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 tastefully rendered. The song I liked best was Brovavamma in Manji that followed next.(Guess it was a combination of the vilamba kala exposition in Mishra Chapu talam, the grandeur of this composition by Shyama Shastri and the fact that Manji is very pleasing to the ear coupled with Sowmya's scholarly presentation of the same.) After a slow Manji it was a fast paced Vijayashri composition -VaraNarada Narayana. The racy neravals and kalpna swaras at Prakatambuga was worth mentioning about (I had always thought only Chembai could do justice to this raga with his Katri swarams.). Sowmya chose Hari Kamboji as the main piece for the day.(Not many people attempt such a feat .I was confused for a while as I felt it was Kamboji and yet knew it sounded slightly different.)While Charulata was playing alapana on the violin there was a power failure but she continued uninterruptedly.Fortunaltely the auditorium had a generator backup. The kirtanam sung was Dinamani Vamsa by St. Thyagaraja. The Tani avartanam which lasted for 15 minutes was superb. MAK proved his mastery over the Ghatam. Sowmya concluded her concert with a Dasaru pada in Chandrakauns, Kavadi Chindu, Tillana in Mandari(not cent per cent sure -as it sound a lot like Basant and Pantuvarali too but was neither) and Mangalam.

Another thing which made my day was the CD shop at the venue. I managed to procure a vintage Navaratri Mandapam concert by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. R.K.Srikanthan accompanied by 2 other jambavans (stalwarts) Palaghat Mani Iyer and Lalgudi G Jayaraman on the mridangam and violin respectively. Will post my views on this soon as I am still listening to these.

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