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Sukanya Prabhakar @ Gayana Samaja 23rd Apr 2017 Thematic Concert on Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

Vocal : Sukanya Prabhakar with Sumana Vedant ( daughter )

Violin : T S Krishnamurthy

Mrudangam : C Cheluvaraju

Ghatam : M Gurumurthy

Thematic Concert on Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

List :

01  shLOkam ( shrIvidyAm jagatAm dhAtrIm) – hamsAnandi

shrImad chAmuNDEshvari (varNam) – hamsAnandi – Adi -Veena Venkatagiriappa ( S )

02 gam gaNapatE namastE – durvanki – tishra triputa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

03 shrI jAlandharamAshrayAmyaham – gambhIranAtta – Adi – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( A,S )

04  shLOkam ( shrIranga mangaLa nidhIm karuNA nivAsAm ) – kalyANavasantam

shrI ranganAtha pAhimAm – kalyANavasantam – mishra jhampa- Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

05 sadAshivam upAsmahE – sarasAngi – Adi – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( A,N,S )

neraval @ sadguru rUpadharam shankaram

swaras @ sarasAngArdhanArIshwaram

06  amba shrI rAjarAjEshwari – bhOgavasanta – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( S )

swara @ ‘vikAra rahita vimalEshwari’

07 RTP – kIravANi – chaturashra triputa , 2 kaLai  1/2 Eduppu

pallavi line ‘shrI jayachAmarAja bhUpAlam smarAmi namAmi’

Swaras in kIravAni , no rAgamAlika swaras

tani Avartanam

08 shLOkam ( kara charaNa krtam vA kAyajam karmajam vA) – nAtHanAmakriya

shiva shiva shiva bhO – nAtHanAmakriya – mishra jhampa – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar

09  shrI madyadukula vAridhi – rAgamAlika –  Mysore Vasudevachar ( sang as shLokam)

10 mangaLAm – saurAshtram / shrI – Thyagaraja

Absolutely fantastic concert yesterday evening by the Vidushi. I am so very happy that I decided to attend this over the venue just across the road. I was expecting a typical concert of compositions of the Royal Composer of Mysore, accompanied with necessary commentary.  What was so good was the way she separated the discussion on the composer and the concert itself.  She spent the first 15-20 mins on the composer and some of the intricacies of his compositions before getting into a full fledged concert.

She started with a brief introduction of the Royal Composer. Mysore royal family had been great connoisseurs of art and culture for many generations ( I guess she mentioned JCW was the 25th Wodeyars of the clan). Artists from various part of the country were invited and encouraged to perform and learn.  Born on 18th July 1919, he was the ‘adopted son’ ( there are some legends about this so called curse of the Mysore family) of Nalwadi Krishnaraja. He was introduced to music and culture at an early age. But he was more interested in Western Music and was an expert in playing Piano. It was much later he was interested in Carnatic Music. He learnt both Veena and Vocal under Veena Venkatagiriappa, later continued his training under Mysore Vasudevachar.

Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar has composed 94 kritis in total. Only kritia, no varnam, no thillana, no javali, no jati swara or any other forms of composition. All 94 are in Sanskrit, in which he was proficient, and were in 94 different ragas. He has created a few ragas and composed in those , eg durvanki, bhOgavasanta. He was a ‘srividya upasaka’ under the guidance of his guru, Sri Siddhalinga Swamy. All his composition as this as his ‘mudra’.

All his compositions have madhyamakala sahitya and rAgamudra, an inspiration from Dikshitar, and very well incorporated chittaswaras. He has also used a large variety of tala for his compositions ( 35 in total ) including a few complex ones like sankIrNa triputa anf khaNDa mathya.  64 of these compositions are on Goddess (dEvi) in various forms. 11 on Ganesha, 15 of them on Lord Shiva and 4 on Lord Vishnu.

To the concert….

She started her concert with a varnam ( first time for me) composed by his guru, Veena Venkatagiriappa. A 2 kalai, vilamba varnam in hamsAnandi, leisurely paced. Very interesting. The duo sang few rounds of kalpana swaras in the same speed.

Durvanki raga composition, probably only one in that raga, was the Ganesha kriti. His familiarity with western music probably influenced him here, as durvanki is a janya of shankarabharanam. She said the raga can have some similarity to sAma or mAND in some prayoga.

Gambheeranatta composition, popularised by MLV, was sung next. Daughter seemed to have nudged the mother with few takes of alapana, as Vid Sukanya took over from there and presented a short nice alapana. There was some rounds of impressive swaras too. Kalyanavasantam kriti was very nice. I loved the shloka she sang before the kriti.

Sarasangi was very detailed. Elaborate raga shared by the pair. Daughter was very very impressive with some absolutely beautiful phrases. However, it was sri Krishnamurthy blew me away. What a stupendous alapana he did. Outstanding stuff. Nice kriti, amazing neraval at sadguru roopadharam and equally classy kalpana swaras at the rAgamudra. This probably was THE BEST part of the evening.

As expected ( I was sure that she will sing this in the evening), she talked about bhOgavasanta. She said, until last evening she was thinking this is the only composition in this raga. Apparently, there is one composition by Periyasamy Thooran and one more ( she mentioned the name of some swamy, I couldn’t register the name). There was no alapana this time, she merely sang the mUrchana before singing the kriti.  I think, I’ve heard her singing a detailed alapana for this kriti in a Radio concert. But, there was some crispy swaras at ‘vikAra rahita vimalEshwari’

I was expecting a big kriti of Wodeyar as the main, but she chose to sing a pallavi composed for this occasion.  Nothing innovative or worth a word of the pallavi line, though. Keeravani alapana was again pretty nice. Violin was good too. He did a fleeting sojourn to hEmavati(?)  as grahabhEdam in his turn. I could see the artists glancing at the clock and nodding at each other. Tanam was short, Krishnamurthy played some delectable movements. There was no trikalam and the swaras were limited to the main raga, without any ragamalika exposition.

Post the customery felicitation and she sang the popular ( by MS) nathanamakriya composition followed by a ragamalika composition by Vasudevachar , in praise of Wodeyar. They sang it as shLOkam, and not as composition. Pretty good, nonetheless.

Few things impressed me last evening. One, the young vidushi. Vid Sukanya and Sumana sang in tandem, sat together and shared, be it  the alapana, neraval or kalpana swaras, among them. Sumana sang brilliantly through out. Two, Vid T S Krishnamurthy. He was brilliant through out the evening. His sarasangi alapana will remain in my memory for a very long time. Three, the way she presented the theme. She did not present it as a JCW compositions concert, but included the compositions of two of his gurus who shaped and formed the musical tastes of the Raja Composer. The pallavi created for the occation. The way she sang shlokam’s before the compositions. There were three in total, and I love them coming in concerts.  Cheluvaraju is the apt choice for such concerts. His non interfering way of playing mrudangam made a lot of sense. The essence of music is not submerged in the enthusiastic percussion noise here. Even his tani avartanam was a subdued affair.

Let me repeat, an amazing concert. It will remain in memory for a while.

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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Sukanya Prabhakar @ Gayana Samaja , 9th Nov 2014

Vocal  : Sukanya Prabhakar

Vocal Support : Madhavi Kaushik

Violin : B Raghuram

Mrudangam : C Cheluvaraju

Ghatam : Srishylan

Thematic concert on Swathi thirunal, commemorating his 200th birth anniversary


01.  sarasijanAbha (varNam) – kAmbOji – Swathi Thirunal

02.  parama puruSa jagadIshvara – vasanta – Swathi Thirunal ( S )

03.  sEvE shrIkAntam – mOhana kalyANi – Swathi thirunal ( A,S )

04.  Alapana ( sAvEri , nATakurinji, dhanyAsi, mOhanam, mukhAri , pUvikalyANi,madhyamAvati)

bhAvayAmi raghurAmam – rAgamalika ( as above) – Swathi thirunal

swaras in sAvEri , nATakurinji, dhanyAsi, mOhanam, mukhAri , pUvikalyANi,madhyamAvati – for respective charanam

05.  bhOgindra shAyinam – kuntaLa varALi – Swathi Thirunal

06.  shankara shrI girinAtha prabhO – hamsAnandi ( N )

neraval @ padmanAbh man kamal virAjE

07.  RTP – kharaharapriya – khaNDa tripuTa x 2 kaLai  starting at +2

pallavi line ‘pankajanAbha pAda sEvakam tirunAl mahArAjam ‘

no rAgamalika swaram

tani Avartanam

08.  jaya jagadIsha nanda kishOra – yamunAkalyANi – Swathi Thirunal

09.  bhujaga shAyinO – yadukula kAmbOji – Swathi Thirunal

Very impressive concert. I was expecting a traditional fair from her with a lot many Kannada devarnamas and a few rare kritis. As she sat down to start, she mentioned the 200th birth anniversary of Sri Swathi Thirunal. She did a brief lecture on the composer Maharaja pointing out his achievements and specialties of his compositions, including the use of hindustani ragas, invention of new ragas such as mohana kalyani ( highly debated though) and the varieties of his musical outputs both in the forms ( varnam, padam, keerthanams etc) and the languages ( South Indian and Hindi apart form Sanskrit).

Even at this point I wasn’t thinking of a possibility of a thematic concert from the vidushi. She started of with the kAmbOji varnam , again attributed to Swathi Thirunal. It started in a very slow tempo and a bit shaky to begin with, but soon got back to control. Vasanta kriti came in next with some brilliant rounds of kalpana swaras. After a short confusion regarding the inclusion of her disciple into the proceedings, with B Raghuram pre-occupied with the feedback speaker issue, the team got into the rhythm. A spellbinding finish to the kalpana swaras was a treat.

A shortish mohanakalyani alapana was good from the lead singer continued amicably by ‘shiSya’ and concluded. B Raghuram played a decent return. Pallavi line was sung so beautifully, very melodious. She sang a couple of very moving repeats of the pallavi line to some good effects. There was some rounds of good swaras, with Madhavi Kaushik actively participating and concluded with aplomb.

A series of raga alapana came in sequence from sAvEri to madhyamAvati, indicating the arrival of ‘bhavayami raghuramam’. Each raga was take up for 2-3 minutes one after other in sequence. Madhavi sang nAtakurinji and mOhanam while the senior did the rest. B Raghuram in his turn ( post the vocalists completed all seven alapana) played beautifully. His progression from one to other was splendid and smooth as a feather ( except probably at mukhAri to pUrvikalyaNi) and so was the descending sequence. Bhavayami raghuramam brings the memory of MDR, but the vidushi sang very well. She did a clever thing to accomodate kalpana swaras. Starting the chittaswarams of the respective raga in the charanam, she took off with her kalpana swaras and came back to the chittaswaram to conclude the particular charanam. It was very innovative and executed very well.

A quick filler of bhogindra shayinam in a slower tempo and hamsanandi kriti shankara sri girinatha prabho came in succession. She lingered around the ‘padmanabh man kamal viraje’ detailing it into a neraval , a feat repeated by Madhavi with equal eloquence followed with B Raghuram. It did not continue to a full fledged neraval, to my disappointment.

A detailed long alapana was grand. Started with some moving phrases, picking up steam as it progressed. She handed over the mantle to Madhavi in the middle before taking control and concluding it majestically. Raghuram;s return was equally commendable. Tanam was long and detailed. Pallavi line composed for the occasion was apt, even of the line per se was just ok. Pallavi with trikalam was brilliantly executed and was elaborate. Swaras was limited to the main raga and there was no ragamalika swaras. Cheluvaraju was in his own elements through out the day. He and Srishylan played out a classical tani avartanam in khanda triputa post the RTP.

Post main was limited to one kriti before the yadukula kamboji mangalam of Maharaja. The organisers praised her knowledge on devarnamas and requested her to sing a couple of ‘devarnamas’ and conclude the concert. However, as it was a tribute to Swathi Thirunal, she wanted to sing Swathi compositions only, which made him to re-track his words and hastily agree with the singer.

It would be inappropriate if I do not mention the young Madhavi Kaushik. She sang brilliantly through out the day. Making the most of every opportunities given to he during the concert, be it the alapana of mohana kalyani, the kalpana swaras ( especially the mohanakalyani) or the neraval line for hamsanandi , she did commendably well and was wholeheartedly appreciated by the audience. I was given to understand that she was the winner in the ‘pallavi’ segment in the competition held by Gayana Samaja. Very good talent to watch out for.

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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Concert songlist


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