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Monday, October 29, 2007

V V Srivatsa, Lec-Dem for Shanmukhapriya

V V Srivatsa - V Sanjeev - K R Ganesh

Lec-Dem on Trinity's Concept of Ragams - bEgaDa
Shanmukhapriya, Swamy's Hall
27th October 2007 6:30 pm

Sri Srivatsa began the programme with a slOkam in bEgaDa. I entered a few minutes late. As i was entering, he was giving an example of a PD dEvarnAma in bEgaDa, hariyE sarvottama, with a phrase directly from shankarAbaraNam, thus telling the janya - janaka relationship.

The ragam can be sung anytime, anywhere. It is a sarvakAlaika rAgam. However, Sri Srivatsa made a observation that he feels that late afternoon-early evening is the best time for the rAgam to be sung. He quoted the telugu saying 'Adi nATTa, antham suruTTi, bEgaDa mEkeDa' which can be interpreted in two ways. One way is that, bEgaDa is like the cream on the milk and the other way is that, bEgaDa can be sung anywhere. It is a vicitra rAgam and has a lot of special (visEsha) prayOgams. The rAgam has a 'golden yellow' colour.

The 's g m' usage is found in 'srI mAtah' of MD, 'yAla padarE' of kshEtragna, intachalamu varNam and maraciyuNTe varNam. 's r g m' and 'p d n s' are found in 'indu chandra mukhi' varNam composed by Thiruvarur Ayyaswami Nattuvanaar. The special 'ri' oscilatting prayogam in the jAvaLi 'iti nIku mariyada' was also mentioned.

The two monumental compositions in bEgaDa are 'nAdOpAsana' and 'tyAgarAjAya namastE'. Both of them have lots of visEsha prayOgams.

nishAdam and madhyamam are both mysterious svarams for bEgaDa. the nishAdham is an inbetween note. Sri Srivatsa refered to it as 'bEgaDa nishAdam' or 'trishanku nishAdam'. The madhyam is 'sudda madhayamam' at some places, it is 'dhIrga kampitam' and 'mrudu' at some other places. gAndhAram and dhaivadham are the graha svarams. The 'dhIrga gAndhAram' is emphasised in 'nI pada pankajamula' of tyAgarAja.

The rAgam bangALa has Lord Ganesha as its 'ati dEvatai'. It is for this reason that Thyagaraja composed 'girirAja sutA tanayA' in bangALa. bangALa and bEgaDa are closely related and we find 'vallabha nAyakasya' of MD in bEgada. Sri Srivatsa sang 'vallabha nAyakasya'. The beauty of the line 'kALi kalAmAlini kamalAkshi sannutasya' was explained as to how, the idea of him being worship by durgA lakshmi and saraswathi was brought out with words starting with the sylable 'ka'.

bEgaDa rAgam can be used to produced to portray all the rasams. Thyagaraja kriti 'bhaktuni cAritramu' was presented as an example for the usage of bEgaDa to portray 'shAnta rasam'. The kriti is like announcing to the public 'oh people come and listen to the story of a bhakta'. The tiruvottiyur pancharatnam, 'sundari nannintarilO' was presented to show 'adbutha rasam'. This kriti also has a lot of special prayOgams and some amazingly structured 'prAsam'.

There are 10 varNam in bEgaDa. 2 AnnamAcharya kritis are said to have the marking as bEgaDa in the copper plates. There are Purandara Dasa kritis. 17 compositions of the trinity are known. 10 by Thyagaraja, 4 by Dikshitar and 3 by Shyama Sastri. All the three of them have handled bEgaDa in a very similar fashion. Thyagaraja was the ultimate bhakta, Dikshitar was the jnAni and Shyama Sastri was a karma yogi.

The Shyama Sastri varNam 'dayAnidhE' was sung till the muktAyi svarams, to show the nice prayOgams that are composed. especially the 'm m g r s/n n d d p/m m g r s' prayOgam was highlighted.

Muttuswami Dikshitar's 'srI mAtAh sivavAmAngE' was sung to show the usage of a lot of tArasthAyi prayOgams and also to highlight the lyrical beauty. Composed on the Goddess Akhilandeswari of thiruvanaikkaval, MD addresses 'Lord JambukEsvarA' as the son-in-law of 'himavAn' and not as the husband of the Goddess. This is because, she is a tapasvini at the particular kshEtram.

Thyagaraja kriti, 'nIvErA kuladanamu' was presented highlighting the bhakti rasam. Thyagaraja says that Lord Rama is his ultimate wealth and he is kept safe in the heart of thyagaraja. The usage of 'dharaNi shashAnka lOcana' where 'dharaNi' refers to the sun god, and it is names of one of the 12 suriyans, was highlighted.

Sri Srivatsa also presented a own composition, 'aiyyanE ainkaranE' set to Adi tALam.

The next was the magum opus, 'nAdOpAsana'. It was mentioned that this kriti is a very heavy piece and has a lot of rare special prayOgams. The word 'svathantrulu' is supposed to be interpreted as 'somebody who practices by himself' and not as 'somebody who doesnt budge to others'.

The only composition of Shyama sastri on Lord Muruga (muttukumAra svAmi of vaiteeswaran kovil) is set in bEgaDa. The more popular 'kAmAkshi nAtO' was presented as an example of a madhyama kAla composition. The rare 'madurAmbikAyAh tavadAsOham' of MD was also rendered. The thiruppAvai ' ellE iLangiLiyE' was next in line.

Sri Srivatsa mentioned the presence of all forms of compositions in bEgaDa, from gItams to tillAnAs. The presence of a beautiful gItam 'caturanga pankaja' was mentioned.

The svAti tirunal piece, karuNAkara mAmava, was mentioned for its 'gA r s/nI d p/mA g r' and 'gA r s/nI d p/gA r s' prayOgams. Presence of 2 svati tirunal pieces was mentioned. Also mentioned were the tamil compositions of mazhavai chidambara bharathi, 'kaDaikaN vaithennai ALamma' of rAmasvAmi sivan, the tamil padam 'padari varugudu', Kshetragna padam 'yAla padarE' and the jAvaLi 'iti nIku mariyada' was sung.

Bottomline: bEgaDa rAgam is the treasure of carnatic music.


PS: some parts of this write up is in first person, while others are in third person. All that is written is from what i took down during the lec-dem. Lack of grammar is severely regretted.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

R S Jayalakshmi, Music Club IIT Madras

R S Jayalakshmi - vINai
Thanjavur Kumar - mrudangam
Madipakkam Murali - ghaTam

Music Club IIT Madras. HSB 133.
25th October 2007. 7 pm

ninnE kOri - vasantA - Adi
gajavadanA - srIranjani - Adi - PS (S)
anudinamunu - bEgaDa - rUpakam - RSI (R)
akhilANDEsvari - dvijAvanti - Adi - MD
toli janma - bilahari - kaNDa cApu - T (RS)
jagadAnandakArakA - nATTai - Adi - T (short sketch)
annapUrNE - sAmA - Adi - MD (short sketch)
kamalAmbAm bhajarE - kalyANi - Adi - MD (RTNS)
tani Avarththanam
yOcanA kamala lOcanA - darbAr - Adi - T
karpagamE - madhyamAvati - Adi - PS
srI chakra - rAgamAlikA - Adi
charaNakamalAlayatai - chenjuruTTi - kaNDa cApu - Tiruppugazh
mAdhava mAmava - nIlAmbari - Adi - NT
chandram bhaja - asAvEri - catusra maTyam - MD (SSP version)
tillAnA - dEsh - Adi - LGJ
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

The concert was very well structured and presented. All the alapanais were very enjoyable. The choice of bEgaDa up front and bilahari for sub main added a lot to build the tempo of the concert. There was the right mix of fast and slow pieces arranged in the perfect order to make the concert quite a nice experience. The AlApanais of bEgaDa, bilahari and kalyANi were all very good. The slow dvijAvanti in between the medium paced bEgaDa and fast bilahari made a good blend. The pancharatnam and sAmA pieces came from requests. The main piece was presented well. The AlApanai and tAnam were good. The neraval for the navAvarNam was done in the pallavi line itself. The choice of the darbAr kriti for a tukkaDa was quite interesting. All the other post tani pieces were good also. The rendition of candram bhaja, according to the SSP notations and gamakka symbols was very moving. It made one wonder, what is the kind of evolution music has undergone in the past 100 years. The concert was very well executed. All the pieces were well rendered. There was strict adherence to sruti and kAlaparamANam all thro' the recital.

The percussion dept was very well handled. Both the vidwans, played very sensitively to the music of the vINai. Their playing was in accordance to the piece that was presented. They played a nice exciting tani as well.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

T M Krishna, Sunadam

T M Krishna - R K Shriram Kumar - B Ganapathi Raman - S Karthick

sunAdam. Raga Sudha Hall
15th October 2007. 6 pm

mEru samAna - mAyAmALavagauLa - Adi - T(S)
vinavE O manasA - vivardini - rUpakam - T
kshitijA ramaNam - dEvagAndhAri - Adi - MD (RS)
rAma nI samAnamevaru - kharaharapriyA - - T(N)
pArvati ninnu - kalgaDa - Adi (tisra naDai) - SS
kshInamai - mukhAri - Adi - T(RNS)
tani Avarththanam
srI valli dEvasEnApatE - naTabhairavi - Adi - Ps
sAramaina - behAg - rUpakam - ST
bhajarE yadunAtam
viruttam - sahAnA, danyAsi, aTANA, kharaharapriya
navasiddhi peRRAlum - kharaharapriyA
tillana - kAnaDA - rUpakam
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T
sriyatkAntAya - suruTTi

nice concert. TMK announced that his choice of kritis is bound by a list given by the organisers and he will sing as much as he can from the list. The svarams in mAyAmaLavagauLa were amazing and were very highly creative. The AlApanai of dEvagAndhAri and mukhAri were both done in a leisurely fashion with no hurry and it was a total viLamba kAla affair thro' the concert. The neraval in kharaharapriyA and mukhAri were good also. The svarams were as usual of TMK, long sarvalaghu patterns and were well interwoven. Accompanists did a good job.

bharath

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Rama Ravi, Thiruvattiswarar Temple

Rama Ravi & Nanditha Ravi - Melakkaveri Thyagarajan - Papanasam Kumar

Navarathri Concert.
Thiruvattiswarar Temple, Triplicane.
13th October 2007. 6:30 pm

srI mahAgaNapatim - aTANA - Adi - JW
srI sarasvati namOstutE - Arabhi - rUpakam - MD (S)
hiraNmayIm lakshmIm - lalitA - rUpakam - MD
tiruvATIsvaram namAmi - pUrvikalyANi - rUpakam - MD (RNS) (neraval at 'campakavalli ramaNam campaka pushpAbaraNam')
srI cAmuNDEsvari pAlayamAm - bilahari - Adi - MV
mAtA innum vAdA - srIranjani - Adi - PS
sivakAma sundari - mukhAri - Adi - PS
kamalAmbAm bhajarE - kalyANi - Adi - MD (RS)
tani Avarththanam
hE kAmAkshi - yadukula kAmbhOji
himagiri tanayE - suddha sAvEri - Adi - HMB
ranjani mridupankaja - rAga mAlikA - Adi - TSI
karpagamE - madhyamAvati - Adi - PS

The concert was amazing. Set in a serene temple atmosphere, for the navarAthri celebrations, the selection of song was apt and they were rendered perfectly making everybody enjoy the divine music. The AlApanais of pUrvikalyANi and kalyANi, were both very meticulously woven phrase after phrase making them complete and wholesome. A kriti on the presiding deity and the navAvarNam of the day were the two elaborate pieces of the day. The neraval in the pUrvikalyANi piece and the svarams were good. The svarams in Arabhi and kalyANi were nice as well. The accompanists were very supportive and made the concert more enjoyable. On the whole, it was a divine musical experience.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seerkazhi Jayaraman, Music Club IIT Madras

Seerkazhi Jayaraman - M A Sundareswaran - D Govindarajan - Srirangam Kannan

Music Club IIT Madras. DoMS 101
11th October 2007. 6:45 pm

vAraNa mukhavA - hamsadvani - rUpakam - KI (RS)
sarasIruhAsanapriyE - nATTai - Adi - PDI
singAra vElavan vandAn - Anandabhairavi - Adi
bAlE bAlEndu bhUshaNi - rItigauLa - Adi - T (R)
mayilAgi kayilAya nAtanai - AbhOgi - Adi
sundari nI divya rUpamu - kalyANi - Adi - T (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
dayai puriya innum - malayamArutam - rUpakam - MVP (R)
sivakAma sundari - mukhAri - Adi - PS (R)
pAl ninaindu uTTum - tEvAram viruttam in kAmbhOji, danyAsi, hamsAnandi
srinivAsa tiruvEnkaTamuDaiyAn - hamsAnandi - Adi - PS
hariyum haranum - aTANA - rUpakam - MDR
Arudalai Aru talai irukka - gOpikAtilakam - Adi - Vali
pAdi madi - karnATaka dEvagAndhAri, mAND - Adi - Arunagirinathar Thiruppugazh
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

The concert was a very fulfilling one. The song selection was very carefully done and after each rAga AlApanai, there was kriti, which one dint expect at all. All the AlApanais were very skillfully done. The svarams were all measured and made sweet. All the kriti renditions were perfect and made one sit up to listen with each sangati falling perfectly every time it is sung. The voice of Sri Jayaraman was very resonating. At 76, Sri Jayaraman is still giving us amazing music of the highest quality. One only hopes to hear more off such veterans.

Sri Sundareswaran was very good all thro' the concert and provided good support. Sri Govindarajan was playing with very good anticipation. His playing kept getting better with every piece and was in tandem with the kriti that is being sung. Sri Kannan provided able support to the percussion department. The tani was good as well.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

M S Sheela, Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha

M S Sheela - V Sanjeev - P Satish Kumar - Madipakkam Murali

Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha, Music Academy Mini Hall.
9th October 2007. 6:30 pm

mAtE malayatvaja - khamAs - Adi - HMB (varNam)
gajAnanayutam - chakravAkam - Adi - MD (S)
mInalOcani ambA - tODi - rUpakam - HMB (NS)
mAmava sadA janani - kAnaDA - rUpakam - ST
sarasvati bhagavati - hamsavinOdini - misra jhampai - JW (RS)
marivErE - Anandabhairavi - misra cApu - SS
unnaDiyE gati - bahudAri - Adi
ishvari rAjEshvari - AbhEri - Adi - HMB (R)
himAdri sutE - kalyANi - tisra Adi - SS (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
pAlisamma muddu shAradE - brindAvana sAranga - Adi - PD
brahmANDavalayE - mAND - Adi - JW
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

The concert was over all good. The AlApanais were kept short. It was refreshing to hear AlApanais of hamsavinOdini and AbhEri. Though, short they were sweet. kalyANi had some new phrases interestingly interwoven into the AlApanai. The svarams with korappu were sung. There were some problems with sAhityam & its pronounciations, in a few places. Violin was good in parts. Mrudangist was very good and played well. He was well supported by the Ghatam artist

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Kalpakam Swaminathan, Nada Inbam

Kalpakam Swaminathan (Veena) - S.R. Padmavati (Veena) - Tanjavur Kumar (Mrudangam)

Raga Sudha Hall, Nada Inbam.
7th October 2007. 6 pm

varNam - pantuvarALi - aTa tALam - Ponnaiah Pillai
srI jAlantara - gambIra nATTai - Adi
vara nArada - vijaya srI - Adi - T (short sketch)
daNDAyudapANim - Ananda bhairavi - rUpakam - MD (RS)
piravA varam - latAngi - Adi - PS (R - SRP)
manasu vishaya - nATTaikuranji - Adi - T (RS)
karuNAnidiyE thAyE - bauLi - misra cApu - PS
sadAsrayE abhayAmbikE - shanmukhapriyA - rUpakam - MD (RT)
sankari nIvE - bEgaDA
tanI
padam in sahAnA - composition of Chinnaswami
rAgamAlikA piece in 9 ragams.

Kalpakam mami played a nice concert. All the pieces were beautifully rendered. The rare varNam was good to hear. The AlApanais of vijayasrI, Anandabhairavi, nATTaikuranji and shanmukhapriyA were all beautiful. daNDAyudapANim and manasu vishya were amazingly rendered with interesting rounds of svarams. The shanmukhapriyA tAnam was short and sweet.

Smt Padmavati's latAngi AlApanai was nice as well. Though mAmi had some little hitches with her vINa, the music was divine as usual.

I had to leave during the shanmukhapriyA piece.

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A R Sundaram & Savita Narasimhan, Musiri Chambers

A.R. Sundaram (sunda mami) & Savita Narasimhan (Vocal) - Usha Rajagopalan (Violin) - T.R. Murthy (Flute) - B. Ganapathiraman (Mrudangam)

7th October 2007. 4 pm
Musiri Chambers

kamalAkshi - yadukulakAmbhOji - aTa tALam
vINApustakadhAriNIm - vEgavAhini
ekkAlatilum - nATTaikuranji
vinavE O manasA - vivardini - Adi - T
ekkAlatilum - pUrvikalyANi
vAcAma gOcaruNDani - aTANA
rAma rAma prANa sakhi - bhairavi
yArukkAgilum bayamA - bEgaDa
smara sundarAnguni - paras
bUsa dhAramu - tODi
aDiyokka - kAmbhOji
saki prANa - senjuruTTi
payyAda - nAdanAmakriyA
gnAna sammandar tEvAram - sahAnA
krishNa nI bEganE - yamuna kalyANi
tiruppugazh - hamsAnandi

I reached late, as the nATTaikuranji piece was being rendered. And i stayed on till the yamunA kalyANi piece. After which, i had to leave.]

All the pieces were rendered with absolute perfection. There were no detailed AlApanais or neraval or svarams on any of the pieces. Sri Murthy played a short sketch for all the pieces. Smt Sundaram or Sunda Mami as she is refered to, made it a memorable evening with all trademark pieces of her school rendered.

It was a blissful experience to hear the music of such high quality and with accurate precision. Each piece out did the other and i m short of words to describe the whole experience.

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