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Saturday, November 24, 2007

V V Srivatsa, Lec-Dem for Shanmukhapriya

V V Srivatsa - M A Krishnaswamy - K R Ganesh

Lec-Dem on Trinity's Concept of Ragams - lalitA & paraju
Shanmukhapriya, Swamy's Hall
23rd November 2007 6:30 pm

Sri Srivatsa gave an informative lec-dem on the treatment of lalitA and paraju by the trinity highlighting their compositions.


The first rAgam taken up was lalitA. The presence of 4 compositions of the trinity was mentioned. One each of shyAma sAstri and tyAgarAja and 2 compositions of Dikshitar.

The first piece rendered was 'nannu brOvu lalitA' in cApu tALam. The second line of the pallavi was rendered as 'bhakta kalpalatA' instead of 'kalpalatikA' as in popular versions. It was mentioned that this way the prAsam is maintained and the meaning does not change either. Part of the mInAkshi navaratnamAlikA, this is kriti in which the goddess gives darshan to SS after he pleads to her for talking to her in the Ahiri kriti, 'mAyamma' and this is also mentioned in 'dEvi nI pada' in kAmbhOji.

This rAgam is perfect to sing during the 'brahma muhurtham'. It is an early morning rAgam. It is also said to be fit for singing in the 'first jAmam'.

The rAgam is of north indian origin. 'auttara rAgam'. Many slOkams mentioning the relation of lalitA to be the janyA of mALavagauLa and mArva (which itself is a janya of mALavagauLa) were quoted during the presentation.

Sri Srivatsa mentioned that Sri Dikshitar has composed two kritis in most rAgam he had brought from the north, one in the complete carnatic style and the other showing touches of its hindustani origin, using the terminology as 'maDi' and 'ammaDi'. He sighted examples of gOvardana girIsham and nIrajAkshi kAmAkshi in hindOLam (mAL kauns), pancAshaTpITa rUpiNi and kAyArOhanEsham in karnATaka dEvagAndhAri (bhImpLAs), rAmanAtam bhajEham and srI sundara rAjam in kAsirAmakriyA (pUriyaA dhanasrI) as the 'maDi' and 'ammaDi' pieces respectively. Like wise, 'hiraNmayIm lakshmIm' and 'agastIsavaram' are the 'maDi' and 'ammaDi' pieces in lalitA respectively.

He sang both the pieces. There was an usage of prati madhyamam in the pallavi of 'agastIsvaram'. He said that there are references that suddha lalitA is a pUrNa rAgam and the prati madhyamam is occasionally used as the 7th svaram to make it pUrNam. Like mArva and rAmakali, suddha madhyamam is the predominant svaram in lalitA and the prati madhyamam is found only some special phrases. He said that the kriti refers to the consort of 'agastIsvarar' as 'Ananda valli' and this shrine is in vENNAttangarai, near tanjAvUr and not any other place like 'thalai kAvEri' or near kanyAkumari where a place by this name exists.

Sri Srivatsa also made an observation that great men think alike and supported his statement by sighting similar phrases in the lines of many kritis. He sang lines from 'ananta bAla krishNam' and 'dina maNi vamsa' to support this and also mentioned that there are many such occurrences. He also mentioned that Thyagaraja kritis are subject to maximum aberrations and sighted examples of 'nAda tanumisam' and 'jnAna mOsaga rAdA'. He said that, similar is the fate of 'sItamma mAyamma' which is mentioned as 'lalitA' in texts but rendered in 'vasantA' popularly. He said, its a kriti of deep contemplation and philosophy. He mentioned that it is appropriate to sing it in lalitA and cannot have been composed in 'vasantA' which is a rAgam that is known to depict sringAra and hAsya bhAvas. The kriti was rendered in lalitA. Sri T R Subramanian made an observation that 'eTla dorakidivO' of tyAgarAja is in vasantA and mentioned that way in texts also.

Presence of an elaborate gItam in lalitA was mentioned. It was also observed that all the three of trinity have used all the svarams to a similar extent and all of them have used the rAgam in the similar fashion. However, shyAmA sAstri emphasizes more on thAra sthAyI while tyAgaraja composition is more emphasizes on madhya sthAyI. dikshitar has used the full two octaves showing all the sthAyIs in his compositions.


The second rAgam of the evening was paraju. Paraju or parasu or pharaz or pfaras or however else it is pronounced also belongs to the same family of mALavagauLa. It is a sampUrNa rAgam and has lots of visEsha prayOgams. The etymology of the rAga name is attributed to it being the favourite rAgam of 'parasurAma' and hence 'parasu', or the usage of anya svarams ('para + ju'). Presence of 9 compositions of the trinity was placed on record. 4 kritis by Dikhistar. 3 kritis and 1 tamil gItam by shyAma sAstri and 1 kriti by tyAgarAja.

Sri Srivatsa started by saying that, when Dikshitar gets very fond of a kshEtram - rAgam pair, he composes 2 kritis at the same kshEtram in the same rAgam. He sighted ham vIru (the 2 'parimaLa ranganAtam's at thErezhundUr) and khamAs ('santAna gOpAla krishNam' and 'sArasa daLa nayana' at mannArguDi). He said thiruviDaimarudur and paraju form such a pair with two compositions on the presiding deity. This kshEtram is called 'madhyArjuNam' in sanskrit. 'arjuNam' is sanskrit for 'marudha' tree. Having a 'svayampu lingam' below this tree is supposed to be very auspicious according to the legends. There are 3 such places in south india. In north is srI sailam, one of the jyotirlingams. In south is a place called 'thirupuDai marudur' on the banks of tAmiraparaNi. In between these two is 'thiruviDai marudur' and hence, iDai marudur or madhya arjuNam. This kshEtram is called the mahA kshEtram. It has the big kshEtrams of deities according to the Agama rules on each side of it. svAmi malai murugan, chidambaram naTaraja, vEdAraNyam, tiruvArUr tyAgarAjA (sOmAskandar) were a few kshEtrams he named. And this placing led to the Lord being called as mahAlingEsvarar. The kriti 'chintayE mahAlinga mUrtim' was rendered in a rather slow kAlapramANam, compared to other versions i have heard in the past. The presence of rAga mudra was also highlighted.

The suddha madhyamam is the amsa svaram of the rAgam. The usage of prati madhyamam is not present amongst the trinity. however, jAvaLis have this usage. This rAgam has a vichitra placement. It automatically becomes chAyagauLa if not sung with care. sAvEri is also very close. a few lines of the kriti 'sarasvatyA bhagavatyA' in chAyAgauLa were rendered.

trilOka mAtA nannu of shyAmA sAstri was rendered in Adi tALam. Presence of a version in vilOma cApu was also placed on record. 'madurAmbA jayati' of madurAmba vibakti kritis of Dikshitar was presented also. 'nIlAyatAkshi' of shyAmA sAstri was the next piece to be rendered. It was mentioned that this kriti is tough to sing because of its unique structure.

The next was the rare 'varamaina nEtrOtsava' of tyAgaraja. It was mentioned that this is the last kriti in the opera, 'prahalAda bhakta vijayam'. Sri Srivatsa said he had learnt this kriti from Dr. S Ramanathan's notation and Smt. Seetha Rajan.

The second kriti at thiruviDaimarudur 'mahAlingEsvaram' was presented and the mentioning of the 'brahmahathi-dOsham' in this kriti was emphasised with the story.

Sri Srivatsa said that he was running out of time and hence he cant render 'srI sukra bhagavantam'. He said that 'sukrA' belonged to the bhArgava gOthram, which is the same as that of jamadagni and parasurAma. It is probably this reason that made Dikshitar compose this kriti on 'sukrA' in paraju. He said, dikshitar addresses 'sukra' alone with the expression 'bhagavantam' as he is only graham with all the 8 lakshNams and fit to be addressed that way. Smt. Vidya Shankar raised an objection saying 'bhagavantam' is indeed used in some other compostions like 'rAmachandram bhAvayAmi'. Sri Srivatsa clarified that this observation was with respect to the kritis composed on the navagrahams and not with reference to all of Dikshitar compositions. Also, he said that Dikshitar has used 'bhagavantam' and 'bhagavatya' in many kritis on various gods. He mentioned that 'sukra' is a 'subha graham'. The 'vAmanAvatAra' episode is also told in the kriti and the poking of sukrA's eyes by vAmana, thus rendering him squinted, is all condensed in the line 'kEsava kaTAkshaika nEtram'. 'ati dEvata' of sukra is Sri Ranganathar of Srirangam. 'Sukra' bestows a lot of good boons on your and is associated with all the 'amsam's in the horoscope.

Sri Srivatsa concluded saying 'paraju' is a rAgam that establishes 'adbuta' rasam. It is a mangaLa rAgam. One can sing 'paraju' to finish a concert. However it is a very tough rAgam to sing. As the rAgam shows a lot of 'adbuta' and 'hasya' rasams, there are a lot of jAvaLi's composed in this rAgam. A line of the jAvaLi 'celinEnETlu sahiyinchunE' was also rendered.

Sri Krishnaswami and Sri Ganesh provided able support.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rama Ravi, R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations

Rama Ravi, Nanditha Ravi - M A Krishnaswamy - K Arun Prakash

R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations.
Raga Sudha Hall.
18 Nov 2007. 9:30 am

sAmi ninnE - kAmavardhini - Adi (varNam)
srI jAnaki - IsA manOhari - Adi - T
sUrya mUrtE - saurAshTram - catusra dhurva tALam - MD
danyuDevvaDo - malayamArutam - Adi - PSI (RNS)
srI lalitE - bhairavi - Adi - AS (RS)
srI ranganAtam - pUrNacandrikA - Adi - MD
sItA vara - dEvagAndhAri - Adi - T
tiruvaDi tanai - rItigauLa - Adi - MT
akshaya linga vibhO - sankarAbaraNam - misra cApu - MD (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
samayamidE rA rA - bEhAg - rUpakam - PSI (jAvaLi)
ElarADAyanE kAmini - bhairavi - Adi - Chinnaiah (jAvaLi)
bAla vinavE - kAmbhOji - tisra tripuTa - K (padam)
hari smaraNE - yamunA kalyANi - Adi - PD
AbathAmapa hartAram - slOkam in varALi, yadukula kAmbhOji
srI rAma jaya rAma - yadukula kAmbhOji - kaNDa cApu - T
nI nama rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

Amazing concert it was. The AlApanais of malayamArutam and bhairavi and the main shankarAbaraNam were all too good. Though sung for about 10+ min, all them left one wishing for more of the rAgam. From the varNam, the kritis were rendered very movingly in a very clear fashion. The neraval in malayamArutam and sankarAbaraNam kritis are the usual lines were done in a nice fashion. The svarams were very beautiful and had many many intersting patterns. The padam and the jAvaLis were all requests from audience. They were all rendered amazingly.

The accompanists played their part correctly in making the concert a very enjoyable one.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Kalpakam Swaminathan, R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations

Kalpakam Swaminathan - vINai
S R Padmavathi & Gomathi Shankar - vINai support
N Manoj Siva - mrudangam

R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations
Raga Sudha Hall.
15 Nov 2007. 6:30 pm

samukhamu - nATTai - aTa tALam - svAti tirunAL (varNam)
varasiddhi vinAyakA - kAnaDA - Adi - HMB (RS)
endarO mahAnubhAvulu - srI rAgam - Adi - T
purahara nandana - hamvIru - Adi - MD (R)
sarasvatyA bhagavatyA - chAyAgauLa - misra cApu - MD
valli nAyaka nIvE - shanmukhapriyA - Adi - HMB (R)
ikanE tALajAlanurA - guharanjani - Adi - HMB
srI guruguha - dEvakriyA - rUpakam - MD (R)
dEvI mInAkshI - kalyANi - rUpakam - taccUr singAchAri (RT)
srI subramanyAya namastE - kAmbhOji - rUpakam - MD (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
ennaDi peNNE - bEgaDa - misra cApu - KKB (padam)
vA vA murugA - kApi - Adi - MDR
kaliyuga varadan - brindAvana sAranga - Adi - PT
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T
madhyamAvati short sketch.

Another amazing concert in the series. With each day passing this series is becoming more and more enjoyable. AlApanais for kAnaDa, hamvIr, shanmukhapriyA, dEvakriyA, kalyANi, kAmbhOji were all amazing and very enjoyable. Some of them were crisp, but nothing short of being enjoyable. The svarams in kAnaDa, and the neraval and svarams at 'bhUsurAdi samastajana pUjitAbja caraNAya' were kept short and yet made an impact. All the kritis were rendered with great vigour and made it an memorable experience. As usual, Mami had included quite a few rare pieces and being 'kandha shashTi' day, mami played many pieces on 'Lord Subramanya'.

Smt Padmavathi and Sri Gomathi Shankar provided good support and played the kritis along with mami.

Sri Manoj Siva was amazing and played with good anticipation. His playing was much suited for the style of music of Smt Swaminathan. His tani was short and sweet.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

R Vedavalli, R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations

R Vedavalli - Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi - Vellore Ramabadran

R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations.
Raga Sudha Hall.
14 Nov 2007. 6:30 pm

sarasijAkshi - nAyaki - kaNDa tripuTa - Rudrapatnam Venkataramayya
banTi rIti - hamsanAdam - Adi - T (S)
uNDEdi rAmuDu - hari kAmbhOji - rUpakam - T (NS)
brOva samayamidE - gauri manOhari - Adi - Garbapuri Vasar (Karur Chinna Devudu)
ninnu sEvinchina - yadukula kAmbhOji - misra cApu - Subbaraya Sastri (R)
sAkEta nikEtana - kannaDa - rUpakam - T
tanayuni brOva - bhairavi - Adi - T (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
ninnaruLAm gathiyinRi (vEdAnta dEsikar pAsuram) - bhairavi, sAvEri, sahAnA, senjuruTTi, nIlAmbari, sindhu bhairavi, suruTTi
kELanO hari tALanO - suruTTi - Adi - PD
tillAnA - vasantA - Adi - Ammasathiram Kannuswamy Pillai
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T
svasti prajApya - madhyamAvati

The concert was one of the most fulfilling programmes one has heard in the recent past. The varNam was beautiful. The hamsanAdam kriti was rendered with the dhaivatham shown. The svarams also had a propotionate usage of the Dhaivatham. The neraval and svarams at 'tamasAdi guNa rahituDu dharmAtmuDu sarvasamuDu' were done in a moving fashion. The AlApanais of yadukula kAmbhOji and bhairavi were both very moving. The kriti in yadukula kAmbhOji was rendered very nicely. The main bhairavi kriti was rendered beautifully with neraval and svarams at 'vatsamu veNTa dhEnuvu canunO'. The rAgamAlikA pAsuram and suruTTi piece were good as well. Smt. Vedavalli gave an amazing concert. Smt. Vijayalakshmi was good in all parts. She provided able support and stood up to the main artist all thro' the concert. Sri Ramabadran was his usual self. His playing was very accomodative and very soothing to hear. His tani was short and sweet.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

R K Srikantan, R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations

R K Srikantan - M Chandrasekharan - Umayalpuram Sivaraman - B S Purushottaman

R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations.
Raga Sudha Hall.
13 Nov 2007. 6:30 pm

sarasija nAbha - kAmbhOji - aTa tALam (R)
srI mUlAdhAra - srI rAgam - Adi - MD (RS)
jaya mahishAsura mardini - hamsadvani - rUpakam - HMB (RS)
harihara putram - vasantA - kaNDa Ekam - MD (R)
rAmA ika nannu - sahAnA - rUpakam - PSI (RS)
jEsinadella - tODi - Adi - T (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
smarisuva janakella - suruTTi - Adi - Pd
mangaLam kOsalEndrAya
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

The concert was good. All the AlApanais of Sri Srikantan were very classical and ripe with innovative phrases. The svarams in srI rAgam and hamsadvani and sahAnA were all done very beautifully. The kriti renditions were nice also.

Sri Ramakanth was far from impressive. His versions of the AlApanais had a lot of flimsy phrases and the svarams not upto the mark at all. Though there were some good phrases, his style of singing and the lack of 'azhuttham' made them a little less enjoyable.

Sri Chandrasekaran was good in all respects. His AlApanais, svarams, kriti renditions were all very good.

Sri Sivaraman was good thro' the concert and played very well, though one felt he could have given more space for the kanjIra. Sri Purushottaman was enjoying the mrudangam playing of Sri Sivaraman more than playing the kanjIra.

I left after the tODi AlApanai.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

T K Govinda Rao, RK Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations.

T K Govinda Rao - V V Ravi - T K Murthy - T V Vasan

R K Venkatarama Sastry Birth Centenary Celebrations.
Raga Sudha Hall
12th November 2007. 6:30 pm

entaninnE telupudurA (pada varNam) - khamAs - tisra Ekam (2 kaLai) - Subbarama Dikshitar (short sketch)
O jagadambA - Anandabhairavi - Adi (2 kaLai) - SS (S)
gnAnamosagarAdA - pUrvikalyANi - rUpakam - T (NS)
bhuvinidAsuDanE - srI ranjani - Adi - T
rAma bANa - sAvEri - Adi (2 kaLai) - T (RS)
tani Avarththanam
kaNamum maravAdE - sAmA - Adi (S)
arum pon maNiyE - viruttam in yamunA kalyANi, sindhu bhairavi
bArO krishNayyA - rAgamAlikA
manju nihar - kAvaDi chindu
tillAnA - gambIra vANi - Adi - TKG
caraNa kamalAlayatai - senjuruTTi - kaNDa cApu - Arunagirinathar
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

Amazing concert. Sri Govinda Rao was his usual best with amazing svarams all thro' the concert. The sAvEri and khamAs AlApanais were too good. The kritis were rendered well. The pUrvAngam and the uttarAngam of the concert were both equally enjoyable making it a concert to remember for a long time. The accompanists were good and played a very supportive role to make the concert a very memorable one.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Sowmya, Dikshitar Day NGS

S Sowmya - R K Shriram Kumar - H S Sudhindra -S Karthick

Dikshitar Day. Narada Gana Sabha, Mini Hall.
10 Nov 2007. 6:30 pm

divAkaratanujam - yadukulakAmbOdhi - catusra Ekam (S)
srI gurunA - pADi - rUpakam (S)
narasimhA Agaccha - mOhanam - misra cApu (RS)
saundararAjam - brindAvana sArangA - rUpakam (short sketch)
sivakAmi patim - nATTaikuranji - Adi
narmada kAveri dIra nilayE - nAmadEsi - misra cApu (S)
vINA pUsthaka - Vegavahini - misra jhampai
tyAgarAjAya namastE - bEgaDa - rUpakam (RS)
kalAvati kamAlasanayuvati - kalAvati
bhajarE cita - kalyANi (main)
nAgagAndhAri rAganutE - nAgagAndhari
srI vEnkaTa girIsam - suruTTi
srI kamalAmbikE sivE - srI rAgam

The AlApanais of mOhanam and bEgaDa were done very beautifully. some of her gamakkams and glides very perfect, precise and very moving.. and both the AlApanais were done in a rather non-orthodox fashion...

Singing svarams in regular rAgams like mOhanam and bEgaDa and rare rAgams like pADi and nAmadEsi, were both handled with equal ease. She did bring out a lot of emotions with all the kritis and made the evening quite a soulful one, till the kalAvati piece.

However, as she began kalyANi... well, for me, listening to the 7th kalyani main in 9 concerts was too much to handle. I hence left the audi.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Vaikam Jayachandran, Music Club IIT Madras

Vaikam Jayachandran - B U Ganesh Prasad - Umayalpuram Mali - Palghat Sajeev

Music Club IIT Madras. DoMS Hall
6th November 2007. 6:45 pm

vakra tuNDa - slOkam in kalyANi
vanajAkshirO - kalyANi - Adi - RSI
gajAnanayutam - chakravAkam - Adi - MD (S)
nannu kanna talli - kEsari - Adi - T
mAmava mInAkshi - varALi - misra cApu - MD (RNS)
brOcEvArevarE - srI ranjani - Adi - T (RS)
rAjagOpAlam bhajEham - mOhanam - rUpakam - MD (RNS)
nAda tanum anisam - cittaranjani - Adi - T (S)
parama purusha - vasantA - - ST
sivakAmEsvarIm - kalyANi - Adi - MD (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
tERuvadeppO nenjE - khamAs - Adi - MS (R)
pazhani ninRa - kApi - rUpakam - PT
srI mAdhava vAsudEva - bEhAg - Adi - MV (R)
kalyANa krishNa - shubapantuvarALi - Adi (R)
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

Another classical concert. True to the expectations, Sri Jayachandran presented classical music with good vigour. The AlApanai of varALi was done in a very matrued and scholarly fashion. srIranjani and mOhanam were treated with a different out-look. They were far from the usual AlApanais one hear. The AlApanai of the kalyANi was quite nice also. The kritis were all rendered with a lot of bhavam and there was no compromise on the quality of music. The choice of kritis was quite off-beat and handled well as well. One has not heard some of these pieces in a concert for ages. The neraval and svarams for varALi at 'shyAmE sankarI digvijaya pratApiNi' were done very well. The neraval and svarams for mOhanam were sung at 'nAradAdi kruta bhajanam nAda laya yuta sadanam'. The neraval and svarams were sung in the pallavi line 'sivakAmEsvarIm cintayEham' for the main piece. All the manOdarma parts were very nicely executed. The kalpitam was good also.

Sri Ganesh Prasad was good thro' the concert and gave fitting replies for all the pieces. Sri Mali and Sri Sajeev did a good job with the percussion dept and played a short-yet-sweet tani.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Kalpakam Swaminathan, chamber concert

Smt Kalpakam Swaminathan - vINai
Sri L Ramakrishnan - vINai support
Thanjavur Sri R Kumar - mrudangam

ks mami at chamber concert. 3nov07
picture courtesy: vijay sarma

rasikas chambers. residence of Jeyaraaj & Jaysri.
3rd October 2007. 5:30 pm

karuNimpa idi - sahANa (varNam) - Adi - Vina Kuppier
siddhi vinAyakam - cAmaram - rUpakam - MD (RS)
varashikhi vAhana - supradIpam - Adi - T (S)
Ananda naTana prakAsham - kEdAram - misra chApu - MD
shrI nIlOtpala nAyikE - nArI rItigauLa - rUpaka - MD(R)
shrI mAtah shiva vAmAnkE - bEgaDa - Adi - MD(R)
shrI satyanArAyaNam - shiva pantuvarALi - rUpaka - MD(R,tAnam)
vINAbhEri - AbhErI - Adi - MD
AbhayAmbA jagadambA - kalyANI - Adi - MD(R,tAnam,N,S)
shrI dum durgE - shrI ranjanI - khaNDa Eka - MD(R)
visvanAthEna - sAmanta - Adi - MD (R)
simhAsanasthitE - rAgamAlikA - rUpaka - MD (mangaLam)

Sitting in the small-balcony-garden of a flat in the 4th floor of a building on a busy road in mandaveli, one was treated to some divine music which is tough to explain by words. it is at such instances that one really is short of words to explain the feeling.

Each piece was presented with such precision and what a careful selection of pieces and ordering. It was an evening of blissful music. i m in tears even trying to write this post, such was the music.

The AlApanais of nArirItigauLa, bEgaDa, shiva pantuvarALi and its tAnam... well, mami was telling us in her own sweet way, that carnatic music, especially on vINai, has no parallels to it. It is a unique music of its own kind which cannot be matched.

Kalpakam mami began with sahAnA varNam. The cAmaram kriti was rendered with a nice AlApanai and a beautiful round of svarams. The supradIpam piece was presented neatly with a neater set of svarams. The kEdAram kriti was inspiring.

Next came the first detailed AlApanai of the day. Well, it was nArirItigauLA. The new flavour and feeling suddha dhaivatam brings into the rAgam which otherwise goes along the lines of the popular rItigauLa, was superb. The AlApanai and the kriti were presented creating a nice mood to listen. The bEgaDa AlApanai was done very well. After listening to a lec-dem on bEgaDa just about a week, this was like a true demonstration to what is bEgaDa. All the special prayOgams, the aprati madhyamam shown in its place, it was amazing. The kriti, another heavy weight, was presented beautifully.

shivapantuvarALi was the next in line. As mami was playing that soothing AlApanai, i was praying in the darkest corners of my mind for a tAnam. and it got answered. It was a beautifully presented tAnam and the kriti was rendered amazingly also.

It was the day of suddha dhaivatam probably. The beauty this particular svaram adds to a ragam was again illustrated in AbhEri.

After all this fair, the main kalyANi was a little surprising. However, her presentation of the rAgam, tAnam and the kriti with neraval and svarams was very nice and fitting for the main piece of the day.

The srI ranjani AlApanai was done beautifully. The kriti, a tad slower than the popular versions, was nice to listen. This concert wasn't going lighten at all. The sAmantA AlApanai and kriti were good.

Each kriti deserved better adjectives and more and more superlatives and none of them would actually be enough to describe the music. The sight of the old lady with her vINai on her lap, strumming it to produce divine music with utmost precision of the notes and their gamakkams and the azhuttam she produces, well, Music is definitely god given.

Sri Ramakrishnan provided very good support and played the vINai well. Sri Kumar on the mrudangam played in tune with what was presented thro' the concert. His tani was nice as well.

It was a concert where everything fell in place and 'kacchidam' is the only word i can say...

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Ramani Narayanan, Ramana Kendram

Ramani Narayanan - Veenai
Thanjavur Kumar - Mrudangam
Pudukkottai Ramachandran - Ghatam

Ramana Kendram
1st November 2007. 6:45 pm

karuNimpa idi - sahAnA - Adi
gajavadanA bEDuvE - kEdAram - Adi - PD
srI sankara guruvaram - nAgasvarAvaLi - rUpakam - MVS (short sketch)
banTurIti - hamsanAdam - Adi - T (RNS)
srI ramaNa sadgurum - kEdAragauLa - rUpakam - maNavAsal rAmasvAmi iyEr (R)
sankari samkuru - sAvEri - tisra Adi - SS (RNS)
yOcanA kamala lOcanA - darbAr - Adi - T
evari mATa vinnAvO - kAmbhOji - Adi - T (RNS)
tani Avarththanam
Om namO bhagavatE - srI ranjani - Adi - maNavAsal rAmasvAmi iyEr (R)
kaliyuga varadan - brindAvana sArangA - Adi
venkaTAcala nilayam - sindhubhairavi - Adi
caraNAgati slOkam for ramaNa
sarva saktiyutAya - mangaLa kriti composed by maNavAsal rAmasvAmi iyEr

It was nice concert on the whole. All the pieces were nicely chosen and presented beautifully. I reached late, as Smt Ramani was wrapping up the kEdAram piece. The nAgasvarAvaLi piece was presented with the usual vigour and punch. The hamsanAdham AlApanai was done beautifully. The kriti was presented with neraval and svarams at 'raama naama manu vara khaDga mivi'. True to the Vedavalli school of music, the vivAdi dhaivatham was also highlighted. The kEdAragauLa AlApanai was nice. The kriti had a nice ciTTai svaram. sAvEri was elaborated with utmost classicm. The kriti was rendered with a nice round of neraval and svarams at 'shyAmakrishNa sOdari shyAmaLE sAdhOdari'. The main kAmbhOji AlApanai and tAnam were done with a lot of interesting phrases interwoven one after another making one sit-up thro' the whole affair. The kriti was rendered very well with elaborate neraval and svarams at 'bhakta parAdhInuDanucu parama'. The post tani pieces were nice as well. Belonging to the kAraikkuDi school of vINai, Smt Ramani made a nice concert with beautiful pieces. Her style of vINai playing with their special fingering techniques was very nice to hear.

The percussion dept was exceptionally handled. Sri Kumar did an amazing job in accompanying for each piece and played with a lot of anticipation. Sri Ramachandran ably assisted Sri Kumar in the whole affair. The tani they shared was nice as well.


PS: maNavAsal rAmasvAmi iyEr was an ardent devotee of Ramana Maharishi and lived in the ashram for a long time. he was also referred to as caraNAgati rAmasvAmi iyEr. Smt. Ramani is his grand daughter.

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