Vocal : S Aishwarya (great grand daughter of MS )
Violin : R K Sriramkumar
Mrudangam : H S Sudheendra
Ghatam : Srishylan
01 shLOkam ( Om nama praNava) – Shankaracharya
nArAyaNa tE namO namO – rAgamAlika – Annamacharya
02 manavi nAlaginca rAdatE – naLinakAnti – Thyagaraja ( A )
03 aparAdhamulanniyu – latAngi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘krpajEsi nA manavAlaginca’
04 bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLa varALi – Swathi Thirunal
05 akshayalinga vibhO – shankarAbharaNam – Muthusvami Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @ ‘badarIvanamula nAyakI sahita’
06 mein hari charaN kI dAsi – Meera bhajan
07 jagadhOdhAraNa – kApi – Purandara Dasa
08 bhAvayAmi gOpAlabAlam – yamunAkalyANi – Annamacharya
09 viruttam ( chediyuga?)
shrInivAsa tiruvenkata – hamsAnandi – Papanasam Sivan
10 hE nutAn – bengALi song – Rabindranatha Tagore
11 kurai onrum illai – rAgamAlika -C Rajagopalachari
12 maithreem bhajata – – Chandrasekhara Saraswathi
13 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja
The aura of Smt M S Subbulakshmi is everlasting. The number of music enthusiasts thronged the Sri Jayaramaseva Mandali is the testimony to the fact that the music lovers continue to cherish the music and the charisma of the legendary singer. The love, respect and admiration is bestowed upon her is unparallelled and I can’t foresee any other musician to match her in the near future. A friday evening is not the most suited concert attendance day for me. Difficult to leave office in time to reach at the start, maneuvering the snarling traffic makes me think twice. Yesterday was no different. For once, I thought of skipping, but that would make the 5th break of my promise to Ceinu to attend her concert. So, I decided to attend, thinking that I would be able to catch the concert in the midway through. The place was easy to reach, but it took nearly 15 mins to find a place to park and walk back to the auditorium.
The hall at the ground floor was packed and people were crowding at every possible opening ( window, the doors, steps etc) like the blue BTS bus during peak ours. I strained my neck and had a quick glance, but could only see a screen and the telecast of the speeches. Quick query got me to the first floor hall, and the situation there was worse than that of the ground floor. The power of the brand MS ( I am saying this with utmost respect) is thus understood by me. Caught a glimpse of ARVenky in a distant corner and I fought my way through the crowd and found a reasonable place to stand and listen and observe the proceedings. Nearly 7:00 pm almost an hour behind the announced time, but for once I wasn’t complaining.
To the concert, as that is what matters. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear and read comments and opinion comparing the great grand daughter to her legendary ancestor. On look at the list will make you state this as “a typical MS song list”, and people attended remarking “reminded me of MS Amma”, fitting tribute to the legend etc. 100% in agreement with all those. In a single sentence, I could summarise this as an ‘honourable salute to the most loved voice of carnatic music by some one who showed all the credentials to be the flag bearer of her music”.
She started with the Snakraracharya shLOkam ‘Om nama praNava” before starting the ragamalika kriti nArAyaNa tE naMO naMO, stirring the memories of her great ancestor. Short naLinakanthi alapana before the thyagaraja kriti came in. Her tempo ( kAla pramANam) to me was very pleasing, bit more leisurely way of singing. A detailed , grand alapana of latAngi marked the day for me. Brilliantly constructed showing her mettle as a grownup musician, she made her arrival in style. Kriti was rendered brilliantly with an awesome, elaborate neraval. An equally fitting kalpana swaras, with some intricate swara patterns to some fantastic effect. The senior accompanying artist, all in admiration and support, chipped in encouragingly. This was the best moments of the concerts.
A kuntalavarali filler came in before the main, not in the typical aggressive on your face high speed singing, but sedate and more pleasing rendition of the kriti. Shankarabharanam was the main, probably planned for the occasion. Grand alapana, she effortlessly traversed all the octave. Very well organised and progressed phrases, rich in voice and deep modulation. She used her vocal capabilities to the best use in the alapana, receiving immediate responses from the listeners. Akshayalinga vibho isn’t an easy one to sing. It was very brave on her part to attempt this. She sang the kriti very well, breezed through all those grueling sangatis with ease, sang a decent neraval. Had a couple of minor difficulties during the early phases of the kalpana swaras, probably from exhaustion by the towering effort, but quickly gathered herself back to complete a commendable swara-prasthana.
Post main largely was pleasing to the MS Amma aficionados. A meera bhajan, bhavayami gopala balam, the Tagore’s poem in Bengali, a request from the side for ‘kurai onrum illai’ and maithreem bhajata all immortal favorites of MSS and the rasikas.
This is the first time, I am attending a full concert of Aishwarya. I’ve had listened to her on a few other occasion where one only get to know how good she sings. But its only in such a full concert does we get to know her capabilities and her stature in the learning graph. She indeed has scaled very high and have grown into a very capable concert singer. With a performance like this, she should have made her great grand mother watching and blessing her from the above, very very proud.