hurry to catch a train or so. There was a kind of hurry through out. While , he did not speed up the krithi rendering, there was no gap whatso ever from one krithi to the next. The short pauses between pallavi and anupallavi or between charanam were also missing.  The pallavi ragamalika came to an abrupt end after he finished the sindhubhairavi swaras, without a violin reply or an adequate closure of the pallavi.  The post felicitation krithis before the mangalam was also done, for the sake of it. This could have been an outstanding concert, otherwise. Having said that, he was brilliant yesterday.

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Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Concert songlist


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