Monday, 24 February 2014

2014 Feb 23 G Ravikiran Dr Hemalatha K Arun Prakash @ RLKM

01 valachi navarAgamAlika Adi paTNam subramaNya Iyer

02 gurulEkha ITuvanTi gauri manOhari jhampA thyAgarAja

03 sUrya mUrtE sowrAsTra chaturaSra dhruva m.dhIkshithar

04 BhavanutA nA hrida yamuna mOhana Adhi tyAgarAja (A, N, S)

05 patti viduva rAdhu nA chai manjari Adhi thyAgarAja

06 pArvati ninnu nera nammiti sukhapANi brOvu kalgaDa tishraEka syAma sAstri

07 dAchukOvalena tODi jhampa tyAgarAja (A, N , S, T)

08 parandhAmavati jayati pArvati paramEsha yuvati  dhAmavati

09 rAga tAna pallavi rItigauLA khaNDa tripuTa plus 11 beats 

Pallavi: daSharatha bAla rAmachandrayya dayAnidhe mAm pAhi

rAga mAlika : kalyANi mEgharanjani sahAna

10 tapava mADIdarEnu japava mADidarEnu hindOLa k.dAsa (tuned by Dr R K Srikantan)

11 nODuvude KaNNu kELuvudE kivi shudda dhanyAsi (tuned by Dr R K Srikantan)

12 nI nAma rUpamulaku mangaLa sourAshtra Adhi thyAgarAja (ending with suraTi)

2014 Feb 17 Dr R K Srikantan passes away

Pic: At RKS residence during my visit to his house in Sept 2011 

Another sad day for the world of carnatic music. A doyen has left for the heavenly abode, leaving with a vacuum.

His contribution to the world of music is unmatchable achievement that any musician has ever achieved or will achieve in future.

We need another RKS to come alive to break this record. He was such an inspiration to all the youngsters.

My first association with him was when I attended a live concert of his at R V Dental College almost 8 years ago where he performed a concert on rare krithis in rare ragas. I was flabbergasted with the amount of knowledge he had.

My next encounter was as a student as at RLKM when he conducted a week long workshop. It was an amazing learning from the veteran.

Wish I had more of him to learn in any opportunity I could get. However, we should be happy that we lived in his times and thank almighty for whatever opportunity he gave us to listen live to the master.

I should be happy for whatever fortunate association I had with him. May his soul rest in peace.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

2014 Feb 08 Ranjani Gayathri, HN Bhaskar, Delhi S Sairam Omkar G Rao @ RLKM

Vocal: Vid Ranjani, Vid Gayathri
Violin: Vid H N Bhaskar
Mridanga: Vid Delhi Sairam
Ghata : Vid Omkar G Rao

01 sarasijanAbha mAm pAhi sakala bhuvana vandya varNa nATa Adi Parameshvara Bhagavatar ( / swAti thirunAL as announced by artists ??)

02 dayamADo ranga rItigaula Adi purandara dAsa (S)

03 uNDEdi rAmuDu okaDu harikAmbOdhi rUpakA tyAgarAja (A, N @ tAmasAdi guNarahituDu , S)

04 kAmAkshi bangAru kAmakshi varAli m.cApu shyAmA sAstri

05 raksha bettarE dhoraku bhairavi Adi thyAgarAja (A, N S T)

06 sEvikka vEndum ayya chidhambaram AndhOLika Adhi mutthu thAnDavar ( / GKB as per my knowledge ??)

09 rAga tAna  pallavi - saraswati lalita durgA

   pallavi  in saraswati lalitA durgA khaNDa aTa eDup 2 atIta beats

Pallavi line:

Saraswati vINa pustaka dhAriNi 

Hari vakshasthalAlaye lalite 
mAte kanaka durge mAm pAhi

In respective ragas

10 ugAbhOga mana shuddi illadavage mantrada phala Eko tanu shuddi illadavage khamAs kalyANa vasantha

11 baNNisi gOpi harasidanu kalyANa vasantha purandara dAsa

12 sant nAmdEv mArva abhAng

13 viTOba sala mandira abhang

14 nI nAma rUpamulaku mangaLa sourAshtra Adhi thyAgarAja

Little did I imagine the rush that I encountered during my visits earlier this week for other concerts was an indication of what was in store for me for today. Even though I reached the venue at 5.00 pm well 45 mins ahead of the scheduled start, I was directed to balcony as ALL the seats at ground floor was full !!

Ra Ga sisters started off the concert with an acknowledgement that RLKM was indeed their second home ! 

Sisters started off with a brisk varna in nATa. Even though Ga announced it as maharAja swAti thirunaL, my reference list indicates a different composer. Your inputs welcome to clarify my confusion is welcome.

dayamAdo ranga which is usually heard in kalyANi or mOhana (and also in hindustAni style) was presented with a unique rasa in rItigauLa. Unbelievable bhakti rasa oozes out when presented in rItigaUla. It should be said that sisters need to present this often to make this version a popular one.

First AlApane came in the form of harikAmbOdhi which was done by Ranjani and followed by uNDEdi rAmuDu. nereval and swaras were brisk and apt to the tempo of the track.

With a sketch of varALi, sisters started of presenting kAmAkshi in a sedate viLamba style. Presented without any elaboarations , it was an apt filler before the grand bhairavi was elaborated.

Both sisters presented elaboration of bhairavi in turns and the feeling was very evocative. rakSha beTTare (which is rarely heard these days) had apt length of nereval and swras.

At this point I must commend the team that had demonstrated their vidwat in each and every opportunity provided. The sound system had the right balance and each instrument could be clearly heard. HN Bhaskar as eloquent as usual, Delhi Sairam first timer in Bangalore, and Omkar Rao.. the one who has quickly matured into a top artists played their roles very aptly.

Audience too made their presence felt with loud applause at appropriate points during the presentation and at the end of each presentation.

AndhOLika filler took the place for the traditional filler as RaGa sisters regularly do before their grand presentation of RTP. It had warmed them up to take up the RTP.

The  RTP started with a very unfamiliar note ( as this rAga is not that often elaborated on stage) .. the clues were evident for me to guess the correct name of the rAga (I have just started learning saraswati rAga krithi BTW in my class). Was very happy to list another "recognisible" raga in my list. In turns they switched and elaborated lalita. The moment they switched, I felt in my 6th sense that they would pick a rAga on pArvati.. and it happened to be durgA. The synchronisation and anticipation they demonstrated when they switched and further elaborated, was creating butterflies in my stomach. Audience acknowledged the demonstration of vidwat with almost frequent after ending of  every sangati.

The grand pallavi was the crescendo of the concert. The way the sisters switched between raga during the closure of swaras was the grand pinnacle of the concert and it almost called for a minute long applause before the mridangist took over for a small tani.

The compositions presented later does not need a mention as I was still sulking in the 3 rAga RTP. 

Sisters  overall gave a neat performance. Each concert is better than their previous. Each and every kriti was rendered so well. They are top of the duos today and I see them making it more difficult for other pair to replace them. Once again vidwat's calibre proved by their performance.

Excellent music and Listening pleasure indeed cannot be put in words... with the whole team coming together and egging on each other. Delhi Sairam was seen constantly encouraging and applauding the Ghatam vidwAn

Indeed an evening well spent. This one evening is going to be on my mind for almost next 6 weeks after which I intend to attend the next concert.

2014 Feb 07 TM Krishna, HK Venkatram, Tumkur B Ravishankar @ rAgi guDDa

Panaromic view of the hall

Vocal: Vid TM Krishna
Violin: Vid H K Venkatram
Mridanga: Vid Tumkur B Ravishankar

01 rAma bANa thrANa sAvEri Adhi thyAgarAja

02 sujana jIvana rAma kAmAch rUpaka thyAgarAja

03 dEvagAndhAri AlApane foloowed by kshIra sAgara shayana dhEvagAnDhAri Adhi thyAgarAja

04 mAyAmALavagauLa AlApane followed by mEru samAna DhIra mAyAmALavagouLa madhyAdhi thyAgarAja and tani 

05 viruttum - mauLau ganga  (mukhAri, kApi and yamuna kalyANi)

06 ViTalA SalahO SwAmi dEsh p.dAsa

07 nI nAma rUpamulaku mangaLa sourAshtra Adhi thyAgarAja

This traditional concert of TMK will stay if not eternally atleast for some days in our heart and soul.. ,(not to his usual format) with a brisk  sAvEri  as opening number then another brisk khamAs, followed by meditative, dEva gAndhAri as sub main,then mAyAmALavagauLa as main with ragamalika sloka of mahan "appayya dikshitar" (the sloka given in the begining of this review) in ragas mukhAri, kApi and yamuna kalyANi, closing the concert with good dEsh, here only we can see bit vishamakara krishna after giving a shade of dEsh and encouraged his  violinist to present the rest of  the AlApana (what a short  and sweet dESh!!!!)  and concluded with a dEvarnAma.

TMK presentation of dEvarnAma should be an example  for the other vidhvAns and vidUshis also to show them there are other format of presenting a dEvarnAma.

Is this not a traditional concert format which purist are arguing TMK has abandanded? But this rAgi guDDa concert has proved TMK can present a concert to the likes of purists also.
KhamAs AlApana was short and followed by "sujana jIvana " of saint tyAgarAja. neraval and swara prastAra at charanam line "cAru nEtra shrI kaLAtra " was divine one could really visualise the beautiful  eyes of lord rAma as described by saint as "cAru nEtra"

kshIra sAgara shayana a simple melting song with no extra pleading in the form of neraval at  "tAraka rAma" etc. the dEvagAndhAri AlApana was also with more bhAva created the mood for the kIrtana continued in mAyAmAlava gauLa AlApana and kIrtana that followed. 

One could get a sowkhyam feeling and made us  to soak in the rAga bhAva and nadam TMK and his team created. Swara prastAra was in both viLamba kAla and also in madhyama kAla. Some of the mandra stAyi swaras in madhyama kAla by TMK was brilliant. He never moved out of the sowkhyam feeling even in second kAla swaras.
In this concert as well as the RLKM concert, the concerts were raised to high level not only by TMK but also by accompanist. The Akkarai elder sibling who used to give jet speed vocal concert  (and accompanies jet speed vocalists too) has changed her style totally to synchronize TMK as in RLKM concert.

So this rasika is wishing one of RaGa  sisters should accompany TMK in future, yes it will be a concert made for each other.

For further reading..

mauLau ganga shashAnkau

kara caraNa talE shItalAngA bhujangAha

vAmE bhAgE dayArdrA himagiri tanayA
candanam sarvagAtrE 
idam shItam prabhUtam
tava kanakasabhA nAtha sODum kva shaktihi
cittE nirvEda taptE yadi bhavati na tE
nitya vAsO madhIyE 
On your locks are the river Ganga and the moon. On your your feet and arms are the cold serpents. 

On your left is the compassionate daughter of the snow mountains and you have applied the cool sandal all over your body. 

How, O Lord of the Golden Cosmic Hall, are you able to bear such cold atmosphere? 

You are welcome to stay eternally in my heart which is hot due to the sins I commit.

Classicism to the core.. !

Recently I had an opportunity to attend the concert of a popular vidwan of our generation organised by a non descript sabha and that too at a non descript hall. Bhakatas (as they had come to listen to a pravachana) continued to stay back with additional audience who had come specifically to attend vidwan's concert.

The concert started at 7.30 and the scheduled time to end was around 9.00 pm.

Without much ado to setup of the paraphranelia... Vidwan started off with rAma bANa .. bringing out the essence of rAmA's bANa power in slow motion. Violinist and mridangist indeed did a great job of accompanying at this tempo. Had few bhesh bhesh moments even though they are not regular accompaniments to this Vidwan. They did a job on par with his regular accompaniments.

A detailed khamAs was followed up by sujana jIvana, another rarely heard composition in kutchEris now a days. A good treat of nereval and swaras once again followed at an apt tempo. Vidwan was singing as though there was no derth for time.

Brief dEvagAndhAri Alapane and kshIra sAgara ensured that shEshashayana had a good sleep tonight. The bhakti bhAva was oozing out of both vocal and violin performances.

By now it was already 8.30 and was expecting a main piece to follow.

Vidwan started off with mAyAmAlavagaula (was easy to guess) . But some rasikas (bhaktAs ?) started scratching the head.. which prompted the artist to announce the name of the raga. mEru samAna that followed had all the majestic improvisation to reiterate that it was the majestic composition in mAyAmALavagaula. a 15 min krithi presentation and a 10 minute tani completed the allocated slot for the concert. 

However, a noted artist (read organiser) came out to give a 2 min speech which took up 12 + minutes..

Vidwas was is no mood to stop , He starated off with a viruttum on mAuLav ganga... the traditional SSI trademark. 
( composed by appayya dIkshitar from a village called adatapalam near arani town .. 40 kms away tiruvaNNAmalai. Thanks to his role as mukhya mantri under the nawAb of ArcOT, who was instrumental in preserving hindu temples in north Arcot , Kanchi region from the influence of nawAb). 
This was a way of Vidwan thanking the composer for all the good work he did for hindus.

Violinist accompanied par excellence during viruttum. It was followed up with a small dESh composition of purandara dAsa .. viTala salahO swAmi.

Finally concluded the 2 hrs concert with trademark mangala song nI nAma rupamulaku.

Neither me nor did the other rasikas .. (I believe they wont contest) did expect such a power packed concert in such a short time slot. 

It was a memorable concert indeed, and it was a long time since I heard such a pure classicism in such short concert. Infact I have never heard this Vidwan delivering such short concerts.
 :ymapplause:  :ymapplause:  :ymapplause:  :ymapplause:  :ymapplause:  :ymapplause: 

Your guess to the name of the Vidwan.. will make you feel you missed a treat right at your door step for some of the forumites.

Let the guess work begin.. (those who are very sure... pl PM me.. dont break the suspense online)  :-$ I will reply online for the messages that I receive) . Will break the suspense at an appropriate time.

2013 Feb 06 TMKrishna AkkaraiSubhAlakshmi K Arun Prakash G Guruprasanna @ RLKM Spring Festival

Vocal : Vid TM Krishna
Violin : Vid Akkarai Subhalakshmi
Mridanga: Vid. K Arun Prakash
Khanjira : Vid G Guruprasanna

01 mAkElarA vichAramu ravichandhrike Adhi thyAgarAja

02 rAga tAna pallavi tODi chaturaSra triputTa 2 Kalai eDupu +  1.5 beat

pallavi line: tAraka brahma swarUpiNi tAmarasa vimOchani

03 chinna nAdenA chEyi kalAniDhi Adhi thyAgarAja and chinna tani

04 pUrvikalyANi AlApane (independent piece continued into next rAga AlApane)

05 mAnjhi AlApane followed by  varugalAmO Ayyen mAnji chApu gOpAlakrishNa bhArathi

06 mIna lOchana dhanyAsi cApu shyAma-shAstrI long tani

07 shAnti nilava vENDum tilang SetumAdhava rao

08 viruttum vandE mAtaram ambikAm bhagavatIm mOhanakalyANi manOranjani madhyamAvati sindhu bhairvi

09 tirupathi vEnkata ramanA sindubhairavi purandaradAsar

10 pakkAla nilabaDi golicE muccaTa bAga delpa-kharaharapriyA-tripuTa-tyAgarAja mangaLam

One would (in recent times) go to TMK concert to see what new can be done during the performance and its only a matter of time when the surprises / Krishnovation starts rolling out.

In this case the jampacked hall at 5.45 was treated to the first surprise when the curtains rolled up. TM Krishna was seated to the side while the Violinist sat next to him like a  jugalbandi performance.

The voice tests that had begun at 5.30 itself indicated the depth and holding of the voice ... indicating a real treat to the audience.

An announcement was made on the launch of the second version of his book later in March at Bangalore before the start of the concert.

Concert started with a sedate long haul krithi in ravichandrika. While I have always heard the faster version of this krithi, in this case rasikas were treated to understand how melodious the same krithi can be when it is delivered in a sedate mode.

The second surprise came with the tODi AlApane. Expecting a krithi... it TM Krishna turned into tAna. The rAga was explored to its depth apt to the kannaDa anecdote "tOduttA tOdutta tODi.. indicating .. you can dig as deep as you want in tODi". A 27 minute teat of tODi had made the day for me. How can i know.. what more surprises were in store for me ? tODi was explored to greater depths during nereval and swaras. He asked the violinist to lead rAgamAlika swaras.. She took up varALi as the first rAga. Violinist who was almost a shadow till now demonstrated her talent exploring varALi. TMK followed the suit. The next raga elaborated ..??

Chinna nAdena came in as a filler with even more chinna swaras before a chinna tani that followed it. Many (bad customs at Bangalore) who wanted to leave after tani were dissappointed to know that tani came in so early !!.

Trademark experiment of standalone AlApane came in form of pUrvikalyANi. Realised that after he switched over to mAnjhi alapane. I was scratching my head to understand which composition has these 2 rAgas.

varugalAmO was presented in ati tIvra viLamba  kAla. Strikers and non strikers were searching here and there to strike or two, but it was a real test between the brains. The violinist turned out to be winner following TM Krishna in each of his sancharas.

It was already 2 hrs into the concert by now. Was (not) expecting a main considering Krishna's approach to concert and now that RTP was already delivered. But the third surprise came in. This time it was dhanyAsi (janya of tODi .. right after a tODi in the same concert)

mIna lOchana brova.. delivered with utmost divinity.. I had sAkshAtkAra of mInAkshi amma right in the concert hall. The main tani followed for around 18 mins after nereval and swaras.

Expecting Krishna to wind up on time was the wrong thing I did. Good 10 minute presentation of shAnti nilava vENDum ended with a good applause. 

Viruttum on mAte Ambika was presented in grand style . Each rAga name finding a place at the end of each stanza provided enough evidence of guessing the raga name right.

Obvious  conclusion to a viruttum on the last rAga.. tirupati venkaTa ramana ninagEtake bArado karuNa .... was presented. This must have sounded like the last song of the concert as it was almost 8.55 (Scheduled end time is 8.45).

But Krishna after sifting through his notes... decided to end the concert differently. Those who had left by now would be in for an unbelievable surprise.

Me too.. I was taken aback when he started kharaharapriyA alApana which lasted almost 3 minutes in as grand style as it could be in such short span of time. I was expecting a small composition, but Krishna took up pakkala nilabaDi from anupallavi. It was going to be one grand ending. nereval added additional salt to the surprises that were already delivered. Swaras too followed.

kalyANAdbhutAya gAtrAya.. followed in kharaharapriya and indicated an end to a grand 3.5 hrs of concert. A treat to watch and listen.

Blessed are those who had an opportunity to witness TM Krishna in great form.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

2014 Feb 3 Sanjay Subrahmanyan S Varadaraj, Neyveli Venkatesh M Gururaj @ RLKM Spring Festival

Vocal         :Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan   
Violin         : Vid. S Varadarajan    
Mridangam  : Vid. Neyveli Venkatesh
Morsing      : Vid. M Gururaj

01 dAri teliyaka vachchinavEmo varNa darbAr aTa paTNam Subramania Iyer

02 pallANDu pallAnDu pallayirattandu palakkOi (tpl) nATa KChapu Periyazhvar

03 Intanuchu varNimpa taramA bramhEndradulakaina guNDakriya Adi tyAgarAja

04 hamsadhwani AlApane followed by marachEdi nyAyama rAma nIve marachite hamsadhvani Adi paTNam Subramania Iyer

05 shrI mAtrubhUtam trishiragiri kannaDa m.cApu m.dIkshitar

06 naTabhairavi AlApane followed by shrI vallI dEvasEnApatE naTabhairavi Adhi pApanAsam sivan and Tani

07 vidhi chakrAdula yamunA kalyANi thyAgarAja

08 rAga tAna pallavi kAmbOdhi tiSra tripuTa rAgamALika in tODi, husEni , tilAng

yAr pOi shulluvAr ennakAga pErayam ..

09 rAma krishNaru manege bandaru tillAng p.dAsa

10 Emandune muddu bAlAmaNi mukhAri dharmapuri subbarayar

11 viruttum mAlOr maruganE mannADi maindanE followed by solla soll varmam enayya_bEhAg Doraiswamy Kavi

11 mAlaShai kOpam oyAden nALumAyAvikAra tiruppugazh sindhubhairavi Adi Arunagirinathar

12 nI nAma rUpamulaku mangaLa sourAshtra Adhi thyAgarAja

If you were to be looking for an antidote for a hectic work day , Sanjay's concert was a perfect medicine. 

As i reached the hall at 5.00 pm, the hall was almost full on the free section. Many guests were still pouring till 5.45 when the concert began on the dot. 

The expectations on the fireworks rose, as some of the trials behind the screen was also aired to the public.

Full blast take off with the VarNa in darbAr and the nATa composition set the tone for the day. Did realise that the concert did not have any special viLamba kAla krithis as I write this review. Sanjay extracted every bit of energy that was remaining from his team

The first alapana came in the third song, and pretty unusual, it was hamsadhwani.  paTnam SubramaNya Iyer composition was presented with pretty elaborate swaras for almost the lenght of the song duration.

Sri mAtrubhUtam that is otherwise presented as a majestic composition took over the role of a filler.

naTabhairavi (almost unheard these days in concert) was presented with full elaboration and what followed was equally befitting presentation to the AlApane. nereval and swaras were exhilarating. Anticipation demonstrated by his regular team was impaccable. The way they followed like a shadow demanded applause after every return response. shabhAsh moments were plenty throughout the concert.

Without a filler, the kAmbOdhi rAga tAna filled almost 45 minutes of detailed presentation. A simple pallavi was not only elaborated in kAmbOdhi, but also in tODi, husEni and tillang

Master immediatly followed it with a tillAng composition of purandara dAsa.

Could not recognise the tamil song in bEhAg, but the clock was ticking post 9.00 pm by this time.. but master performer never saw the clock. The energy demonstrated even after 3 hrs was commendeble, and the mukhAri and jOanpuri compositions were presented in full blast energy.

The long drawn affair of the evening came to and end after 3.30 hrs !!

A top class concert that would be remembered for a long time. naTabhairavi and the varNa are take away performances for me (heard for the first time from the master)

Will take a couple of day's break just to digest this sumptuous concert.

2018 Apr 23 ChitravinaRavikiran LalagudiViji SaiGiridhar GiridharUdupa @ SRSM FHS

ChitravINA : Vid. ChitravinaRavikiran  Violin: Vid. LalagudiViji  Mridanga: Vid. SaiGiridhar  Ghata: Vid. GiridharUdupa Venue/ Occas...