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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Trivandrum Venkatraman, Music Club IIT Madras

Thiruvananthapuram Sri. R. Venkataraman - vINai
Vellore Sri. G. Ramabhadaran - mrUdangam

23rd Sept 04 Music Club IIT Madras

varNam - nATTai - paramEsvara bhAgavatar
vAtApi gaNapatim - hamsadvani - muthusvAmi dIkshitar
tanavAri tanamu - bEgaDa - tyAgarAjar
mAmava mInAkshI - varALi - muthusvAmi dIkshitar
indha kaNTE - kannaDa - ramanAthapuram (pUchi) srinivAsa iyengAr
rAma rAma guNa sIma - simmEndra madyamam - svAti tirunAL
tanyAvardanam
rAga(tAna)mAlika in aTANA, danyAsi, sAmA, Ananda bhairavi, bEhAg
sAramaina - bEhAg - svAti tirunAL
jagadOdhAraNa - kApi - purandara dAsar
kr.SNa nI bEganE bArO - yamunakalyANi
mangalam - saurAshtram

The concert started with a refreshing nATTai varNam, with kalpanai svarams. Then came a short hamsadvani AlApanai and vAtApi gaNapatim was rendered with svarams at the pallavi line. The first elaborate piece was a good bEgaDa AlApanai, the tyAgarAja kriti tanavAri tanamu was well played with svarams.

varALi AlApanai started on a slightly tentative note but developed into its full form as it progressed. mAmava mInAkshi had neraval at "shyAmE sankari tigvijaya pradAbini" with svarams. The rare kannaDa kriti was definitely a good change of mood for the main simendramadhyamam. The AlApanai and tAnam were good and the kriti had neraval at
"munimAnasa tamA mrugamada sulalAma" and svarams. This was followed by a beautiful taniyAvardanam.

Soon after the tani, Sri. Venkataraman started off with a tAnam in aTANA and then into danyAsi. This was followed by sAmA in which he could not quite maitain the tempo of a tAnam and, instead, sketched an AlApanai; this was followed by Anandabhairavi and bEhAg rAga and culminated in the jAvali in bEhAg. A short kApi AlApanai and jagadOdharaNa was followed by kr.SNa nI bEganO bArO in madhyama sruthi.

Sri VenkatarAman's penchant for adventurous brigAs on the veena, his overall grip over all the aspects of manOdharma sangitam carried the day for him notwithstanding some slips while playing and a recalcitrant vINa that refused to stay with the sruti! Adding to his discomfiture was the unbelievable sight of Sri Ramabhadran's mridangam also staying a trifle above the sruti, presumably due to the air-conditioning in a sparsely populated auditorium!

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Vidya Shankar, Kalakshetra

Smoggy Chennai's Friday evening was a witness to a practical example of the fact that age is not something which hinders one's abilities.

The kAmbhOji which Smt. Vidya Sankar, played at kalAkshEtrA on 24th Sept was as fresh as it would be out of a young vidwan's vINai. mA jAnaki with neraval and swarams at "rAja rAjavara rAjIvAkshavinu" were good. The shyAma sAstri's kalyANi varNam in tisra maTyam was a lovely starter.

Her elaborations and kriti renditions in bEgaDa, aTANA, darbAr, sArangA, sAvEri were all good.

There of course a few slips which one has to wink off considering the fact that it is a lady who is going to be nonagenarian who is giving this music.

Sri. K. P. Anilkumar on the mrUdangam did a very good job in accompanying and in the tani. Sri. H. Subramanian who accompanied Smt. Vidya on the geththu vAdhyam which is a rare stringed percussion instrument was also good. It was mentioned that this is an insturment used in temples.

I did not know most of the pieces which were presented.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Manda Sudharani, Music CLub IIT Madras

Smt Manda Sudharani - Vocal
Sri. Pakala Ramadoss - Violin
Sri. Parupalli Phalgun - Mrudangam

21st Sept '04 at Music Club, IIT Madras

varNam - sAmi - kEdAragauLa - Adi - thiruvotriyUr tyAgaier
vandEham - hamsadvani - kanda cApu - annamAcharya
padavini - sAlagabhairavi - Adi - tyAgarAja
Ananda sAgara - garuDadvani - Adi - tyAgarAja
gOvarddhana girIsham - hindOLam - rUpakam - muthusvAmi dIkshitar
amba nIlAmbari - nIlAmbari - Adi - thanjAvUr ponnaiah piLLai
telisi rAma - pUrNachandrika - Adi - tyAgarAja
RTP - bEhAg - kanDa tripuTa (2 kaLai) laghu in tisra naDai, drutam in chatusra naDai (in dvi kAlam)
"sri manOhara sumanOhara manOhara vEgamE rA rA yamunA vihAra"
tanyAvardanam
E mAtalAdina - yadukula kAmbhOji - misra cApu - kshEtragna padam
tillAna - kuntalavarALi - Adi
mangaLam - saurAshtram

The concert started with a neat rendition of the kEdAragauLa varNam to set the moods. The short hamsadvani AlApanai was good and the svarams at pallavi line were impressive. Then Sudharani took up sAlagabhairavi for the first elaborate piece of the evening. The AlApanai was good; one particular phrase -- a simple janta phrase in the avarohana was stunningly pregnant with sAlagabhairavi. To cap it, she rendered of all the 4 caraNams in padavini; it was a revelation! The piece ended with beautiful svarams in durita kAlam at the pallavi line; the 3/4 eduppu was handled non-chalantly!. The garuDadvani kriti (Ananda sAgara) was rendered aesthetically with brisk svarams. The hindOLam AlApanai of Smt. Sudharani was in strict dikshitar style and was refreshing to hear "gOvarddhana girIsham" rendered beautifully with a lovely cittai svaram and neraval and svarams at "gOvindanAmasAram gajEndrarakshaNadhIram". The nIlAmbari kriti was moving. telisi rAma also had multiple caraNams presented with beautiful cittai svarams. The main piece of the evening was a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in bEhAg set to kanDa tripuTa tALam (2 kaLai) with tisra naDai for the lagu part and chatusra naDai for the drutam part. The Elaborate AlApanai of bEhAg did have a deep carnatic touch in it. The tAnam was also good. The pallavi was beautifully rendered in the mixed nadais, including the anulomam. The swarams were just brilliant. The laya control of Smt. Sudharani was very accurate with no slips at all. There was no rAgamAlika and even 40 minutes of bEhAg was not saturating. This was followed by the kshEtragna padam rendered well and the kuntalavarALi tillana to finish of the concert. The svarams for all the kritis were in two kAlams and rendered very well.

Sri. Ramadoss was good in parts but did not measure up to the occasion. Sri. Phalgun's style of mridangam accompaniment was in the mode of 'play for the song', the pazhani way. He embellished the concert well and his tani in such a delicate tALam needs a special mention.

The noteworthy feature of the concert is the kriti selection which is strikingly different from the 'Madras formula'. The diction of a Telugu-speaking artist and the rendition of the all caraNams in pieces which have multiple caraNams were striking features of the concert. The other point to be noted was that the AlApanais were strictly in adherence to the tradition of the kriti to be presented. After the pallavi a rasikA was heard calling her as "pallavi sudharani".

Overall, a very impressive concert from an artist who appears to be way above the standard dished out by many aggressively-marketed, rave-reviewed-in-the-press, chennai-based musicians. It is a pity that such artists do not get enough recognition, IMHO.

abAramAna sangItam

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Sunday, September 05, 2004

O S Thyagarajan, Krishna Gana Sabha

OS Thyagarajan - Nagai Muralidharan - Umayalpuram Sivaraman - BS Purushottaman

Sep 4

inta chalamu - bEgaDa (rAgam sketch)
entarA nItanA - harikAmbhOji (short Alapanai with neraval at "AgamOdamaku")
gAnamUrthE - gAnamUrthi
ninnuvina - rItigauLa (beautiful AlApanai)
saravana bava guruguham - rEvagupti(rAga sketch)
ETi janmamidi hA - varALi (AlApanai, neraval and swarams at "sAgara sayanuni")
nannu pAlimpA - mOhanam (AlApanai, neraval and swarams at "kara muna cara")
tani
slokam - "kr.shNam vandE nandakumAram rAdA vallaba navanIta cOram" - bEhAg, hamsAnandi, darbArikAnaDa, madhuvanti
nAda harE jagannAdaharE - jayadEva Astapadi - madhuvanti
nArAyaNa namO - karnaranjani - nArAyaNa tIrthar tarangam
vinAyakuni - madhayamAvati
pavamAna - saurAshtram

the elaborations of varALi were really good showing essential lakshaNams and shadja panchama varja sanchArams. rItigauLa AlApanai was also good but felt a bit rushed thro' at parts. The mOhanam AlApanai was good. The mOhanam swarams were rationised. The violinist was putting on par with the main artist. The tani Avaratanam needs a special mention as the two people threw fireworks on stage. Overall a great show.

bharath

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