Semamngudi nostalgia on his birth centenary birthday

My tribute to vocal maestro Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer on his 100th Birth centenary.

The first thought that came to my mind is that had I been born a day earlier, I would have had the privilege of sharing my birthday with this great maestro. People (musicians /his students/ critics ) have written a lot about this doyen of music who also earned the name Pita Maha of Carnatic music as he had a long innings of 70 + years as a performing artiste and lived to a ripe old age of 96. So I won't delve on these aspects.

I felt that the best way of paying tribute to SSI on his birthday was by listening to a concert of his as he he will leave on for ever in the form of his music. I chose a vintage concert of his in which he is accompanied by Lalgudi G Jayaraman and Vellore Ramabhadran. I had picked this concert album released by Carnatica at the Rama Navami Festival at Fort High school ground music this year. It includes a lot of songs which SSI made famous and which one will always associate with him.

01 Sadinchane - Arabhi - Saint ThyAgarajA - Adi - A short and sweet rendition. I like Santhanam's rendition of this Thyagaraja Kriti and I could discern similarities between his rendition and that of SSI
02 Devadeva - Mayamalavagowla -Swathi Tirunal. Nobody can sing this Kriti like SSI. Racy swara patterns at JataRupa. I also like his Inta Parakka in the same raga a lot.(This live recording was a favorite of my grandmother too.)

03 NinneVenda - karnataka Behag - Saint ThyAgarajA -Adi
Another song sung mainly by SSI - don't have renditions by any other singer. Semmangudi's swara patterns dazzle.

04 Biranabrova_Kalyani - Tharangampadi Panchanatha Iyer - Adi - A detailed AlApana followed by Lalgudi's violin precedes this kriti rendition.

05 Sri Venkatesha- Suruti - Muthuswamy Dikshithar - One of the lesser known aspects of SSI's music is that he was that he had a wide repertoire of rare Dikshithar kritis. Haven't heard anyone except SSI and Voleti sing this song.

06 Kshinamai - MukhAri - Saint ThyAgarajA -Adi - another song popularized by SSI.

(To continue ..... )


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