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Monday, March 19, 2012

R Vedavalli - MMI Rememberance, Brahma Gana Sabha

R Vedavalli - R Hemalatha - Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar

MMI rememberance, Brahma Gana Sabha
Arkay Convention Centre
17 Mar 2012. 6:30 pm

divAkara tanujam
yagnAdulu (S)
marivErE - shanmukhapriyA (RNS)
enRaikku sivakrupai
nannu pAlimpA - mOhanam - dEsAdi (R)
perum nalla - pUrikalyANi - misra cApu
dAkshAyani abhayAmbhikE (RST)
dAsara nindhisa bEDA - tilang - Adi - PD
tillAnA - hamsAnandi - Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer
nI nAma rUpamulaku
svasti prajApya - madhyamAvati

After unsuccessfully trying to find this place, for half a dozen times in the past, and with enough directions from as many friends, one was finally able to locate this hall and go there for a concert.

As one entered the cozy, small, well-defined and decorated hall, the stage was being set, and the concert began as one settled down. After a crisp verbal tribute to MMI, Smt. Vedavalli began with the vAra kriti of the day. Sri MMI never missed singing the vAra kritis and the concert began with a mention of the fact. The kriti was rendered soulfully. The following quick jayamanohari kriti was touching with an educative round of svarams.

The racy AlApanai shanmukhapriyA with the old world charm was so perfectly followed by marivErE. This kriti is particularly one of one's favourites from Smt. Vedavalli. Her rendition of this kriti years ago at the IMSc private concert, came back to me. What a sublime concert that was! Coming back, on this occasion this was a great rendition. There are so many options for neraval in this kriti and Smt. Vedavalli picked up 'daya jEsi brOchE dora nIvu kAdA' and 'nannubrovaka uNDuDa nyAyamA' alternating between the two lines for neraval and svarams.

There was a meditative enRaikku sivakrupai varumo. This kriti is so bhava laden and mukhari adds so much of emotion to those lyrics. What a kriti and what a rendition. The quick fill-in nenarunchinanu was followed with a elaborate and heavy mOhanam. One got back memories of Smt. Vedavalli's mATi mATiki at a school hall in tAmbaram. And one was expecting the same for main. However, it was a surprise for one. nannu pAlimpA in dEsAdi (a very different pATantaram compared to what is present in popular) was rendered in a wonderful pace and style with a chittai svaram that was sparkling. The concert also took one back to one of my first encounters with Smt. Vedavalli. The tsunami morning at Music Academy. Memories of her sublime tODi with dAkshAyani abhayAmbhikE and the tulasibilva that was there before the tODi starting haunting me.

Smt. Vedavalli's rendition of the rare pUrikalyANi kriti was leisurely and soothing. One was so pleasently shocked at her picking up tODi for main. Did she listen to what one thought! After a nice AlApanai, she did begin dAkshAyani abhayAmbhikE. what a rarest of coincidences! As one was sitting in this hall, listening to one of the best renditions of this MD masterpiece, one could not help remembering two of one's greatest admirations. Dr. D Veeraraghavan (dilip) and Smt. Kalpakam Swaminathan.

It is Dilip who is responsible for taking this writer to so many of those concerts by the stalwarts and instilling a taste of chaste music. And I was there at MA on the tsunami morning, with dilip right beside me. And, Kalpakam mami was one of her kind. So down-to-earth and brimming with gnAnam. She was one of the first people to introduce this writer to many rare-heard-gems of MD. There were tears, as one was sitting at there listening to this concert and remembering those great souls.

A gripping rendition, with svarams to follow and a crisp tani. The short dEvarnAmA and tillAnA were not enough for the evening and one kept carving for more and more music. However, it was for another occasion.

After a short (or long, as each one's yardstick varies) hiatus, one has tried to jot down a few sentences about a concert. Hopefully, there would more such concerts in quick succession.

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