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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sugandha Kalamegam, Music Academy

Sugandha Kalamegam - Akkarai Subhalakshmi - J Vaidhyanathan - Kalpathi Shankar

Music Academy
28 Nov 2006; 6 pm

Vivadi ragams concert.

sarasijanAbha - nATTai - Adi - Paramesvara Bhagavathar (Varnam)
ninnE bhajana - nATTai - Adi - T (NS)
vara nArada - vijaya srI - Adi - T
muraharENa mukundEna - suddha mukhAri - rUpakam - MD
gAnAmuda pAnam - jyOtisvarUpiNi - cApu - KI (short sketch)
aTu kArAdani - manOranjani - Adi - T
kAmAkshI - varALi - cApu - SS (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
bAgAyanayyA - chandra jyOti - Adi - T (S)
paramAtmuDu - vAgadIsvarI - Adi - T (RNS)
aruL seiyya vENDum - rasikapriyA - Adi - KI (short sketch)
madhyamAvati short sketch
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTRam - Adi

I reached late, thanks to traffic on TTK Road, and entered while Smt Kalamegam was presenting the neraval at ' sItAnAtha sakala lOka pLalaka tyAgarAja sannuta' and the svarams which followed were good. The judicious use of the dhaivatham in the svarams is appreciable.

The vijayasrI and suddha mukhAri pieces were rendered well. The short sketch of jyOtisvarUpiNi was good and the kriti was rendered well followed by the quickie in manOranjani.

The varALi AlApanai was nice and done leisurely. The sedate AlApanai was followed with a beautiful rendition of the kriti with neraval and svarams at 'tAmasamElE rAvE'.

The chandrajyOti kriti was rendered well with a quick round of nice fitting svarams. The vAgadISvarI AlApanai was done well making one expect a pallavi. The kriti was rendered beautifully and was followed with neraval and svarams at 'hariyaTa haruDaTa surulaTa narulaTa'. Especially, the sama kAla neraval part was rendered very well. The rasikapriyA short sketch and a nice rendition of the kriti led to the end.

Smt Kalamegam gave a nice concert. Her AlApanais were good and showed essential phrases to show the rAga bhavam. It was nice to hear a chandrajyOti right after an elaborate varALi and vijayasrI as well, in the same concert and it must have been quite suprising to have a double nATTai, though i the first and most of the second one. Her kriti renditions were good and the sangatis fell in place with the correct gamakams and brigas. The neraval and svarams were good also.

Kumari Subhalakshmi wasnt really matching to the level of the Vocalist. One would expect better replies from an artist of her kind, however it was quite disheartening to see her not able to even repeat the exact phrases in some places. It wasnt probably a good day for her.

Sri Vaidhyanathan did a good in job in accompanying the concert. He was following all the pieces and played according to the mood of the concert. He played for all the sangatis correctly and also, was good during the neraval and svarams parts. Sri Shankar was good in giving support to the concert on the whole. The tani they shared was nice and the last kOrvai was strikingly fitting to the starting of the line in which neraval and svarams were sung.

With such a subject in hand, Smt Kalamegam pulled it off without a hitch. It was a good on her part to have sung such a concert and doing a good job with it.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Kalpakam Swaminathan, Nada Inbam

Kalpakam Swaminathan - vINai
Thanjavur Kumar - mrUdangam

Nada Inbam, Raga Sudha Hall.
24 Nov 06, 6:30 pm

sarisanAbhA - nATTai - Adi - Paramesvara Bhagavathar
srI mahA gaNapatim - aTANA - Adi - Jayachamraja Wodeyar (RS)
parImaLa ranganAtam - hamIrkalyANi - tisra Ekam - MD (R)
sankari nIvE - bEgaDa - rUpakam - Subbaraya Sastri (RS)
mInAkshI mE mudam - gamakakriyA - Adi - MD (RTNS)
tani Avarththanam
charaNu charaNu - chenjuruTTi - rUpakam - Anai ayya(R)
Ehi annapUrNE - punnAgavarALi - Adi - MD (R)
iTu sAhasamU - saindhavi - Adi - ST
madhyamAvati short sketch.

Smt Swaminathan began her concert with a nice rendition of the nATTai varNam, which was played a bit faster than the usual tempo. It was quite surprising to hear her elaborate aTANA right after nATTai. The kriti was rendered with nice fast paced svarams at the pallavi. The hamIr kalyANi AlApanai was good and was distinctly differently structured from her elaboration of the same rAgam a couple of days ago at a different concert. The kriti (the one with anupallavi and caraNam) was rendered with a lot of bhavam.

The bEgaDa AlApanai was too good. And it showed the intricacies of the ragam. The kriti was played with nice svarams. The main AlApanai was nice and so was the tAnam. The kriti was rendered with nice neraval and svarams at the usual, 'madurApuri nilayE maNivalayE'.

The post tani part featured 3 kritis in madhyama sruthi. The chenjuruTTi was good. This is the third time Smt Swaminathan has elaborated the rAgam in so many concerts but still the kritis she presented were different at all the occasions and every time she played the ragam, it was refreshing and enjoyable. The punnAgavarALi came up as another surprise and the AlApanai was short and crisp and too good. The kriti was rendered very well with a lot of bhavam. The jAvaLi was good also.

This is the third time i have heard, Smt Swaminathan in a couple of weeks time and after each concert i have felt longing for more of that divine music. I can only pray to listen to more of Smt Swaminathan at frequent intervals.

Sri Kumar on the mrudangam was very accomadative and played very much in line with the kritis and sangatis that the main artist played. His playing for neraval and svarams also was quite in tandem with what Smt Swaminathan played. The tani, though short, was very good.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kalpakam Swaminathan, Samajam

Smt Kalpakam Swaminathan - vINai
Smt Padmavathi - vINai support
Sri K P Anil Kumar - mrudangam

Sri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Vidwat Samajam
22 Nov 2006. 6:30 pm

samukhamu - nATTai - aTa tALam - varNam
varasiddhi vinAyakA - kAnaDA - Adi - HMB (R)
srI guruguha - dEvakriyA - rUpakam - MD
dEvI mInAkshI - kalyANi - rUpakam - taccUr singAchAri (R)
inkevarunnAru - sahAnA - Adi - Annaswami Sastri (R)
parimaLa ranganAtham - hamIr kalyANi - rUpakam - MD (R)
brOvabAramA - bahudAri - Adi - T (RS)
nagumOmu - AbhEri - Adi - T (R)
praNathAthihara - chenchuruTTi - kaNDa tripuTa - MV (R)
ambara cidambara - suruTTi - kaNDa cApu - GKB (R)

I reached a bit late as Smt Swaminathan was playing the cittai svarams in the varNam. The short kAnaDa sketch and the kriti were very good. The dEvakriyA kriti was rendered beautifully.

The first major elaboration was kalyANi. Smt Swaminathan played the AlApanai nicely. The kriti a rare one, was presented with a nice ciTTai svaram. When she finished the kriti, Sri Rajam Iyer and Sri M Chandrasekaran asked which piece is this, for which Smt Swaminathan actually sang the kriti. And the rendition was just too good.

sahAnA AlApanai was very well rendered with precise gamakkams and some excellent pidis being displayed. The kriti was rendered very well. The distinction between the svaram and the sAhityam playing for the ciTTai svara-sAhitya passages was very well displayed.

It was a surprise to hear Smt Swaminathan elaborate hamIrkalyANi just a few minutes after kalyANi. Thats probably what somebody of such high stature and calibre (vidwat) can pull off without a hitch. She did play hamIr kalyANi very well, and the kriti (the one with anupallavi and caraNam) was rendered very well also. The short bahUdAri AlApanai was nice. The kriti was rendered with a nice sparkling ciTTAi svaram which travelled up to thArasthAyi dhaivadham. The svarams at the pallavi line were good also. The AbhEri AlApanai (with chatursruthi dhaivadham) was well rendered and the popular kriti without gimmicky sangatis to follow.

This is when Smt Swaminathan told the mrudangist to get ready for the tani and started with a sAvEri AlApanai (possibly for a main kriti) while, Sri M A Krishnaswami, who is one of the secretaries of the samajam, himself a performing violinst, walked up to her and asked her to finish off in 10 minutes. Then Smt Swaminathan requested Sri Anil Kumar to play the tani for nagumOmu, for which this gentleman said "its fine if doesnt play the tani, you finish off in 10 min" (avar vAsikkaTTa paravailla, neenga 10 nimishathula mudichudungo) and abruptly walked out of the venue as the chenjuruTTi AlApanai was being played. Even some of the other senior Vidwans present at the venue, and some others on the organising committee were not happy with his behaviour and were expressing their sentiments after the concert, quite loudly infact. Thus, we missed the main sAvEri kriti. If this is how one artist behaves in public towards another, particularly somebody as senior as Smt Swaminathan, both in age and in vidwat, then i dont know where would the music fraternity evolve to?

The chenjuruTTi AlApanai and the kriti were rendered beautifully in madhyama sruthi. The suruTTi AlApanai and the piece were amazing as well.

Smt Swaminathan, gave an enthralling 'main-less' concert while singing the lines here and there. All the gamakkams precise and exact and they are rendered just the same way everytime the particular line is repeated. It was just an amazing experience to be at the concert. I am short off words to explain the effect of the concert. She was ably supported by Sri Anil Kumar who played well all thro' the concert.

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Friday, November 17, 2006


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Sadasivam, Dikshitar Day, Music Club IIT Madras

A Sadasivam - S Varadarajan - Trichur C Narendran

Dikshitar Day, Music Club IIT Madras.
14th November 2006. 7 pm.

ucchishTa gaNapatau - kAsirAmakriyA - Adi (S)
sandhyA dEvIm sAvitrIm - dEvakriyA - Adi (S)
guruguhabhavAntaraNgiNIm - caturaNgiNi - cApu (RS)
siddIsvarAya namastE - nIlambari - cApu
shrI satya nArAyaNamupAsmahE - shiva pantuvarALi - rUpakam (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
praNatAtiharAya - sAmanta
RTP - nATTakuranji - kaNDa tripuTa (4 kaLai)
'then param girivaLar muruga guhanE deivAnaikaruL saravaNa bava guhanE'
rAgamAlika svarams in bEhAg, nartaki, rEvati
pasupatIsvaram - rAgamAlika (sindhubhairavi, hindOLam, bEhAg, kApi) - rUpakam - Kallidaikurichu Ananthakrishna Iyer
lalitA paramEshvarI - suruTTi - Adi
mangaLam kOsalEndrAya - suruTTi

The concert started off with a short sketch and the kriti ucchishTa gaNapatau with nice kalpana svarams. The second kriti on sarasvati dEvi was also nicely rendered and the svarams with intricate kaNakku, which were good also. The first elaboration of the evening was caturaNgiNi, which is the 66th asampUrNa mELa rAgam. It was very nicely elaborated and the kriti was rendered very well with nice svarams. The nIlAmbari kriti was nice as well.

The shivapantuvarALi AlApanai brought out the complete flavour of the rAgam and the kriti was rendered beautifully. The neraval at 'mathsya kUrma varAhAdi dasAvatAra prabhAvam' was nicely done with graha(sruthi) bEdam to madhyamAvati and suddha dhanyAsi, with nice kaNakku and kOrappu svarams to follow. The sAmanta kriti was nice also.

The nATTakuranji AlApanai was good. The tAnam was really nice as well. The pallavi was nicely rendered doing the tri kAlam and anulOma and pratilOma, and the rAgamAlika svarams.

It was a nice concert from a rather less known artist. His voice could display all his ideas and he was very good. It was again a grim reminder that, for every good musician we get to hear, there perhaps ten others who are languishing for want of opportunities to perform. Will our sabhas be willing to go after those who do not seek and those who have none to 'recommend' them?

The violinist was good in all his replies and in accompanying the artist. His AlApanais and svarams stood upto those of the main artist. The mrudangist was very mature in accompanying, playing according to the sangatis and also, meticulously following the kriti. The tani was good also.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Kalpakam Swaminathan, Guruguha Sangeetha Sammelan

courtesy: www.thehindu.com; hosted on:www.flickr.com

Kalpakam Swaminathan - Veena
L Ramakrishnan - Veena Support
Mannarkoil J Balaji - Mrudangam

Silver Jubilee celebrations of Guruguha Sangeetha Sammelanam,
Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya, Kolkata.

12th November 2006. 5 pm.
R K Swamy Hall

valaci vacci - hindOLavasanta - rUpakam varNam - Ramaswamy Dikshitar (short sketch)
hastivadanAya - navarOj - cApu
rAmacandrENa - mAnji - rUpakam
hiraNmayIm - lalitA - rUpakam (R)
AnandEsvarENa - Anandabhairavi - cApu (RS)
abhayAmbA - kalyANi - Adi (RT)
visvanAtEna - sAmanta - Adi (R)
ganEsa kumAra - senchuruTTi - Ekam (R)

The concert started off with a ultra short sketch of hindOLavasanta and the varNam was rendered well. The invocatory kriti in navarOj was nice and so was the mAnji piece.

Smt Swaminathan played lalitA in madyama sruthi and the AlApanai was nice. The kriti was well rendered. The Anandabhairavi AlApanai was very well rendered with some rare pidis. The kriti was rendered with nice svarams.

The main kalyANi AlApanai was done well. The tAnam was the highlight of the concert. It was a delight to hear. The kriti was rendered beautifully. For want of time, Smt Swaminathan chose to not play neraval or svarams for the kriti and asked the mrudangist to play tani Avarththanam, who however requested her to continue.

The second highlight of the concert was the AlApanai of sAmanta. Smt Swaminathan did a very nice AlApanai and followed it with a really rare piece which was good also. The nice senjuruTTi AlApanai and the kriti led to the curtains.

Smt Swaminathan's Veena recital should raise the morale of the youngsters to buildup enough enthusiam and master this delicate instrument. The very sight of this octagenerian playing the veena makes one feel divine. The music all the more adds up to the feeling of divinity. The concert last evening was just too good.

She was ably accompanied by her disciple, Sri Ramakrishnan who did just enough to give support to her and not over do things. Sri Balaji on the mrudangam was good in accompanying the recital. His playing suited the vINa recital well and he playing following the kritis that were presented. Also, his forgoing tani let us hear another rare dikshitar piece.

A nice concert to cherish over time.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Sujana Vadlamani, Music Club IIT Madras

Sujana Vadlamani - Veena
S J Arjun Ganesh - Mrudangam
Harihara Sarma - Kanjira

Music Club IIT Madras, 9th November 2006. 7 pm

sarasuDa ninnE - sAvEri - Adi - Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer (short sketch)
ganpatE - janaranjani - Adi - HMB (short sketch)
sara sara samarE - kuntaLavarALi - Adi - T
gauri sukumAri - vasantA - Adi - NCH Krishnamacharya (RS)
pariyAcakamA - vanaspati - rUpakam - T
bhajana sEya - dharmavati - rUpakam - MV (RNS)
saraguNa pAlimpA - kEdAragauLA - Adi - RSI (short sketch)
mAyE - taraNgini - Adi - MD
sarasija nAbhA - tODi - cApu - ST (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
smara vAram - bahudAri - Adi - SB (short sketch)
apadUlUku lOnaitinE - khamAs - Adi
tillAnA - dhanasrI - Adi - ST
rAmacandrAya - kuranji mangalam - tisra Adi - BR

The concert began with a nice short sketch of sAvEri and the varNam. The janaranjani short sketech and the kriti were good also. The kuntaLavarALi kriti was rendered in the speed it is required to be presented, the artist pulled off a perfect rendition.

The first elaboration of the evening was a good vasantA. The kriti was rendered well with svarams. Her rendition of pariyAcakamA in vanaspati was evocative. Then followed a confident and fluent elaboration of dharmavati and the well-known bhajana seyarAdA of Mysore vAsudevAchAr. She played niraval at the closing lines, niravati sukhadAyakuni, handling this as well as the swaras that followed with aplomb. Abrief sketch of kedAragowla preceded saraguNapAlimpa. Quite unexpectedly, Dikhitar's mAyE in tarangiNi came up as the quick piece preceding the main raga tODi in which the AlApanA and the tAnam wre played beautifully. The kriti sarasijanAbha in misra chApu had the niraval and swaras as expected, followed by an interesting tani by young Arjun Ganesh who followed the vaiNika closely and embellished the concert significantly; Harihara Sarma on the kanjira played a rather subdued role; may be he needed a little more amplification. After the tani, she played a short sketch of bahudAri and rendered the ever-appealing kriti, smara vAram. The khamAs jAvali and tillAnA were nicely rendered as well. The kuranji mangalam was refreshing and nice to hear.

Over all the artist gave a good concert and was ably supported by her accopanists who were good while accompanying for the sangatis and during the tani.

It was a concert of yet another not-so-known vidwan which was pretty different and definitely quite better off than most mylapore-kutcheri-packages.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Malladi Brothers, Bharathiya Sangeetha Vaibhavam

courtesy: www.thehindu.com; hosted on: www.flickr.com

Malladi Brothers - M A Sundareswaran - Tiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam - V Suresh

Bharathiya Sangeetha Vaibhavam, Carnatica.net
Narada Gana Sabha. 7th November 2006. 5 pm

sangIta gnAnamu - danyAsi - Adi - T (R S)
nADADinamATa - janaranjani - cApu - T (RNS)
aruNAcala nAtam - sAranga - rUpakam - MD
nAga gAndhAri - nAga gAndhAri - Adi - MD
satatam tApaka - kharaharapriyA - Adi - ST (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
mAyA mOhamu - jOg - Adi - A (R)
chandrasEkarA - sindhu bhairavi - Adi
kAraNamadAna vandu - hamsadvani - thiruppugazh
patiki hArati - suraTTi - Adi - T

I entered the hall a good 20 minutes to find that the artists were just setting sruthi and they began with a nice danyAsi AlApanai. The kriti was rendered nicely with beautiful svarams. The janaranjani elaboration was well executed with nice neraval at 'talaku vaccina bAdha talapAgaku sEtu'. The sArangA and nAgagAndhAri pieces were very well rendered.

The brothers shared elaborating kharaharapriyA which had some rare sancarams in it. The kriti a rare one was well rendered with nice neraval and svarams at 'mama hrudhi vasAnisam madhusUdhanA harE'.

The jOg AlApanai was good and it was refreshing to hear hamsadvani at the end of the concert.

The brothers gave a good concert and the accompanist helped them aptly. Sri Sundareswaran shined in all parts of the concert. The percussion dept was nicely handled. Sri Bakthavatsalam chose to play all the naDais at a stretch leaving just the korappu during the tani. The final kOrvai of the tani was in tandem with the kOrvai the brothers sang during the svarams. Sri Suresh was good as well.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

R Vedavalli, Nada Inbam

R Vedavalli - M R Gopinath - Manoj Siva - S Karthick

Nada Inbam, Raga Sudha Hall. 6th Nov 06. 6 pm. Chockiah Chettiar Memorial Concert.

evvari bOdana - AbhOgi - Adi - PSI (S)
eTi yOcanalu - kIraNAvaLi - dEsAdi - T
uNDEdi rAmuDu - harikAmbhOji - rUpakam - T (NS)
mari vErE - Ananda bhairavi - cApu - SS (R)
antaranga bakthi - shadvidamArgiNi - Adi - KI
tuLasi bilva - kEdAragauLa - Adi - T (RNS)
mOkshamu galadA - sAramati - Adi - T
bhajarE rE citta - kalyANi - cApu - T (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
hariyanenagE - hamsAnandi - Adi - PD
oruththi maganAi - bEhAg - Adi - ANDAL
nI nama rUpamulaku - saurAshTRam - Adi - T
svasti prajApya

The concert was a treat to a rasika of sampradaya sangeetham. What else could one expect from somebody of the caliber of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt Vedavalli. It was tradition all over, and yet there was something new and refreshing about the way each song was presented and improvised. Well, thats what makes a great artist.

The concert started off with a brisk rendition of the AbhOgi varNam beautifully rounded off with kalpanai svarams. The kIraNvaLi kriti was rendered nicely. And it is to be noted that the kriti was rendered in dEsAdi. The harikAmbhOji kriti was rendered well with nice neraval at 'tamasAdi guNa rahituDu dharmAtmuDu sarvasamuDu' and mEl kAla svarams.

The first elaboration for the evening was Anandabhairavi. It was an Ananda AlApanai. The kriti was rendered soulfully. The shadvidamArgini kriti which followed was nice as well. Next in line was short and brisk AlApanai of kEdAragauLa, which showcased the rAga lakshaNam very well. The kriti, a slow number, was in contrast to the AlApanai and it was refreshing to hear neraval done at ' uramuna mukhamuna shiramuna bhujamuna', the first time i heard somebody singing neraval in this kriti. After a quick round of svarams, came to the sAramati kriti, which was nicely rendered without the popular and gimmicky sangatis.

The main course kalyANi AlApanai was quite elaborate and beautiful with Smt. Sumithra singing some parts around the tAra shadjam. The kriti was rendered beautifully with neraval and svarams 'devIM shaktibIjodbhava mAtrkArNa sharIriNIM'. The post tani hamsAnandi dEvarnAma and the bEhAg thiruppAvai were nicely rendered as well.

Smt. Vedavalli was awesome through out the concert and she was well supported by the accompanists. A pallavi and/or the vedavalli-trade-mark-rAgamAlika-pAsuram would have been just tooo good. Well, one shouldn't be that selfish and ask for everything at every concert.

Sri Gopinath was exact in his replies and played well. Sri Manoj Siva was good and he played well for all the kritis meticulously following the kriti and each sangati. Sri Karthick was good as well in adding his bit to the concert effect. The tani by the two percussionsits was yet another separate treat. It was a nice concert to remember for sometime.

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