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Thursday, August 25, 2005

T M Krishna, Ayodhya Mandapam

T M Krishna - R K Shriram Kumar - Srimushnam Raja Rao - Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan

Sri Rama Samaj and Sri Krishna Sweets

Ayodhya Mandapam 25th Aug 2005 7:00 pm

valaci - navarAgamAlikA varNam
nI bhajana - nAyaki - Adi - T (RS)
mEru samAna - mAyAmALavagauLa - Adi(2) - T (RNS)
mariverE - Anandhabhairavi - misra cApu - SS
anupama guNAmbuthi - aTANA - kaNDa cApu - T (S)
saraguNa pAlimpA - kEdAragauLa - Adi(2) - rAmanAtapuram srinivAsa iyengAr (RS)
taniyAvartanam
sabasya kausalyA - jOnpuri - Adi
ranga bArO - mAND - Adi - PD
naDanda kAlgaL - sindhubhairavi - Adi (tisra gati)
mAmava paTTAbirAmA - maNirangu - misra cApu - MD
mangalam kOsalEndrAya - maNirangu

The concert started about half an hour late, thanks to the pseudo voiced girl who was singing earlier and the west mambalam traffic and the unseasonal rains which had the artists arrive a bit late.

Amidst the traffic on Arya Gowda Raod, Srimushnam Raja Rao's beating the mrudangam and also thanks to the sound system guy, not to talk of Acoustics at Ayodhya Mandapam, one could bearly hear Krishna thro' the concert, lets not ask much for the violin.

The concert started with a brisk rendition of the popular navarAgamAlikA varNam followed by a short and crisp sketch of nAyaki showing just the essentialities of the ragam. The kriti and the swaram which followed were good.

The first elaborate AlApanai was mAyAmALavagauLa. It was a very detailed elaboration, showing the beauty and grandeur of the ragam, which unfortunately is not all that often sung. The mEru samAnA kriti, was rendered with a lot of bhavam. The neraval and svarams at 'gaLamuna shObhillu kanaka bhUSaNamula' in both viLamba and dhurita kAlams which followed were that one could never forget. It was just amazing.

mariverE was well rendered as usual of krishna. anupama guNambuthi came in as a chit was passed requesting the same. It was nice to note that Krishna carefully avoided the popular svara prastharams for aTANA.

The main AlApanai of the concert a very enjoyable, elaborate and unhurriedly rendered kEdAragauLa. The AlApanai almost left nothing much of the rAgam spanning thro' three octaves. The kriti was rendered very well with sparkling cittai svarams and kalpanai svarams at 'shata druthi poojitha'.

The post tani part had a jOnpuri kriti and a nice mAND dEvarnama. The end was a moving rendition of mAmava paTTAbirAma and mangalam in maNirangu.

Shriram Kumar was his usual best following Krishna like a shadow in all parts of the concert. Every AlApanai of Krishna almost seeemed to be exhaustive and left one wondered what could the violinst play. Then came Shriram Kumar's reply which will only show the beauty of the ragam with sancharams that Krishna did not sing. His AlApanais, neraval and svara passages were very good for all kritis.

Srimushnam Raja Rao on the mrudangam was on aggressive mood all the concert. He played in mel kAlam almost all thro' the concert, even for vilamba kAla kritis. His playing thro' the concert accompanying the kritis left much to be desired, as it would have been more enjoyable if he had played according to the pace of the kriti in some instances. The tani was good and enjoyable, though loud. The alternating keezh kAla - mel kAla korappu they adopted was good.

Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan provided good assistance to Raja Rao in the percussion department giving fittig replies and keeping upto him all thro' the concert. On the whole, the two tALa vadhyams were tooo loud to comfort, the sound system guy had kept both their microphones in full volume, while the vocalist and the violinst had only half of that.

What was nice to note was the ambulance which passed thro' during the tani sirened in Adi tALam beat. The bus horn which went on the sudhdha madhyam during the kEdAragauLa AlApanai in unison with krishna. And another bus horn which was at the thAra shadjam, during the jOnpuri kriti.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

T M Krishna, Music Club IIT Madras

T M Krishna
Sriram Parasuram
Guruvayur Durai
Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan

Music Club IIT Madras, 18th August 7:15 pm

bruhaspatE - aTANA - tisra tripuTa - MD (S)
pari pUrNa kAmA - pUrvi kalyANi - rUpakam - T (RNS)
kAmAkshi - yadukula kAmbhOji - misra cApu - SS (R)
manavyAlaginca - naLinakanthi - Adi T
vanajAksha nivE - varALi varNam - chatusra jAti aTa tALam (RS)
taniyAvartanam
R T P - suraTi - chatusra jhampa tALam - "rAmachandra dayAnidhE srInidhE suguNanidhE" - rAgamAlika svarams in kAmbhOji, danyAsi, bEgaDa, pUrNashadjam, kalyANi by Krishna, in sAvEri, sahAnA, bilahari, shankarAbaraNam, simmEndra madhyamam by Sriram
smarasuda - paras - Adi - Dharmapuram SubbarAyar
jAnakI ramaNa - kApi - Adi - vAnamAmalai jIyar
anRu ivvulagam - sindhubhairavi - Adi - ANDAL tiruppAvai
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram

Every music critic has his/her favourites; they would rave about them even on an off-colour day and denounce those on their hit-list even when they perform well! One has been witnessing this trend over decades of music criticism in the press. This critic, could, perhaps, be accused of backing the singer in question with a euology that he surpasses past masters in certain aspects such as a composite accomplishment of sAhitya suddham, sowkhyam and bhAvam. This concert started with a slow rendition of brihaspatE and nice svarams. The short pUrvikalyANi AlApanai was a fitting prelude to the fast paced kriti which he sung with good neraval and svarams. The exhaustive AlApanai of yadhukula kAmbhOji was well structured to show all the lakshnams of the ragam leaving nothing more. guruvAyoor Dorai's support on the mridangam for this kriti was arresting and eloquent. (One sorely missed these qualities at a couple of later programmes -- neyvEli nArAyaNan at nAdOpAsanA murdered the bhairavi swara jathi while rAjA rAo went 'bang bang' all through his concert at ayOdhyA maNDapam playing mElkAlam for all his slow numbers, with peak irritation in 'marivErE gati' (Anandbhairavi).) The kriti was followed by the fast naLinakAnti kriti.

When varALi AlApanai was started, it was more indicative of a very elaborate kriti, and it showed the gloring majesty of the rAgam. Krishna kept up his latest surprise package of airing a classic varNam in chatusra jAti aTa tALam. The grand varNam was well rendered and was a treat to hear. The svarams at the carNam in both kAlams were very beautiful. A few moments of whispering conversations between him and dorai led to another
exhilarating session of a taniyAvartanam in this twelve-beat cycle.

The Ragam Tanam Pallavi in surutti started off with an exquisite rendition of suraTi, followed by a brisk tanam to which the violinist responded well. The pallavi was beautifully crafted and portrayed the ingenuity of the vocalist. The swarams were the highlight of the piece where in the vocalist chose from a wide range of ragas leaving very little for the violinist, who brilliantly chose to play different rAgAs during the ragamalika, and did a good job at that. In all, it was a lovely piece where in the violinist too had some quality music from his end.

The tukkadas included a beautifully rendered javali in paras, with the special prati madhyamam to give great effect, a trade mark piece of the danam school. The fillers in kapi and sindhubhairavi were well rendered and the concert, dominated mostly by sampradaya sangitam, concluded by the mangalam in saurashtra.

Sri Sriram, spontaneous in his appreciation of the main artist, seemed a bit overwhelmed by krishna. However, considering his sruti suddham and tonal purity, it will be great if he joins in with a few long bow kArvais in bass and frees himself a bit during the AlApanAs. Sri Dorai nearly stole the show; "This is the quality of mridangam support you must get in every concert" he seemed to say! Sri Gopalakrishnan gave good support and coped well in the tani as well as in the pallavi.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

E Gayathri, Music Club IIT Madras

E Gayathri vINai
R Ramesh mrUdangam
B S Purushottaman kanjIra

ninnu jUchi - saurAshTram - Adi - T
samayamidE - kEdAram - rUpakam
nannu brOva - AbhOgi - Adi - T (R)
srI kAmakOTi - sAvEri - Adi - maisUr sadAsiva rao (R,N,S)
nI vADa nE - sArangA - kaNDa cApu - T
nArAyaNAya namO - madhyamarAvaLi - kaNDa cApu - nArAyaNa tIrtar (R)
Eta vunarA - kalyANi - Adi - T (R, T, S)
taniyAvartanam
gangAdIsa - sindubhairavi - guru surajAnanda
tillana - hindOLam - tisra Adi
vadavaraiyai - rAgamAlikA - Adi - iLangO aDigaL
kATrinilE varum gItam
pathiki hArathi - suruTTi - T (R)
nI nama rUpamulaku - saurAshTram

The concert started with a good sketch of saurAshTram and the kriti was good. The kEdAram kriti was well rendered with good cittai svarams. The first AlApanai of the evening was AbhOgi had its characteristic dhaivatam descending from the shadjam; it was done well and was followed by a seldom-heard nannu brOva. The sAvEri AlApanai which followed next had the essential sancarams and the kriti was well rendered with neraval and svarams at 'kadambavana nilayE' to be followed by nI vADa nE.

Next, was an AlApanai of a rAgam which was later announced as 'madhyamarAvaLi', which is kharaharapriya without the madhyamam. After a short AlApanai, carefully avoiding other allied rAgams, the tarangam was well rendered. The main piece of the evening was kalyANi. After an enjoyable AlApanai and a fast tAnam, the kriti was well rendered with svarams at the pallavi line.

The taniyAvarathanam which followed was good and did not involve the usual change of naDai; (Was the mridangist wary of giving another long spell to the upapakkavAdyam?) The Accompanists were gennerally supportive during the concert.

the hindOLam tillAnA and the suraTi AlApanai were pleasing.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

M S Sheela, Music Club IIT Madras

M S Sheela
Dr Hemalatha
J Vaidhyanathan
Adambakkam Shankar

IIT Madras Music Club 16th August 2005

chalamEla - darbAr varNam - Adi
vandE ham - hamsadvani - kaNDa cApu - annamAcharyA (S)
mInalOcani amba - tODi - rUpakam - HMB (NS)
pAdamE tuNai - valaji - Adi - PS
anupamaguNambuti - aTANA - kaNDa cApu - T (S)
bAle bAlEndu bhUshaNi - rIti gauLa - Adi - T (RS)
inta kaNTe - kannaDa - rUpakam - paTNam subramaNia iyer
paripAhimAm sri dAsaratE - shubapantuvarALi - Adi - maisUr vAsudEvAcharyA (R)
nannu pAlimpA - mOhanam - Adi - T (RS)
taniyAvardanam
innu daya bhAratE - kalyANavasantam - kaNDa cApu - purandara dAsa
nindati charaNa - hamsAnandhi ashtapati - catusra Ekam - jayadEva
thaka thadini thaka - brindAvani - Adi - purandara dAsa
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram

Smt. Sheela started the concert with a brisk rendition of the darbAr varNam and the hamsadvani kriti which followed had a nice cittai svaram and svarams were handled well.

All that the tODi kriti lacked was an AlApanai. But, for may be a couple of instances where her gandAram and nishAdam sounded non-tODi-ish, the piece was well rendered and so were the nerval in kIzh kAlam alone and svarams at 'mANikya vINAdari malatvaja pANDya kumAri' with the valaji kriti to follow.

The aTANA song was good and the svara passages reminded many a rasika of stalwarts of yesteryears. The first AlApanai of the evening was rITigauLa. The AlApanai was a right mixture of all that the ragam can have with nothing extra. The kriti was well rendered and there were svaras at the pallavi line.

A Quick kannaDa piece let to the start of the shubapantuvarALi AlApanai. The first few sancarams made one think, it was the start of an elaborate main AlApanai for the evening, but, rounded it off pretty soon with the rare kriti.

The main mOhanam AlApanai was good in a way that, it did not include some of the catchy anya-svara-involving phrases. The kriti was rendered with routine svarams and korappU at ga.

The post main part of the concert had a nice rendition of the two dEvarnAmas and the ashtapati

Dr Hemalatha on the Violin, did a better job with all the AlApanais and the svarams. She was supportive through the concert and showed her capacities during her rAga essays and svara passages.

Sri Vaidhyanathan on the mrUdangam, was supportive thro' the concert and a good taniyAvaradanam. Though a bit loud, the korappU was distinctly different from the regular korappu one gets to hear during any taniyAvarthanam. Sri Shankar, with a ghatam that had a poor tonal quality, was adequate.

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OS Thyagarajan, Music Club IIT Madras

O S Thyagarajan - Vocal
Ambika Prasad - Violin
Trivandrum Balaji - mrudangam

IIT Madras Music Club, 12th August 2005

rAma nannu brOvarA - harikAmbhOji - rUpakam - T (RS)
amma rAvammA - kalyANi - kaNDa cApu - T (NS)
shankari shamkuru - sAvEri - tisra Adi - SS (NS)
evarUrA - mOhanam - rUpakam - T
paritApamu - manOhari - rUpakam - T
ninnE nammi nAnu - tODi - misra cApu - SS (RNS)
taniyAvardanam
slokam 'vandE mAtaram ambikAm bhagavatIm' in khamAs, varALi, vAsanti, navarasa kannaDa
nAn oru viLaiyATTu bommaiyA - navarasa kannaDa
varalakshmI nIyE - sALagabhairavi
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram

The concert begun with a neat sketch of harikAmbhOji and the kriti was well rendered with svarams at the pallavi line.

amma rAvamma was rendered well with neraval and svarams at 'tAmarasa daLa nEtrudu tyAgarAjuni mitruDu'. Shankari shamkuru was the next in line, it was nice as well with neraval and svarams at 'shyAma kRSNa sOdari shyAmaLE sAdOdari'. evarUrA and the rare paritApamu were quickly run thro' leading to what one would expect to be a sub main piece. Alas! It was five kirtanas in a row without any rAgA being elaborated. The only AlApanA for the evening was in tODi. The 25 minute AlApanai had poise and good 'packaging' but was not very creative and had quiet a few repetitive phrases. The kriti was well rendered and the neraval and svarams at 'kAmAkshI kancadaLAyadAkshI' were standard cutcheri stuff.

After a good tani in misra chApu by Tiruvanthapuram bAlAji, OST embarked on a viruttam. It was here that he truly showed his manOdharma in rAgA elaboration. He sang a chain of four rAgas -- khamAs, varALi, vAsanthi and navarasa kannaDa. The first bore the stamp of class. He sang nAn oru viLaiyATTu bommaiyA, eschewing some popular but grammar-violating phrases in the anupallavi but messing it up in the end!

He sang a Tamil piece in sALagabhairavi which had quite a few phrases sounding like karNaranjani. Sri Ambika Prasad on the violin was passable for his support and rAga essay but was found wanting on laya alertness in responding to the vocalist's kaNakkus. One felt that OST could have chosen a more seasoned artist for accompaniment. Balaji was good thro' the concert in providing able support to the main artist. His tani had a lot of kaNakku, true to the Palghat Raghu School, and was enjoyable.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lalgudi GJR Krishnan - Vijayalakshmi, Music Club IIT Madras

Lakgudi GJR Krishnan - Vijayalakshmi Violin duet
Umayalpuram K Sivaraman mrudangam
T V Vasan Ghatam

Music Club, IIT Madras. 11th August 2005

varNam - husEni - Adi - LGJ
ninnu ceppa - mandAri - Adi - paTNam subramanian iyer (RS)
idE bhAgyamu - kannaDa - misra cApu - T (RS)
nA mOrAlakinci - danyAsi - rUpakam - vINai kuppaiyar (RNS)
vinarAdA - dEvagAndAri - Adi - T (R)
rAmA nIyaDa - kharaharapriyA - Adi - T (RS)
taniyAvartanam
annapurNe - sAma - Adi - MD
adi nI pai - yamuna kalyANi - dharmapuram subbarAyar jAvaLi
tIrAda viLaiyaTTu - rAgamAlikA - bharatiyAr
tillAnA - hamsAnandi - Adi - LGJ
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram - T

The concert started with a beautiful sketch of usEni by Sri Krishnan and the varNam was rendered very well showing all the essential sancarams of the ragam.

Sri Krishnan's short AlApanais for both mandAri and kaNNaDa were very good. Especially, the gAndAram of mandAri, which was beautifully brought out, deserves a mention. The kritis were rendered well and so were the swarams which followed.

Smt. Vijayalakshmi did a good job with the dhanyAsi AlApanai. Her phrases were well structured and neat. The kriti, with sparkling cittaswaras composed by kAraikuDi subbarAma iyer, was presented well with neraval and svarams

The short dEvagAndAri sketch and the kriti were good again. Sri Krishnan's KharaharapriyA AlApanai was satisfactory but not in the class of the short sketches of ragas that he had played in the earlier part of the concert. Niraval had to be dropped to allow enough time for the tani. The post-main part of the concert featured a good rendition of annapurNe visAlakshi. The tillana was good and showed the raga svarupam.

Sri Sivaraman showed what a high class mridangist can do to embellish a concert and keep up its tempo. Never to dominate or overshadow the main artists, he was majestic all thro' the concert. His playing was very enjoyable, enticing the audience to be in rhytm with him! Sri Vasan played well both while accompanying the main artists and during the tani.

bharath

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kalpakam Swaminathan at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha

Kalpakam Swaminathan - vINai
N Vijayalakshmi - vINai support
S Balashankar - mrUdangam
Pudukkottai N Ramachandran - ghaTam

Sri Krishna Gana Sabha - 9th August 2005 - 6:30 pm

sarasijanAbha - nATTai varNam (R)
lambOdara - kAmbhOji - rUpakam - vAsudEvAcharyA (RNS)
rAvE himagirikumAri - tODi - Adi - SS
kRSNAnada mukunda - gauLipantu - misra cApu - MD (R)
vinanAsakOni - pratApavarALi - dEsAdi - T
eTu nammina - sAvEri - Adi - paTNam subramaNia iyer (RNS)
purahara nadana - hamvIru - Adi - MD (R)
sankari ninnE - kAmavardini - misra cApu - vAsudEvacharyA (RTNS)
taniyAvardanam
hariyE - sAmA, hindOLam, sarasvati - purandara dAsA
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram

The concert started off with a brisk nATTai AlApanai and the varNam was nice to hear. The kAmbhOji AlApanai was nothing less that what one could hear for a main piece. It showed all the essential lakshaNams and was so beautifully rendered with the kriti which followed being a fit for the AlApanai. The short nerval-svara part was good also. The svarajati was rendered with a lot of bhavam.

Somebody had told me that "Kalpakam Swaminathan is the only person who can do a good gauLipantu AlApanai." This concert made that statement an undisputable fact. The AlApanai was just marvellous not to speak of the kriti.

It was a good experience to listen to sAvEri and gauLipantu in quick succession with just one song in between. All the essential differences were highlighted. The sAvEri AlApanai had a lot of unheard pharases which were very enjoyable and so were the kriti and the nerval and svarams.

The hamIrkalyANi AlApanai was very refreshing and the slow rendition of the kriti was moving. The myth that kAmavardini (aka pantuvarALi) fits a one down position in any concert was broken today, when it was presented as the main piece. The elaborate AlApanai and the beautiful tAnam not to mention the nerval and svarams showing what is what of the ragam and its lakshanams was just brilliant. The tani which followed, though long, was very good. The supporting vainika played her role to the correct measure. The mrudangist and the ghatam artists were good in their roles and played their parts to the fullest.

The concert rounded off with a rAgamAlikA dEvarnama and the mangalam, to be followed by a short crisp shrI ragam AlApanai.

A very fulfilling experience. It is sad that such great vidwans and vidushis who have so much talent dont get enough recognition even as octagenarians.

bharath

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sanjay at IMScCA

Sanjay Subrahmanyan - S Varadarajan - Mannargudi Easwaran

Institute of Mathematical Sciences Cultural Academy.

3rd August, 6 pm

nI vaNTi daivamu - nIlambari varNam - aTa tALam - taragampADi pancanAda iyer
cintayamAdanda - bhairavi - rUpakam - MD (svarams at 'uttunga kamanIya vrShaturangam')
kamala pada malar - harikAmbhOji - Adi(2) - pApanAsam sivan (AlApanai)
gAngEya vAsana - hamIrkalyANi - Adi(2) - svAti tirunAL (AlApanai)
nADADina mATA - janaranjani - misra cApu - tyAgarAja (neraval and svarams at 'talaku vaccina')
taniyAvardanam
srI pancanadIsam - sahAnA - tisra Ekam - paTNam subramania iyer (AlApanai)
RTP - sankarAbaraNam
'siva saravaNabava kumarA kumaraguruparA muthukkumarA'
tALam: 15 aksharams. one kaNDa lagu with 2 svarams each, one drutam where the beat is in tisram, the veechu is 2 aksharams. (2 x 5) + (3 + 2) = 15. samam yeDuppu
dasarata suta - jOnpuri
teruvinil naDavA - suruTTi - dhuruva tALam - tiruppugazh
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshtram

The opening nIlambari varNam was a rare piece and rendered well. The bhairavi kriti was rendered well and the svarams were well structured to include a nice korappu.

harikAmbhOji AlApanai started on a rather ambigous note with shades of khamAs and kAmbhOji showing up. It was well developed with the kriti rendered nicely. hamIrkalyANi also had a kalyANi-sArangA-ish starting but again was developed very well. The kriti again being well rendred.

nADADina mATa as it was started was more in the tempo of a filler, but then it was a bit of a surprise, being developed into a elaborate piece with extensive neraval and beautiful svarams and korappu and followed by a very entertaining tani.

sahAnA AlApanai opening created high expectations of a pallavi but was short lived with a fast round-up and the kriti was real good and rendered with a lot of bhavam. The dissappointment of a short sahAnA was short-lived also when sankarAbaraNam was taken up for elaboration. After a rather short AlApanai, in terms of an RTP, and a nice tAnam, when Sri. Sanjay started singing the pallavi, it was tough to understand the tALam and took a few aavarthanams to come to an understanding of the tALam. One kept wondering what it was called. The pallavi though in a tricky tALam was simple structured and Sanjay did not explore very extensively. It was a short pallavi and the accompanists did a excellent job in keeping to the Main Artist. There was a short tani for the pallavi and after that Sri. Sanjay said that this tALAm does not have a name and was conceived by a nAdasvara vidwan and explained the 15 svara pattern. He also added that he had not rehersed the pallavi with his accompanists and applauded them for keeping upto it.

Sri. Varadarajan on the violin did a very good job in accompanying the concert. His replies to Sanjay in all the AlApanais, neravals and svarams measured up to that of the main artist. Sri. Eswaran played a very supportive role in playing for the kriti being presented and also in tandem with the svara prastharams and neraval.

Though being a short 2 hour concert, it was indeed very enjoyable.

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