Showing posts from 2007

My Chennai Diary - Day-4.

Sumitra Nitin @ Music Academy
She is the grand daughter of old time veteran Anantalakshmi Sadagopan.I've listened to a few recordings of Smt. Sadagopan and she had a sweet yet powerful voice. Her granddaughter lacks the latter. She was singing without any shruti alignment all the while.(I hope she had a bad throat day and hence was singing off key;thats no excuse as one can sing at a lower pitch and remain aligned to Shruti. )
1.) Ganapate - Kalyani - Dikshithar - Adi
2.) Ritigowla - walked out to pick some more CDs and books
3.) Kamboji - O Rangashayee - Violin Alapanai was well played.

Abhishek Raghuram @Music Academy with Mysore Srikanth (Violin) and A. Anand
Had read a few good reviews about his and was keen on attending the same. Abhishek has a good voice - very pliable and sweet yet powerful and with a good range. (Reminded me of Musiri's voice at first hearing but later realized its more like Unnikrishnan's voice, the main difference being Unni's is more na…

My Chennai Diary - Day2 Part3 and Day-3

As we waited outside to reserve good seats for the Sanjay concert, the salesperson at Charsur Digital Works stall whom I had met at Bangalore more than an year back recognized me and told me to avail of their offer of obtaining the full set of their CDs on an Ipod for Rs. 37500 (I had purchased a few Paddhathi CDs last year at Koramangala from this person and I cribbed about their not giving enough discounts this time at the same venue despite being a regular purchaser of their CDs. They have a good collection but their CDs are over-priced.)
Spotted a MAmi who looked exactly like Smt. Vedavalli in the audience. Vinod nicknamed her Bhedavalli - the graha Bheda version of Vedavalli :-) and we had a hearty laugh.

Sanjay Subrahmanyan began his concert at 6.30 to a packed audience. He was accompanied by Nagai Muralidharan (Violin) , Guruvayur Dorai (Mridangam) and E.M. Subramaniam (Ghatam)

1.) Maguva - Ata tala Varnam in Narayanagowla
2.) Kamalamba Bhajare - Ananda Bhairavi, Dikshithar , Rupa…

My Chennai Diary - Day-2, Part -2.

Amrutha Venkatesh / S. Karthick (Violin) / Nirmal Narayanan (Mridangam) @ Music Academy

We walked into the auditorium a little late and missed a couple of songs . Amrutha sang Shri Subramanyaya Namaste in Kamboji. My first reaction was "This is a Kriti meant to be rendered only by Stalwarts like Ariyakudi / KVN / Chembai / Vedavalli etc" and I stand by it. I feel at times that I spend too much time listening to (old timers) stalwarts and hence end up panning the current set of singers. Hers is an fairly good voice - which is slightly aggressive. The violinst played offkey multiple times. Nirmal played a good Tani.

Another grudge I bear against most of the current generation is that they don't take time to listen to concerts of stalwarts. Smt. Vedavalli sang a brilliant concert just some time before at the same venue. It would have made sense for Ms. Venkatesh to attend the same. ( Had seen her walk out of Trichur V. Ramachandran's concert which followed hers at Bangal…

My Chennai Diary - Day-2, Part -1.

Vinod, one of my closest friends and colleague at Oracle (also an ardent rasika of Carnatic Music and good singer of old Hindi film songs and Ghazals) landed at Chennai in the morning. We had planned to attend a few good concerts when he was around. We had already finalized on attending Dr. R. Vedavalli's early morning concert at The Music Academy. One of the foremost disciples of late Pallavi exponent Sangita KalAnidhi Mudikondan Venkatrama Iyer, Sangita KalAnidhi R. Vedavalli is a member of the old guard of Carnatic Music. She has trained under Smt. T.Muktamma too. She is a veteran teacher and an equally proficient performing artiste. I like her unhurried,majestic style of singing. Her Ragam Tanam Pallavis are a treat to listen.

1.) Arrived at the venue a little late and missed her Dhanyasi Varnam. Spotted plenty of stalwarts at the concert today - Sangita KalAnidhi T.K.Govinda Rao, Sangita KalAnidhi M. Chandrashekar, MallAdi brothers and Vidushi Neela Ramgopal.

2.) Heard a wonde…

My Chennai-diary - Day-1, Part-2

There were many stalls outside the auditorium. Bought a few vintage CDs of Dr. Pinakapani and Dr. R.K Srikantan besides a few issues of Sruti Magazine. We went to the canteen attached to The Academy to grab a bite. Each sabha has its own varied fare of south indian delicacies and snacks. Picked a few more CDs by Bombay Jayashree and Sowmya (Dikshithar Advaitaparva kritis and Neelotpalamba Vibhakti Kritis)

Attended Savita NArasimhan's afternoon slot concert for a while. Listened to her SahAna.Sweet voice but lacks depth and hence unsuitable for Carnatic music in my opinion.

The next venue was Krishna Gana Sabha at T.Nagar. We went to pick up my aunt at whose house we were residing in Chennai. She likes Bombay Jayashree's music a lot and had expressed her desire to accompany us for this concert. Krishna Gana Sabha is
another famed venue at Madras. Continued my music shopping outside the sabha and picked up a book on Semmangudi Srinivasier. I came to know that Vainaka Vidwan Rudrapa…

My Chennai Diary - Day 1, Part 1

I was in Chennai last weekend for the famous December season. I'll be narrating our musical experiences in the next few posts. We left from Bangalore on 21 st December and reached Madras (aka Chennai) on 22nd morning. I'd taken along printouts of the concert schedules from 22nd to 25th. Had a tough time deciding on which concerts to attend as various Sabhas host concerts of front ranking artistes simultaneously.

The first concert we attended was of Madurai R. Sundar (He is a disciple of T.N.
Seshagopalan and Ananthalakshmi Sadagopan) at Bharat Kalachar. The prime motivation for attending this concert was that he was being accompanied by R.K.ShriramKumar on the violin, Mridangam maestro Trichy Sankaran and B.Purushothaman on the Kanjira.

Struck a conversation with a mAmA at the Venue. I remarked to my mom that I'd prefer listening to Malladi Brothers than TNS and this uncle wanted to know why. I didn't know how to react as I couldn't gauge whether he was a die hard TNS…

And a Carnatic concert in the evening

The concert festival at Nadasurabhi, Koramangala was almost drawing to its conclusion and Shri Maharajapuram Ramachandran sang on Sunday evening after a felicitation ceremony where Vidwan R.K.Srikanthan was conferred the Sangita Surabhi title by the association. There were speeches by Sri Kamalnath of Gayana Samaja and musicologist Mysore Subramania praising Srikanthan and his music. Dr. Srikanthan gave a short and sweet thanking speech too.

Getting to the concert, Ramachandran was accompanied by H.N Chandrashekhar on the violin, Giridhar Udupa on the Ghatam and V. Praveen on the Mridangam. Ramachandran has a voice almost like that of his late father, Santhanam. Maharajapuram Santhanam's was sweeter and had more timbre.
1.) Gananayaka in Sunadavinodini. Wonderfully sung and I was constantly thinking of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi's Hindol, the Hindustani equivalent of Sunadavinodini.
2.) Jaya Jaya - Naattai - Purandara Dasa
3.) Saranganatham - Gowla - Gopala Krishna Bharati Adi Talam

A Hindustani concert in the morning

Read in Hindu that Pandit Vijay Sardeshmukh from Pune would be performing a concert at Bangalore Gayana Samaja. I've heard him many years back at Alladiya Khansaheb festival and didn't want to miss this musical treat. The concert was organized by Hindustani Sangeeta Kalakara Mandali and he was accompanied by Vyasamurti Katti on harmonium and Udayraj Karpor on tabla. The audience were few (hardly 50-75 people).

Panditji is a disciple of Pandit Kumar Gandharva and has a sweet yet powerful voice just like his late Guru. In fact his voice bears a resemblance to that of his guru.

He commenced his concert with Raga Miyan Ki Todi. He sang a bandish in Vilambit Ektaal. His mastery over Ragas and years of ardous Riyaaz were reflected in his singing. He sang a traditional Bandish by Sadarang in Drut Teen Taal and a Tarana too. His sparkling taans over multiple octaves are worth mentioning about. Panditji then sang Raga Deskar. The next song was a bhajan by Saint Namdev in some type of Bh…

TM Krishna @ Nadasurabhi

Listened to TMK at Nadasurabhi, Koramangala accompanied by H.K.Venkatram on the violin, Cheluvaraju on the Mridangam and Smt. Sukanya Ramgopal on the Ghatam. This concert was the drabbest concert at Nadasurabhi this year.After splendid performances by Prof. T.N.Krishnan, Vijaya Siva, Sowmya and Sanjay(he sang the previous day and was brilliant. Will blog about that in a separate post.) Krishna's concert was lack-lusture.Maybe it was one of those days when Krishna was not in fine fettle.1.) Varnam - Ninnukori in Mohanam2.) Nayaki - Nee Bhajana Gana - St. Thyagaraja -Rupakam3.) Devagandhari - Tulasamma -St. Thyagaraja. This was soung in Vilamba kalam or Chauka kalam by Krishna . He was not able to maintain a constant rhythm and this was evident on listening to the mridangam accompaniment.4.) Taka - Raka SashivadanA- St. Thyagaraja- ok5.) Huseni - Shri Kalahastisha - Dikshithar. Nice alapana and this was rendered ok- He forgot the lyrics in between.6.) Latangi - Aparadhamu - Patnam S…

Sowmya @ Koramangala

I reached the venue a little late on account of a traffic jam outside office. Sowmya was accompanied by Nalina Mohan on the violin and Anoor Anathakrishna Sharma on the mridangam.
My mom had missed the Varnam but was present for the rest of the concert.

1.) Varnam - ? someone who attended this concert from the beginning can leave a comment
2.) Nadasudha Rasam - St. Thyagaraja - Arabhi
3.) Chittam Irangaden Aiya - Mishra Chapu - Papanasam Sivan. I've always liked the Sahanas sung by Sowmya. Heard from mom that this was no exception.
4.) Brovabarama - St. Thyagaraja - Bahudari.
5.) Devi Brova - Chintamani. This Shyama Shastri masterpiece was sung well
6.) Abhogi -As I entered the venue, I could hear her mellifluous Alapanai in this ragam. Going by the no. of songs already rendered, I thought she was planning an RTP in Abhogi. But she sang NeeKurugi by Papanasam Sivan.The neraval and swara improvisations were at Valli Devayani ManavalA.
7.) Dwijawanti - Akhilandeshwari - Muthuswamy Dikshitha…

TNK @ Koramangala

The Kormangala Sangeeta Sabha concerts have commenced and listened to Prof. TNK 2 days back. Was a wonderful concert and since my friend has reviewed it so well already, adding a link to the same

Just wanted to add a couple of lines to what has been written. Was amazed by Prof. TNK's virtuosity and more so by his ability to play for almost 2 and half hours despite being an octogenarian. He has been giving public performances for 70 years. The blessings of his father Veena Narayana Iyer and all the stalwarts Prof. TNK has accompanied are with him. I liked the RTP in Begada a lot and his Sindhu Bhairavi. (Was reminded of Smt. N. Rajamji's playing "Mat ja jogi" the Bhajan popularized by her Guru, Sangeet Martanda Pt. Omkarnath Thakur. Having listened to Rajamji on multiple occasions in Bombay and knowing her personally, felt that their humility and total devotion to the cause of music is another reason why t…

Another Wonderful Concert by Rudrapatnam Brothers

I attended a concert by Rudrapatnam Brothers at Devagiri Sangita Sabha over the weekend. It was organized by the Suswaralaya School of Music. They were accompanied by Mridangam Maestro Umayalpuram K Shivaraman , Mysore Nagaraj on the violin and Sundaraman on the Khanjira. They commenced their concert with the Kalyani varnam Vanajakshi in Ata Talam. UKS's mridangam playing added to the beauty of this Varnam. The brothers moved on to Mayamalavagowlai and sang Meru Samana (wonderful neraval and swarams as Kanakabhushana Mula Sobillu). They then sang a rare Dikshithar kirtanam Rudra Kopa Jata in Rudrapriya. (Haven't heard this raga much and could just gauge that it was a Janyam of Karaharapriya. Confirmed the raga after getting home and referring to TKG's book on Dikshithar). The next item was Raga Bilahari. The younger of them, RK.Taranathan rendered a detailed alapanai and Mysore Nagaraj followed suit. They sang St. Thyagaraja's Toli Janmamu. The icing on the cake was…

Concert schedules of 2 Music festivals in Bangalore

Nadasurabhi Cultural Association, Koramangala, Bangalore, as part of its 14th annual music festival, is organizing a week long cultural festival between 13th and 19th November, 07.
Artistes include :
13th Nov, 07 Prof. T.N. Krishnan's violin solo,
14th Nov, 07 Vijay Siva,
15th Nov, 07 S. Sowmya,
16th Nov, 07Sanjay Subrahmanyan,
17th Nov, 07T.M. Krishna,
18th Nov, 07 Maharajapuram Ramachandran and
a dance solo by Manasi Prasad followed by 'aaraar Aasaipadaar', a documentary on Carnatic music featuring Sanjay Subrahmanyan on the final day.

The concerts are free for all music lovers.
Venue: Conference Hall, St.John's Hospital Campus,
Above Bank of Baroda,
Opp. Reddy Janasangha College, 100 Feet Road, 3rd block, Koramangala, Bangalore,34.
All programs start at 6.00 p.m.

M.A.Narasimhachar Music Foundation's 6th Annual Music Festival
Venue - Bangalore Gayana Samaj Hall, K.R.Road.Bangalor…

On listening to an MS concert - part 1

Was listening to an MS concert today from the earlier 60s. The accompanists are unknown and Smt. Radha is not singing with her mom. Trying a different style of writing; am listing the concert songs and interspersing them with my comments.
01.) Era nApai - Varnam – tODI – Patnam Subramaniam Iyer
Wonderful as always – listened to another rendering of Era nApai by MS in a compilation of Varnams released by HMV recently02.) vAtApi gaNapatim – hamsadhwani – Mutthuswamy Dikshithar
Racy rendition – nice swara combinations (This song sung elaborately by KJ Yesudas will still remain my favorite Hamsadhwani.)
03.) rAmA nannu brOvarA – harikAmbOdhi -
Liked the neraval and detailed elaboration as compared to the one of hers at UN which is a quicker version.
04.) hari nArAyaNa – kEdAram- Purandaradasa
Never heard this song before. Trust MS amma to do absolute justice to even an unheard of Kriti.
05.) vAcAma gOcaramE – kaikavAsi- Thyagaraja
Another rarely heard song in a rare Raga. (These days singers rare…

Obsessive Compulsive Asaveri Listening Disorder ?

I seem to suffering from OCALD (My sister who is a doctor and practicing psychiatrist while discussing her cases talks about OCD wherein people continue to do the same thing again and again.) In my case I have been hooked on to listening to Ragam Asaveri since last week. Developed a liking for this Ragam after listening maestro Veena Balchander's Dikshithar Kirtanam "Chandram Bhaja Manasa". Balchander, supported by a couple of his disciples, has rendered this song both vocally and on the veena. I have a vintage recording of M.S. Subbalakshmi singing this song self accompanied on the Veena (at Kalki Gardnes). I also seached Sangitapriya and found renditions of this song by Brindamma , DK Pattammal and Sowmya.

Some more on the details on Asaveri. It is a janyam of HanumatThodi .In its Arohanam, Ga and Ni are omitted. In Avarohanam, all the seven swaras are included. Hence, its Jati is Audava-Sampoorna. It is an early morning raga which is very pleasant to hear. It is an …

Another archive CD - Surshree Kesarbai Kerkar

While searching for a particular CD from my collection, I spotted another rare gem of a CD. An archive of Surshree Kesarbai Kerkar. She was one of the best female singers of her time and a disciple of Khansaheb Alladiya Khan, the founder of Jairpur-Atrauli school of music. She had a rich and powerful voice but yet sounds mellifluous. I like her uncanny ability to portray the entire beauty of a Raga within a minute of beginning the same and her wonderful taans - the result of rigorous practice for years on end.

The list of accompanists is unknown. This CD contained some ragas which are treasures of the Jaipur Gharana.
Kafi Kanada (Jod or Anvat Ragas were a speciality of this school of music and this raga is an amalgam of Kafi and Nayaki Kanada both pleasing ragas by themselves ) and
Gauri. (more on Kesarbai's Lalita Gauri some other time)

The CD also includes a few light classical thumris in Des , Kafi and Bhairavi.

The recording contains a lot of disturbance and the volume o…

Chowdiah's AIR archive CD

I had purchased this CD almost an year back and had listened to it once then. I lent it to a couple of select friends to listen to and got it back recently (I am very possessive about my collection and don't normally lend my cassettes or CDs, exceptions being an exclusive category of music crazy people like myself.) I listened to it today morning and was captivated by Chowdiah's music prowess. The tonal quality of the SaptaTandi - seven stringed violin invented by this musical genius from Mysore - is unique. Some info from the sleeve notes attached "Chowdiah's innovation created a revolution and stalwarts of the day like Mysore Vasudevachar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Maharajapuram VishwanathaIyer, Musiri and GNB longed to have hin for violin accompaniment as he would inspire them to give forth their best." Chowdiah was equally comfortable playing solo as accompanying great masters of his time.
The song list in this collection …

Neyvelli Santanagoplan at Ragigudda Temple

Yesterday , we attended a concert by Neyelli Santanagopalan at Ragigudda temple under the aegis of Kanikapuri Vaidika Sabha . He was accompanied by H Chandrasekhar on the violin, Arjun Kumar on the mridangam and Amrut on the Kanjira. Missed the first couple of songs due to traffic along the way :( (Navaragamalika Varnam and Mayamalavagowla) While entering the temple premises, heard the Alapanai of Dhanyasi Ragam. He sang the rare Dikshithar kirtanam Paradevatam (have heard only MLV render this song). The neraval and swarams captured the essence of Dhanyasi ragam. The percussionists though good were too loud at times. He then sang Annapurne Vishalakshi in Sama (had listened to the same by KVN a couple of days back and had discussed with a friend that no one can sing this song like KVN. Still stand by that :-) . The main piece for the concert was Kalyani. The alapanai was brilliantly rendered. Neyvelli seemed to have a bad throat day but that didn't hamper his singing a bit. He eff…

Vintage KVN concerts

Listened to 2 full fledged kucheris(concerts) by my all time favourite singer Sangita Kalanidhi Pallakad K.V. Narayanaswamy. Both of them were recorded live at Jamshedpur and were almost 10 years apart.
Jamshedpur - KVN 1972
01.) Vanajakshi - Kalyani
02.) Sidhi Vinayakam - Chamaram - Dikshithar
03.) Endaro Mananu - Sri - Thyagaraja
04.) Entara - Harikamboji - Thyagaraja
05.) Raghuvara Nannu - Pantuvarali - Thyagaraja
06.) Karaharapriya - Pakkala Nilabadi - Thyagaraja
07.) Orajupaju - KannadaGowla - Thyagaraja
08.) Shankarabharanam - Eduta Nilichite - Thyagaraja
09.) Sumasayaka - Kapi - Swathi Tirunal
10.) Karunanidhiye Taye - Bowli -
11.) NatamAdi - Kamboji -
12.) Neekelanayana - Nagaswaravali ?
13.) RTP - Dhanyasi
14.) Ragamalika - Virutham - Khamas + AnandaBhairavi + Nattakurinji + Sindhu Bhairavi + Jonpuri
15.) Aliveni - Kurunji -
16.) Chittam Eppadiyo - Nadanamakriya
17.) Yamuna Kalyani -krishna nee
18.) Jagaddodharana - Kaapi
19.) Sindhu Bhairavi bhajan
20.) Mangalam

The choice of ragas baffled me. On…

Musings on watching a KVN video

I procured a video recording of one of my all time favorite singers Sangita Kalanidhi Pallakad KV Narayanaswamy recently. Firstly, sincere thanks to the gentleman who took the pains to record and upload the same. KVN is accompanied by UK Shivaraman on the Mridangam and T. Veeraraghavan on the violin and vocally supported by Smt. Padma Narayanaswamy. I never had an opportunity to listen to KVN in a live concert and this recording partly fulfilled that dream of mine. The recording commences with St. Thyagaraja's masterpiece Sogusuga Mridanga talamu in Ragam Sriranjani. I've listened to this kriti rendered by different maestros multiple times, but rate KVN's rating as the best one so far. The slow pace at which he has sung the kriti adds to the beauty of the raga. This is followed by Ranjani, the kriti being Dattatreya. (A friend of mine , another die hard fan of KVN, remarked that only a true maestro KVN could switch context from Sriranjani to Ranjani in a jiffy and I full…

Sowmya at Malleshwaram

It has been a while since I posted anything on my blog. Got busy with work and didn't get time to attend any live concerts.While going through the Hindu on Saturday 6th Oct. 07, I spotted that a concert of S. Sowmya was being held at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat as part of a festival to celebrate Vidwan RK Venkatramana Shastry's birth centenary. One of my aunts who is part of my musical network to keep track of good concerts happening in B'lore called me up to confirm the same. Sowmya was accompanied by Charulata Ramanujam on violin, Krishna on the mridangam and MA Krishnamurthy on the ghatam. We reached the venue a little late and missed the varnam.(Learnt later that it was Eranapai in Thodi) Since the auditorium was full, we occupied seats on the podium. Sowmya sang Raga Mayamalavagowlai - Tulasidala Mulache by St. Thyagaraja. This was followed my another masterpeice of Saint Thyagaraj - Evasudha in Ragam Sahana. The alapanai both sung and played on the violin was taste…

Degradation of poeple's tastes in film music ?

I had been to Chennai (Madras) over the weekend. I have been trying to procure the CD of a movie titled Sringaram - The Dance of Love ( As the name indicates, the movie is based on the Bharatnatyam system of dance) since a while. The music for this movie has been composed by Violin virtuosoShriLalgudi G Jayaraman. It is his first attempt at composing music for films and I read that he won the National Award for Best composer for this movie. That strengthened my resolve to get a copy of this CD. My first bet was Landmark, a wonderful book shop chain which also stocks CDs (picked up a few books on music - The Spiritual Heritage of St. Thyagaraja, The Madras Quartet by Indira Menon and Great masters of Hindustani Music by MohanNadkarni - a music critic for Times of India for many decades.). The registry at their help desk indicated that they were not aware that a movie of this name existed. I then decided to try my luck at music shops in T Nagar, the cultural hub of Chennai. (The hordes…

BANGALORE GAYANA SAMAJA - Music Conf and concert schedule


Sri. SATISH KUMAR Mrudangam

Sri. V. V. RAVI Violin
Sri. V. PRAVEEN Mrudangam

Smt. M. S. SHEELA Vocal

WEDNESDAY 8th AUGUST 2007 at 7-45 PM


Sri. G..S.RAMANUJAM Ghatam


Rudrapatnam Brothers @ Banasankari Fine Arts

Yesterday (15th July,07) we attended a vocal recital by Rudrapatnam brothers Dr. R.N.Thyagarajan and R.N.Taranathan. Was a wonderful performance on the whole. They have voices which each easily blend into each other's. Giridhar Udupa was on the Ghatam (didn't catch the names of the Violin and Mridanam accompanists. The latter was a girl from US.)

Song list:
1.) Viriboni Varnam (Bhairavi /Ata Talam)
2.) Jayajaya janaki (Nattai/ Purandaradasa / KhandaChapu)
3.) Marivere (Ananda Bhairavi / Shyama Shastri / Chapu)
4.) Sobillu Saptaswara ( Jaganmohini / Thyagaraja /Rupaka)
5.) Lavanya Rama (Purna Shadjam / Thyagaraja /Rupaka)
6.) Kantimati (Hevamati / Mutthuswami Dikshithar / Adi)

The Hemavati alapana was scintilating. The kriti was rendered beautifully with a nice round of neraval and svarams at 'dyaSTOttara sahasra kalashAbhiSEkAmOdAmsurahitAm'.

Had to leave the concert venue before the concert ended as it was pretty late by the time the tani avartanam ended.

My grandma and Carnatic music

I lost my maternal grandma recently and have been wanting to blog about her and her love for Carnatic since a while. Everytime I get started with these posts, I'd get too emotional and stop.Finally I've decided to complete this post. (Will publish another post on her as a wonderful human being later).

My grandma Smt. Alamelu Raman, was a walking talking encyclopedia of Carnatic Music and a good singer. She had learnt music in school and imbibed all that was being taught to her cousins. She has remnisced that her grandpa used to often remark "Alamelu is a genius -she just listens to a song a couple of times and is able to reproduce it so wonderfully". She kept her yearning for music alive as long as she was alive. Music was and remained was one of her life-lines. She used to learn music over the radio, making meticulous notes from Voleti Venkateshwarulu's "Learn to Sing" on All India Radio. She also learnt a kot of kirtanams from Manakkal Brothers when my…

On Flute Shashank's performance

On 25th April (07), We attended a concert by famous flautist Master Shashank. Reached the venue with Great expectations as it has been good listening to Shashank live. The concert began almost 30 minutes behind schedule which is a rarity at Rama Bhajana Seva Mandali. Shashank began with an Ata Tala Kanada Varnam (after providing the audience with a Hobson's Choice of the same). The Latangi he played after that was very elaborate. He was alternately brilliant and lack lusture. The Saramati that followed was equally detailed and he managed to put a few people in the audience to sleep (saw a couple of them seated in the same row as us itself.) The Hindustani influence of Pandit Jasraj with whom Shashank is learning now became highly evident. I have nothing against Hindustani music or Panditji but when people begin to mix both styles, the end effect somehow doesn't sound appealing. I've heard violin maestro N. Rajamji play both styles; but when she plays Raga Bageshri it is pu…

Listening to Vijay Shiva's concert

On 18th April (07), I attended a concert by Shri Vijay Siva. Reached the venue a little late as we went directly from office. Vijay was singing the Thyagaraja Kirtanam "Entaninne " in Mukhari. This was followed by the Begada kirtanam 'Abhimanamendu' - Ragam Saveri was taken up by Vijay and RK Sriramkumar next with detailed Aalapanai. I was hoping he would sing DKJ's favourite Thyagaraja Kirtanam in Savei - Rama Bana but what follwed was the Dikshithar masterpiece - 'Shri Rajagopala'I listened to the Ragam and Tanam in Kanada and then left as we had to get home in order to reach office on time the next day. Sangeeta Kalanidhi DKJ must have been all smiles in heaven listening to two of his best disciples.

U.Srinivas and U Rajesh at Ramabhajana Seva Mandali -07

Yet another post describing yet another concert I attended. The artist of the day (14th April,07)Mandolin U Srinivas. I've listened to him solo on many occasions) but this was the first time I listened to him with his younger brother (and disciple) U Rajesh. They began the concert with the Thodi Varnam Eranapai followed by VaraVallabha in Hamsadhwani (the speedy notes played towards the end of this kirtanam deserve special mention.) The next set of compositions were Saint Thyagaraja's Raghuvara in Pantuvarali, St. PurandaraDasa's composition in Hindolam (wasn't able to decipher which) and the Dikshithar masterpiece Param Dhamavati in Dharmavati. Both Srinivas and Rajesh played this Ragam in an elaborate manner. H.K.Venkatraman's violin support was simply too good and recieved a round of well deserved applause. They played a few more Thyagaraja compositions - a rare one in Kotipriya (I guess I've gotten the name right - the ragam is a janyam of Mayamalavagowla m…

My musings on Dwaram's AIR archive CD

I listened to a radio recording of Violin Maestro Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu released by All India Radio from their archives. He has been accompanied on the violin by his daughter Dwaram Mangathayaru in this recital.

Attaching a snippet from the sleeve notes on the CD - "Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu, was well known for his deft handling of complex ragas. Though a traditionalist at heart, even as he adhered to the orthodox Carnatic style, he was receptive to fresh ideas. He won many laurels and great praise for his exquisite handling of violin."

The concert began with the Dikshithar masterpiece "Vathapi Ganapathim" in Hamsadhwami. This was followed by Subbaraya Shastri's "Janani Ninnuvina". The next three Kirtanams were Thyagaraja masterprices - Durmaga Charadhamulanu in Ranjani (the swara improvisations were mind-blowing), Brovabarama in Bahuari and Kshirasagara in Devagandhari.

I hope AIR releases more recordings of the Violin Virtuoso as they are a real t…

An evening at Alladiya Khansaheb Music festival

Last weekend I was able to attend some of the concerts 30th Annual Music Festival held at Mumbai as a musical tribute to Ustad Khansaheb Alladiya Khan, the doyen vocalist and founder of Jaipur Atrauli Gharana of music. This school has provided many wonderful gems such as Smt. Kesarbai Kerkar, Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur, Smt. Mogubai Kurdikar and her daughter Kishori Amonkar, Pt. Nivrtibua Sarnaik, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan etc.

I got to listen to a vocal recital by Pandit Sudhit Pote from Kolhapur and a sitar recital by Smt. Shaswati Ghosh. Panditji commenced his recital with Raga Bhimpalasi-Dhanashree. (I missed the announcement and racked my brains during the initial half to figure out the raga. This being a JOD(combination) raga proved to be a Herculean task.) This was followed by Raga Gauri from Bhairav Thaat and not the one from Marwa Thaat that is more commonly rendered by the Jaipur school.
Smt. Shaswati Ghosh was born in a musical family and initiated into Sitar played by her parents…

A small tribute to Muktamma

T Mukta, of the famed Brinda-Mukta duo of jugalbandi singers and the only surviving grandchild of Veena Dhannamal passed away on Sunday. She was an authority on Padams and Javalis, Shyama Shastri and Dikshithar Kirtanams, a patient and loving teacher and the torchbearer of the much-adored Dhanammal bani (style) of music.

May her soul rest in peace. I am sure she'll be singing in heaven with her sisters T.Brinda and T.Abhiramasundari on the violin. Or they might be having a Sangeet-mehfil (music session) with the entire Dhannamal family participating. Its only the Gods and demigods who can listen to these concerts live. We mortals have to content ourselves with the few available recordings of these Gandharvas of music.

Adding this link with a well written article on her.

TSK yesterday and MMI today

I blogged about the power of TSK 's music yesterday;today it was another stalwart's turn to keep me spellbound. I continued playing the same mp3 CD I mentioned about. Listened to part of a live concert by MMI. The concert commenced with the Thyagaraja Krithi- Telisi Ramachandra in PoornaChandrika Ragam.This was followed by a Dikshithar masterpiece Angarakamashrayamyaham in Suruti and Nijamarmamu in Umabharanam (another MMI favourite which he used to render in a lot of his concerts and thus popularised.) But the best part of the concert was yet to follow. Another MMI favourite - Mohanam. I have heard his Papanasam Kriti Kapali before and assumed during the aalapanai that this would be another rendition of the same. However the composition that followed was Saint Thyagaraja's Mohana rama. I have decided (though it might be difficult to implement) not to listen to old-timers of Carnatic music if I need to be in office early.

69th Sreerama Navami Celebrations - Fort High School Grounds, Bangalore Details

27-March-2007, 6:45 PM - Kadri Gopalnath, A.Kanyakumari, B.Harikumar, N.Amruth, B.Rajasekhar
28-March-2007, 6:30 PM - K.J Yesudas, Mahadeva Sharma, B.Harikumar, T.K Radhakrishnan 29-March-2007, 6:30 PM - Suma Sudhindra (Veena), Shubhendra Rao (Sitar), Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, Ravindra Yavagal
30-March-2007, 6:30 PM - Dr.N.Ramani (Flute), Nagai Muraleedharan, K.V Prasad, N.Amruth 31-March-2007, 6:30 PM - Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Nagai Muraleedharan, Guruvayur Dorai, M.A Krishnamoorthy
01-April-2007, 9:00 AM - A.Kanyakumari (Violin), K.V Prasad, N.Amruth, B.Rajasekhar
01-April-2007, 6:30 PM - Hyderabad Brothers, Mysore Shrikanth, D.S.R Murthy, D.Mohite 02-April-2007, 6:30 PM - Vidyabhooshana, M.A Krishnaswami, K.V Jayachandra Rao, B.N Chandramouli
03-April-2007, 6:30 PM - S.Sowmya, Embar S.Kannan, H.S Sudhindra, Sukanya Ramgopal
04-April-2007, 7:15 PM - T.N.S Krishna, Jyothsna Shrikanth, M.T Rajakesari, Shrishailam
05-April-2007, 7:15 PM - Vijayalakshmi Subrahmanyam, Usha Rajagopal, M.T Rajake…

My hunt for T. Balasaraswati's recording

I have been hunting for a recording of "Krishna Nee Begane baro" by Balasaraswati ever since a grand uncle of mine remarked (about 10 years ago) that only 2 musicians can claim to have done full justice to this song. One is KVN and the other the legendary dancer Balasaraswati. I had a few recordings of the song by KVN but none by Balasaraswati. A close friend and colleague of mine, Vinod, who is an avid music lover sent me the following link and told me to listen to MDR's Kalyani. I then found that this link contained a link to T.Balasaraswati and T.Vishwanathan's "Krishna Nee Begane baro" . After listening to this, I fully agree with my grand uncle. It was an amazing rendition indeed.

Another record I have been hunting for since the last 15 years is a jugal-bandi of Raga Basant Bahar by Hirabai Barodekar and Saraswatibai Rane. I hope to get it someday someplace just as I got to listen to Balasarasw…

The Magic of TSKalyanaraman's Music

I had decided that I would come to office early today as I had some tasks to complete today. That however was not to be and I came in an hour later than I had planned to. I was listening to an MP3 CD containing recordings by Shri T.S.Kalyanaraman (he was one of the seniormost disciples of GNB) .His brilliant rendition of a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Ragam Shubhapantuvarali ensured that I stay glued to my seat at home; I couldn't move till this pallavi concluded. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is the only other artist (this is my personal opinion) who has woven such magic in his Miyan Ki Todi -the Hindustani equivalent of Shubhapantuvarali.


This happens to be my first shot at blogging. I have always been proud of the fact that I possess a good vocabulary but putting my thoughts onto a blog may not be that simple. Guess I just need to get my creative juices flowing :-) I am an avid lover of Indian classical music and hence have chosen my nickname to be Thodi -one of the most majestic ragas of Carnatic music.