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Monday, August 30, 2004

T M Krishna, Mangalam Ganapathy Trust

TM Krishna - S Varadarajan - K Arun Prakash

Krishna gave an "all" Mangalam Ganapathy compositions concert on 29th August 2004 at PS School Auditorium. He announced before starting that he will have one composition of each of the trinity in the concert for without their presence the concert would not be full at all. Well, Personally i had thought till then that it was a normal concert which may have a couple of compositions of the composer in whose name the trust is being run. Later, realised there were many of my mindset till then.

the concert started with sObillu saptasvara with nice svarams at thara ruksa mAdulalO followed by nATTAkuranji Alapanai. The kriti being karuNAmaya nilayam. Next was Dikshitar's bAlakrishNam bAvayAmi in gOpikA vasatam. After this, there was a long wait for the shyama sAstri kriti of the concert. During which, people around me and I were keenly expecting some SS kriti when krishna took up tOdi, KalyANi and sAvEri for main. All of which ended up as compositions of mangalam ganapathy, kAmini kAvyakalArUpiNi, nin pAdam caraNam and sri lalithE sivE respectively. The three rAga Alapanais (nATTakuranji, tOdi and sAvEri) were all good in true krishna's style and varadarAjan's replies were also on the mark. the tani Avartanam was the only other enjoyable thing in the concert. The ease with which, Arun could travel thro' kanDam, misram, tisram and so on was so good. After this long wait came dEvi brova samayamidE in cintAmaNi. And the kriti did save quite a few of us from the rest of the concert. In fact I was one of the very few who had very high degrees of patience.

With no disregards for the composer in who's honour the programme was held or the organiser, all the compositions failed to make an impact. One or two compositions in a concert is always welcome, but not an exclusive concert of her compositions. The sAhityam were IMHO, nothing gr8 or different.

I overheard somebody commenting the following with a bright smile... "tyAgarAja swamikku kooda indha bAkyam kedachirukkAdhu. thannoda oru pAttai main piece pottu kutcheri paNNi thAnE kekkara bAkyam yethanai pErukku kidaikkum? adhuvum kutcheri poora thannoda pAta pAdi kEkaradhu.. yaarukku kedaikkum indha kuduppanai?"

Well marketing strategies have spun their net into the field of carnatic music also. One who can carry oneself, gets the more importance and the fame and name and believe it or not if one can spend on one's publicity nothing like it. Smt. Mangalam Ganapathy seems to be one of those belonging to the chosen lot who can carry themselves well. I do not comment on her personality or say that she is trying to boast herself. But the fact remains that she is going popular in a exceptionally fast rate these days.

What one may have to think is that, when we are not able to completely preserve the great legacy bestowed upon us by the trinity and others whose compositions are so filled in with bakthi, bhAva and above all tonnes of information, where do people of this clan stand a chance in the running time???

Leave alone getting disappointed by the concert, i was far from being appointed in the first place...

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Friday, August 20, 2004

Bombay Sisters, Spic Macay, IIT Madras

Bombay Sisters (Smt Saroja and Smt Lalitha) gave a "Lec-Dem" carnatic music concert under the banner of SPICMACAY at the CLT, IIT Madras on 20th August 2004.

The evening started of with the artists telling some autobiographical stuff for half a score of minutes making for the Lec part. The Dem part was the concert which started of with a neat rendition of the nATTai kriti mahAgaNapatim in Adi tAlam with a ciTTai svaram and karpanai svarams. The next was the mysore vAsudEvacharya kriti brocEvArevarurA in khamAs which brought out their command over pronounciations. The only AlApanai of the concert was Lalitha's hEmavati which was beautifully elaborated. Well rendered srI kAntimatim, ended with svarams at the pallavi line followed by a good tani Avartanam. the tukkadA section started off with rAma kr.shNa gOvinda nArAyaNa, a piece in brindAvani by bhadrAcalam rAmadAsar. purandara dAsar's kApi kriti jagadOdAraNa and the only non Adi tALa kriti innu daya bhAratE in kalyANavasantam were aesthetically rendered. the concert ended with a tillAna in hamsAnandi composed by TK Govinda Rao and pavamAna. Sri. AnanthapadmanAban on the violin was good but for a few snatches where the sruti went haywire. Sri. Subramanian of mridangam was good while Sri. Ravichandran on the Ghatam did not reach till there. Overall the concert was good.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

K G Vijayakrishnan, Chamber Veena Concert

Dr. K. G. Vijayakrishnan's chamber vINai concert

August 14, 2004. 7:00 pm


1. AnandaBhairavi varNam - cheluvuda
2. tanakku nihar illAda - shuddha sAvEri - UttukADu vEnkata kavi
3. trilOka mAtA - pharaz - shyAmA sAstri
4. abhayAmbA - kalyANi - muttsvAmi dIkShitar (Alapanai)
5. EvarunnAru - mALavashrI - tyAgaraja
6. kAmAkShi - bhairavi - shyAmA sAstri svarajati (Alapanai with rAgamAlikA tAnam in bhairavi, hamIr kalyANi, aTANa, mOhanam, yedukulakAmbhOji, khamAs)
7. nirupamAna - bEhAg jAvali - dharmapuri subbarAya Iyer
8. ituvaNTi - kAnaDa padam - kShEtragnya
9. ippadi En manam - suruTTi padam - composer unknown
10. tODi tillAna- Poochi Iyengar
11. nIkEla - nAdanAmakriyA padam - kShEtragnya
12. mangaLam - shrIrAma jayamangalam - suruTTi - Papanasam Sivan

the evening's starter was a rare Anandhabhairavi vaRNam. the next OVK kriti was nicely rendered. the pharaz was also good. kalyANi elaborations were nice, the kriti, one probably cant get a more rare piece. mALavashrI provided a good change of tempo before the main piece, bhairavi, in which the Alapanai was a bit lacking in some places. The bhairavi effect was not felt at those instances. the tanam was good and the rAgamAlika was also well rendered. The svarajati again was good. the three padams and the jAvaLi were also so beautifully rendered giving a stamp of the dhanammal school. Another unheard of piece is the tODi tillAna. All thro' the concert, it was nalla sangItham

The concert venue was the drawing room of a flat which could accomodate probably a maximum of about 25 people, but actually the room was only half full which included very senior vaiNikAs and just a few odd ones (yours truly inclusive). Also, the only accompaniment Dr. KGV had was the shruti box. After the concert, he also explained the difference between his (ie vINai dhanammal) style and other styles of vINai playing. He gave explanations how the left index finger and left middle finger should be operated on the string independently at times to give a better effect compared to the normal style and this way the left middle finger can also be used for plucking.

Strikingly different from the mp3 audios of Dhanammal herself, the concert was enjoyable. Probably, the small room venue had some effect similar to the one which had the audience of the grand old lady captive.
Also, there were no neraval or swarams all thro' the concert. which if it were present would have made the concert more full. All the kritis but for the tyAgarAja kriti and the bhairavi svarajati were rare. The pAtantarams for the pieces (incl. of the common ones) were quite different from what is rendered by most other vidwans. As, Dr. KGV sang along while he was playing, one could identify the kriti and hence were able to appreciate the differences in the pAtAntaram.

Over all it was a good infotainment programme that evening.

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