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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lec-Dem on Devi Kritis, Sanskrit College

Lec-Dem on Devi Kritis
Smt. Rajeswari Thyagarajan & Smt. Anusha Pradeep

Dr. Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute Hall. Sanskrit College.
25th October 2008. 6:30 pm

The programme started with a introduction of the programme by Sri Madhavan and introduction of the artists by Smt. Seetha.

Smt. Anusha started off with a slOkam on Lord Ganesha, 'gajAnanam bhUta gaNAdi sEvitam' in hamsadvani and some verses of the 'shyAmaLA danDakam' rendered in dhanyAsi.

Smt. Rajeswari gave the explanations and commentaries while Smt. Anusha rendered the kritis.

It began with the explanation on what yOgam is, and the importance of nAda yOgam. nAdam was the first form of energy to be created when the Lord decided to make the universe. The types and classifications of nAdam and the fact that nAdam and nAda yOgam is the easiest to reach the God was explained with some quotes from 'Vishnu Puranam' and 'Lalita Sahasranamam'. Also stressing the fact that the Supreme God resides where Good 'nAdam' is being presented. The music should get into the soul and give some vibrations which can make you get 'jIva mukti' and such music is the 'nAdam' in which God resides. There is nothing equivalent to this divine 'nAdam'. A true 'nAda yOgi' always revels in such 'nAdam'. The point that the easier way to reach the Lord is by nAda yOgam was also stressed upon.

Our Sangeetha Trinity have realised this and have made compositions that can induce the right kind of energy to give the ultimate 'nAda yOgam'. Thyagaraja has composed on the sangeetham and the nAdayOgam and its benefits. Thyagaraja's 'mOkshamu galadA' in sAramati was rendered to highlight this.

Muthuswami Dikshitar was a great Scholar in Sanskrti and Music and a nAdOpAsakA. Dikshitar's composition on Goddess Lakshmi is what we are going to take up. He uses a lot of names of the Gods. A lot of words with in-depth meaning. nAmAvaLi is found totally. There are atleast 20 nAmAvaLis for each kriti and there are lots of informations about the kshEtram and full description is found.

This kriti in lalitA has a story associated. Dikshitar had 2 wives. Ramaswamy Dikshitar thought MD had problems with first wife's looks and married him to another lady, who was attracted to wealth and ornaments and Golden ware. She pestered MD to go and sing in praise of the local chieftain and king and get lots of wealth. MD composed this kriti saying "Oh Goddess Lakshmi, I sing in praise of you. how can i sing on these lesser mortals" It is believed that the Goddess Lakshmi came in the dreams of MD's wife and told her to not ask for wealth and made her follow MD's ways of nAdOpAsana. On hearing this, MD composed a thanks-giving kriti 'mangaLa dEvatAyA' set in danyAsi, in which, in the first line itself, he mentions his salutations to her for listening to whatever he pleaded the day before.

There are about 20 nAmAvaLis in this lalitA kriti. hiraNmayIm, lakshmIm, kshIrAmbudhi tanayAm, harivakshastalAlayAm, hariNIm, maragada maNImaya valayAm, mANikyAbaraNadharAm, gIta vAdhya vinOdinIm are some of them. gIta vAdhya vinOdinIm stressing on the fact that she is one who can be soothed with music. This lalitA kriti was rendered.

Next kriti we take up will be Shyama Sastri's Brovavamma in mAnji. It is said he composed 300 kritis but we have only 71. Many of them are in telugu. Some in telugu and Sanskriti. There are Kritis, Swarajatis, varNams, gItams composed. Number of Ragams used is minimal. Apoorva Ragams employed are cintAmaNi, kalgaDa and mAnji. mAnji is close to bhairavi and is considered a folk version. Unlike bhairavi, this ragam has to be sung slow only. There are compositions of GKB and MD in this ragam. Number of nAmAvaLi in his kritis are very less. In this kriti, he has used her name only twice. In other parts he pleads to her and asks her to save her and says she is her only resort and she is the only god who can save him and she is the ultimate goddess. The two names are kAmAkshI and tripurasundari. kAmAkshI means one who has Lakshmi and Saraswati as her eyes (kA - sarasvati, mA - Laksmi, akshi - eyes).
tripurasundari can be interpreted in many many ways. tripura is popularly interpreted as 'bhUlOkam, svaragam, bhAtALam'. It can also be interpreted as follows. One who is beyond the three actions: srushTi, sthithi and samhAram. One who predates or precedes the 3 Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Siva. One who is beyond manam, buddhi, ahankAram. One who is beyond the three guNas: sAtvic, rajasic, tAmasic. One who is beyond the various kramAs and diseases of the body. The mAnji kriti was presented.

The next kriti is 'vINApustaka dhAriNim' in vEgavAhini by MD. The Sanskrit College is a very pioneering and long standing institution and a seat of learning. It is filled with sarasvati kaTAksham. It is very appropriate and important to sing a kriti on Goddess Sarasvati here. This is a little rare kriti compared to other Sarasvati kritis of MD. MD's compositions in rare and new ragams are well known. His compositions on Hindustani-based ragams is also known. This is one of 5 kritis in this rAgam vEgavAhini.

In the Veenai Dhanammal family, had a very strong attachment to this kriti. On every sarasvati pooja day, she performed this kriti in their house's courtyard, after bathing in rose water. This kriti also has a lot of nAmAvaLis.

The usage of paurnami chandrikA and rAkA chandra vadanAyam to refer to the face of the goddess was mentioned.

The vEgavAhini kriti was rendered.

The next is the kriti 'Ema ninnE' in mukhAri. Subbaraya Sastri is the Second son of Shyama Sastri and is disciple of all three of the Trinity. He also learnt Hindustani music from a certain Meru Goswami. Only 11 of his compositions are available to us. They are in telugu, sanskrit and tamil. He was Asthana Vidwan at Udayarpalayam. He dint travel much and composed on the places he visited.

Ema ninnE is on kAmAkshi at Kanchipuram, which happens to the place of his wife. Other famous compositions include vEnkaTa saila vihArA composed at Tirupati. His mudra is kumAra. He had a lot of connections to Lord Murugan. He was born in 'kritikA' nakshatram. His father, Shyama Sastri's real name was vEnkata Subramanian. Dikshitar was named Muthuswami as he was born after his Parents did a 42 day 'vratam' for the Muthukumara Swamy at Vaitheesvaran Kovil. Also, in Thiruttani he was blessed by Lord Muruga himself for him to start compose. Thyagaraja was named after the presiding deity at Thiruvarur, which is a sOmAskanda mUrti, which is sivA with pArvati and murugan.

The other common trait of all these great composers was that they all had full control over their body, thoughts, soul and everything. They all knew when their end would come. In the case of Subbaraya Sastri as well, He knew when he was going to leave his mortal remains. On the day when Subbaraya Sastri realise his end was nearing and the Zamindar of Udayarpalayam asked him what would be his last wish, Subbaraya Sastri quitely said "I dont want anything more. It is a blessing that I could sing about Kamakshi in this birth. That is enough for me". He was thinking of Goddess Kamakshi till his end. Similarly we know about Dikshitar's end which was the day before Deepavali.

This illustrates the power they had and the kinds of compositions they have made are a testament to the same. It is a blessing for us to be able to understand and relish atleast a little bit of their mastery.

The kriti 'Ema ninnE' was rendered.

The last kriti is the mangaLa kriti in srI rAgam from the KamalAmba navAvarNam. This set is a very special one. All of them on the Presiding Deity at Thiruvarur. The kritis indicate the Sri Chakra Devatas and the kritis also indicate the way to reach the Goddess at the Bindu of the Chakram. The srI rAgam kriti is the mangaLam kriti for this set. The rAgam is a very auspicious one. The kriti also has a lot of nAmAvaLis. Let us all pray for the auspicious of all of us to Goddess Kamalamba and finish the programme with this mangaLa kriti.

The srI rAgam mangaLam kriti was rendered.

It was very interesting and useful lec-dem. I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary and the renditions. All the kritis were rendered in the apt pace and with no hurry. It was a very useful programme.


PS: This report is in first person at most places. For want of time, i find it easier to transcribe the lec-dem rather than report or write about it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

R K Shriram Kumar - Fiddle Solo, Meenakshi College

R K Shriram Kumar - K Arun Prakash - N Guruprasad

MS Rememberance Day, Meenakshi College
23 October 2008. 6:30 pm

teratIyaka rAdA - gauLipanti - Adi - T
kancadaLAyadAkshi - manOhari - Adi - MD (RNS)
sogasugA mrudanga tALamu - srI ranjani - rUpakam - T (R)
nItu caraNa pankaja - kalyANi - Adi - Pallavi Gopala Iyer (RNS)
enta mAtramuna - brindAvana sArangA, mAyAmALava gauLa - misra cApu
bOgIndra sAyinam - kuntaLavarALi - kaNDa cApu - ST
dAsaratE - tODi - Adi - T (RS)
mAyammA - Ahiri - Adi - SS
bhAvayAmi gOpAla bAlam - yamunAkalyANi - kaNDa cApu - A
hari tum harO - kAnaDA - Meera Bhajan
kuRai onRum illai - rAgamAlikA - Adi - Rajaji
maitrIm bhajata
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

The concert was very good. Compositions selected were those which were popularly rendered by MS Amma and they were rendered in a similar style with a lot of bhAvam. All the AlApanais were very beautifully rendered. Each phrase was precise and such weighty renditions are always very touching.

The beginning in gauLipantu was very serene and made up for a grand concert. The manOhari was good. The AlApanai, neraval and svarams were all good and interwound well with the kriti itself. The srI ranjani was very nicely presented.

The kalyANi began in a rather un-orthodox fashion and was carefully elaborated. The kriti with neraval and svarams was rendered well. The MS populariesed 'enta mAtramuna' and the kuntaLavarALi piece were both beautifully rendered.

The main tODi was very elaborate and played very touchingly. The kriti was rendered with a fitting round of svarams. The post tani part had tukkaDas which were popularised by MS and they were all rendered very well.

The overall playing and choice of pieces and rendering them to perfection were all very note worthy and made the concert much enjoyable. The percussionists gave very understanding support to make it all the more wonderful.

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T N S Krishna, Music Club IIT Madras

T N S Krishna - V V Ravi - R Ramesh - B S Purushottaman

Music Club IIT Madras, CLT.
22nd October 2008. 7 pm

mUshikavAhana - slOkam in mOhanakalyANi
siddhi vinAyakam - mOhanakalyANi - Adi - HMB (S)
mundu vEnukAiru - darbAr - Adi - T (R)
ennALu UragE - subhapantuvarALi - misra cApu - T (RNS)
slOkam on Lord Budha in nATTakuranji
budhamAshrayAmi - nATTaikuranji - misra jhampai - MD
taruNam idamma - gauLipantu - Adi - SS
RTP - AbhOgi - kaNDa tripuTa (3 aksharams before samam)
orE oru daram sivachidambaram yenru sonnAlum pOdumE anudinamum
pacchai mA malai pol mEni - pAsuram in chandrakauns
tillAnA - chandrakauns - TNS
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

It was a nice good concert. The darbAr affair was quite elaborate and rather outstanding. It had to be 'mundu vEnukAiru' for such a marvellous AlApanai. The subhapantuvarALi was very good and the measure to which it was sung, it was quite evident that a Pallavi would follow. The AbhOgi was amazing as well. All kritis were rendered well, in true TNS Style. The svarams were good having interesting patterns and some kaNakku.

The accompanists did a good job. They all stood up to the expectations in making the concert enjoyable.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

T M Krishna, Sruti's Silver Jubilee

T M Krishna - Akkarai Subhalakshmi - J Vaidhyanathan - BS Purushottaman

Sruti's Silver Jubilee. Semmangudi Centenary Remembarance.
Sivagami Pettachi Auditorium
18th Oct 2008. 7 pm

maguva ninnE - nArayaNagauLa
ninnE nEra nAminAnurA - pantuvarAli - T (R N S)
nenaruncinAnu anniTiki - mAlavi -T
kshINamai tirugA - mukhAri -T (R N S)
yOcanA kamala lOchanA -darbAr -T
O rangasAyI - kAmbOdhi -T (R N S T)
mauLau gangA - mAyAmALavagauLa + ?? + varALi + suruTTi - appiah dikshitar
moratOpu - sahanA - Kshetragna
jayati jayati bhAratha mAtA - khamAs - mayuram vishwanatha sastri
pavamAna and mangalam kOsalendra

the concert was good.

The varNam was rendered outstandingly. I thoroughly enjoyed his rendition. The pantuvarALi affair was his usual stuff and the mALavi was quite quick, both being good.

I was totally moved by the mukhAri. The grandeur with which he rendered the AlApanai, neraval and svarams, i was sureshot expecting it to be the main and a pallavi to follow.

Taking up 'O rangasAyI' was a total dissappointment for me in that regard. The kAmbhOji AlAapanai was however, handled very well. It was very good.

I had to leave during the main kriti.

sad that i missed the rAgamAlikA and sahAnA padam..

Akkarai Subhalakshmi was good overall. J Vaidhyanathan and BS Purushottaman were good as well.

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Chaitra Sairam, Krishna Gana Sabha

Chaitra Sairam - C N Srinivasamurthy - R Ramkumar - Nerkunam Manikandan

Krishna Gana Sabha mini hall.
18th Oct 2008. 4:15 pm

inta calamu - bEgaDa
srI mulAdAra - srI (RS)
mAra vairi ramaNA - nAsikA bhUshaNi (RNS)
teliyalEru rAmA - dhEnukA
nI pAdamE gati - naLinakAnti (R)
nannu viDaci - rItigauLa
srI raghuvara - kAmbhOji (RNST)
hE gOvinda hE gOpAla - bhAgEsrI
tillAnA - madhuvanti
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram

It was a good concert. The kriti renditions were good. The vocalist was good and had good kalpitam and manodarmam. The violinst was good in some parts. The mridangist played well in tandem with the main artist. The morsing vidwan was good as well.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trivandrum Baby Sriram, Nada Inbam

Trivandrum Baby Sriram - Amritha Murali - Trivandrum Balaji

Sethalapathi Balasubramanian Rememberance Day.
Nada Inbam, Raga Sudha Hall
15th October 2008. 6 pm

viruttam on Lord Ganesha in kharaharapriyA
gaNapatiyE karuNAnitiyE - kharaharapriyA - Adi - PS (S)
idhE bhAgyamu - kannaDa - misra cApu - T (R)
malariNai tuNaiyE - rItigauLa - rUpakam - PS (RNS)
parAku nI kElarA - kiraNAvaLi - Adi - T
bhudamAshrayAmi - nATTaikuranji - misra jhampai - MD (S)
kalayE dEva dEvam - ranjani - rUpakam - ST (RS)
srI rAjagOpAla - sAvEri - Adi - MD (RST)
unaiyoziya oruvarai nambugilEn - viruttam in hamsAnandi, kAmbhOji, kApi
pUnguyil kUvum - kApi - catusra Ekam - Kalki
tillAnA - bindumAlini - tisra Adi - Baby Sriram
madhyamAvati short sketch

The programme started with Smt. Jayalakshmi of Nada Inbam, giving a brief introductory welcome and this was followed by a short talk on Sri Sethalapathi Balasubramanian by one of his long-time disciples, Sri Swaminathan, who spoke about his guru and all his experiences with him and his family in a short and sweet way.

Smt. Baby Sriram began the concert with a viruttam in kharaharapriyA. She mentioned that it was Sri Balasubramanian's favourite ragam and also highlighted some of his bench-mark phrases. The kriti was rendered well. The AlApanais of kannaDa, rItigauLa, ranjani and sAvEri were all done in a very elegant fashion. It was the right mix of innovation and tradition. They were very appealing. The kritis were all well rendered. The neraval in the rItigauLa piece was nicely done. The svarams were very well sung. They had a sarvalaghu pattern in many places and there were some simple patterns also.

The accompanists did an amazing job in making the concert all the more enjoyable. It was a good show by the team. One hopes she gets more concert opportunities

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Vijay Siva, ICICI Bank Music Festival

Vijay Siva - R K Shriram Kumar - Manoj Siva - V Suresh

ICICI Bank Music Festival
Music Academy Main Hall.
11th October 2008. 6:15 pm

sadApala rUpApi - slOkam
mahAgaNapatE pAlayAsumAm - naTanArAyaNi - Adi - MD
pAhi srI girirAja sutE - Anandabhairavi - rUpakam - SS (NS)
gatayA gatayA mAdhavam - kalyANi - misra cApu - NT (RS)
sangITa sAstra gnAnamU - mukhAri - Adi - T (RN)
innamum oru taram - kEdAragauLa - Adi - GKB
kAmAkshI gaurI - sAvEri - Adi - PS (RNST)
shAradA bhujangam - naLinakAnti, nATTakuranji, srI, kIravANi, latAngi, sAmA, jaganmOhini, chArukEsi - tisra nADai
jAnakI nAth sahAya karE - misra khamAj - Thulasi Das bhajan
muddugArE yashOdA - kuranji
verses from kandar anubhUti - gambIra nATTai, hindOLam, mAND, madhyamAvati
svasti prajApya - madhyamAvati

It was a great concert. I reached a little late, as he was wrapping up the anupallavi of the Anandabhairavi piece. The neraval and svarams were aptly done. The kalyANi affair was kept short and sweet. The AlApanai was nice and there were some interesting svara patterns. The mukhAri AlApanai was shorter and sweeter. The neraval was great. The main sAvEri AlApanai was outstanding. The neraval and svarams in sAvEri were great as well.

All kritis were sparklingly rendered. Sri Vijay Siva's music is always known to be top class and this concert was yet another proof for the same.

The accompanists were very good and gelled well with the music.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Prema Rangarajan, SAFE

Prema Rangarajan - Amritha Murali - Mannarkoil J Balaji

SAFE, Sastri Hall
10th October 2008. 6:30 pm

varNam - hindOLam
pahimAm srI rAjarAjEsvari - nATTai - tisra Adi - SS
srI madurAmbikE - kalyANi - kANDa cApu - MD (NS)
sandyAdEvi sAvitrIm - dEvakriyA - Adi - MD (RS)
srI janaka tanayE - kalakaNTi - Adi - T
kALa rAtri svarUpiNi - UrmikA - Adi - HMB (RNS)
srI lalitE kanci nagara nivAsini - bhairavi - Adi - AS (RNST)
sarasvati mahAbadrA - slOkam in bhAgEsrI, gOsha vinOdini, madhyamAvati
kAmAkshI lOkasAkshI - madhyamAvati - tisra Adi - SS

It was a concert of rare pieces by the Artist. All the pieces were craftily rendered and the manOdarma was very good. The AlApanais of dEvakriya(aka suddha sAvEri), UrmikA and bhairavi were all very nice and were sung in a very traditional way. They had some nice phrases and made one enjoy them thoroughly. The neraval and svarams done were all very nice as well. Her elaboration of rare rAgams like UrmikA and gOsha vinOdhini were very commendable. The accompanists were very supportive and made it a thoroughly enjoyable concert.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Prema Rangarajan, Sravanam

Prema Rangarajan - Amritha Murali - Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar

Sravanam, TTD center.
8th October 2008. 6 pm

srI mahA gaNapatim - aTANA - Adi - JCW
sarasvati dayainidhi - sarasvati - Adi - PS (S)
srI rukmiNi sriyam dEhi - maNirangu - Adi - Meesu Krishna Iyer (RS)
tuLasi jagatjanani - sAvEri - rUpakam - T (RNS)
mahishAsuramardini - gauLa - kaNDa cApu - MD
srI venkaTEsam - tODi - rUpakam - RSI (RNS)
parAkEla sarasvati - nATTaikuranji - rUpakam
alamElumangA nIkabhinava rUpamu - kalyANi - kANDa Ekam - A (RNST)
vEnkaTamE viNNOr tozhuvaduvum - pAsuram in mOhanam
tillAnA - mOhanam - Adi - A
nI nAma rUpamulaku - saurAshTram - Adi - T

It was a very fulfilling concert. The AlApanai of maNirangu was very moving. Those of sAvEri, tODi and kalyANi were done in a very chaste fashion. They were very enjoyable. All kritis were rendered beautifully with necessary gait. The neraval and svarams were very well rendered. The number of one-Avartana svarams that Smt Rangarajan sang were mind blowing. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. The accompanists were very good and played appropriately for the occasion, following like a faithful shadow wherever necessary at the same time, giving fitting replies as and when it be required.

It was very enjoyable concert.

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