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Friday, March 11, 2005

R Vedavalli, Music Club IIT Madras

Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. R. Vedavalli - Vocal
Smt. Usha Rajagopalan - Violin
Neyveli Sri Narayanan - mrUdangam
Smt. Sumathy Krishnan - Vocal Support
Smt. Usha Padmanabhan - Vocal Support & Tambura

Music Club IIT Madras, 09 March 2005, 7:15 pm

Thematic concert on "popular kritis in authentic tunes"

srI mahA gaNapati - gauLa - misra cApu - dIkshitar (svarams at 'modaka prakAsakarO')
baNTu rIti - hamsanAdam - dEsAdI (svarams at pallavi line)
sItamma mAyamma - lalitA
nagu mOmu - AbhErI
g~nAna mosaga rAdA - shadvidamArgiNi (AlApanai)
krishNAnanda mukunda - gauDipantu
cEtulAra sRNgAramU - kharaharapriyA (AlApanai, neraval and svarams at 'aNi mutyAla')
snatches of rAmA nIyaDa - dilIpakam, nAda lOluDai - kalyANavasantam, nAda tanumanisam - cittaranjani
ninnaruLAn gatiyinRi - vEdAnta dEsikar pAsuram in dhanyAsi, varALi, sahAnA, nAdanAmakriyA, nIlAmbari, Ahiri
gatita samaya - Ahiri - jayadEva ashtapati
mODi jEse - khamAs jAvaLi
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram

The programme started off with Smt Vedavalli stating that it may not be a complete lec-dem or a full fledged concert but somewhere in between. She said there would be some non-tampered compostions also in the programme.

She started off with a small sketch of gauLa and 'srI maha gaNapati' was rendered with a slightly different cittai svaram from the regular 'p m g m r g m taNakujam'.

The presence of shatsruti dhaivadam in banTu rIti was mentioned and sancarams like 'p d n s n p' were clearly shown both while rendering the kriti and while singing kalpanai svarams. The usage of the dhaivatam was very evident right in the pallavi line and thereafter all thro' the kriti.

'sItamma mAyamma' was the next one. Smt Vedavalli said there has been a fight over which ragam is lalitha and which ragam is vasanta since time immemorial and it is presently agreed that the one with suddha dhaivatam is lalitha and the one with chatusruthi dhaivatam is vasanta, considering the dIkshitar pieces which carry the raga mudras. sItamma mAyamma which is presently sung in vasanta with chatustruthi dhaivadam was originally sung with suddha dhaivatam in the ragam lalitha ; this was deomonstrated by her.

She said nagu mOmu also had the same fate of shifting from suddha dhaivatam to chatursruthi dhaivadham. She presented the song with suddha dhaivatam. She added that "To shift to chatursruthi dhaivatam from a nishadam is probably more easy than to climb down to suddha dhaivadham and that is probably why even vidwans who used to sing this AbhEri with suddha dhaivatam, later shifted to singing it with chatursruthi dhaivatam." She also mentioned that this rAgam with chatursruthi dhaivatam is actually karnaTaka dEvagAndhAri (or dEvagAndhAram) which sounds the hindustani rAga 'bhImplas', a rAgam that has come to a state of being the reference of anything called AbhEri these days. She recalled a rendition of the kriti in AbhEri with suddha dhaivadham with a detailed AlApanai, neraval and svarams for about an hour-and-half by her guru Sangeetha Kalanidhi Madurai Srirangam Iyengar at Music Academy long ago. There was also a mention of the shyAma sAstri kriti, 'ninnuvinA marigaladA' which is said to have been changed from AbhEri to rItigauLa. In all presenting three pieces, which have been affected by the 'dhaivadham' problem.

The programme was structured in such a way that one was travelling from one piece to another in increasing order of corruption. The next was one of the pieces which have been retuned completely. It seems there is a story that a particular tune of a Theatre group was so impressive that some vidwan had retuned this song into that tune. 'gnana mosaga rAdA' was rendered in shadvidamArgiNi with a small AkshiptikA. She said that the sAhitya bhAva of the kriti is more fitting with shadvidamArgiNi when it sounds more like pleading for knowledge than the pUrvikalyANi version, which sounds aggressive.

krishNanada mukunda murArE in gauLipantu was rendered with suddha madhyamam all thro' as per the gramatical classification of the rAgam being a upAnga janyam of mALava gauLa.

The main piece was cEtulAra sRNgAramU in kharaharapriyA. The kriti which is rendered in bhairavi or naTabhairavi in modern days and is listed as bhairavi in quite a few books, was presented in kharaharapriyA. She recalled that some vidwans of yester years, had rendered the kriti in kharaharapriyA in earlier years and later in bhairavi. The kharaharapriyA AlApanai, though short, was nicely rendered and so were the neraval and svarams to be followed by a taniyAvartanam.

She then answered questions from the audience about differences between rAmapriyA and ramAmanOhari, the latter having only p d s prayOgams and no p d n s prayOgams. Also, the shift of "rAmA nIyeDa" from dilIpakam which is s r m p n d n s to kharaharapriyA, cittaranjani having a suddha nishAdam and not the chatursruthi nishadam, kalyANavasantham with its gAndhArA akin to kiravani's, were explained with 'nAda tanum anisam' and 'nAda lOluDai' respectively. There were a lot of tit-bits narrated all thro' the programme quoting incidents which involved mix-ups of rAga names and known instances of people retuning kritis from original track to the some new tune. She wondered as to why people who retune it not mention that it is based on an original composition and what they are rendering is not the original version.

The concluding part had a pAsuram in dhanyAsi, varALi, sahAnA, nAdanAmakriyA, nIlAmbari, Ahiri followed by the Ashtapathi in Ahiri. The khamAs jAvaLi and saurAshTram mangaLam lead to the close of what was an very interesting experience. The accompanist Smt. Usha Rajagopalan and Neyveli Sri Narayanan were good all thro' the concert.

After hearing this programme on the original versions of all the kritis, one is far from enjoying the popular version of these kritis. what could be the reason for some people to meddle with original tunes is something which one fails to understand? It is for the popular youngsters of today who are all going to be stars tomorrow to see to it that the original tunes of all such kritis are popularised.

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