My Chennai Diary 2008 - 25thDec - part2

The next concert we attended was of Hyderabad brothers at ParthasArathi Sabha. Some details for those who didn't read my blog last year. This sabha was founded in 1900 and is the oldest music Sabha in Madras. It seems to be caught in a time warp - old auditorium, tall fans, not too great acoustics . Wonderful pictures of Lord Parthasarathy at the venue.

Vocal: Hyderabad Brothers
Violin: S. Varadarajan
Mridangam: Karaikudi Mani
Khanjira: N Amrith

01. kanjadalAyadAkshi - kamalAmanOhari - Dikshithar - Adi -
Crisp rendition.
02. samayamidE nannu brOva (S @ pallavi) - kEdAram - MDR? - rUpakam
03. nI paramA nAma (sketch, S @ pallavi) - Ananda bhairavi - St. Thyagaraja- Adi
04. sogasujUda tharamA - kannada gowLa - St. Thyagaraja- rUpakam
05. pAmarajana pAlini (R, N @ kAmikAntha paladAyini, S) - simmhEndramadhyamam - Dikshithar - rUpakam
06. palukuTEchE palamEni (short sketch) - phalamanjari - St. Thyagaraja- rUpakam
07. vidajAlathurA - janaranjani - Adi
08. srI rAjagOpAla (R, S @ pallavi, T) - sAvEri - Adi
This was well rendered but the punch they had packed into a studio recording of this Kriti was missing.
Karaikudi Mani sir played a wonderful power-packed tani. Amruth played fitting replies to Mani sir. Amruth is from Bangalore and the son on Basavangudi Nataraj, a violin and mridangam vidwan. He plays the khanjira exactly like his guru G. Harishankar sir. Both of them accompanied excellently for all krithis.

09. enthati kulukE - kalyANi - rUpakam
10. entha nEvanenthunE sakhi - shudha sAveri - rUpakam
11. munthadi valEnApai - bhairavi- mishra chApu
12. evathE pAdu nammA - aTANa - khanda chApu
13. rAgam - madhyamAvathi

Good concert - was happy to note that Raghavachary(the elder brother) is back in form and actively participating while singing. His AnandaBhairavi and SAveri Alapanas were nice. They kept referring to their notes while singing. Though it was not one of their best concerts (their manodharma was stifled) , I liked it because of the songs rendered.

The next concert at ParthasArathi Sabha was of another set of jodi singers Ranjani-Gayatri. They were accompanied by KV Prasad on the mridangam and Mysore Srikanth on the violin.
1.) Chintachercha - ? Sourashtram
2.) Durbar - Andal Tirrupavai
3.) Bilahari - Paridanamichite- patnam subramaniam iyer - adi
4.) ShubhapantuvarAli - Shri SatyanArayanam - Dikshithar
Left the venue listening to sweet strains of MadhyamAvathi
Ranjani and Gayatri sing well but have this tendency to be agressive and speed through their renditions.Their voices are good though - melliflous yet powerful.

Sridhar and I met Amruth outside the venue and told him that his Tani was excellent. He attributed to God's grace. We spent about half an hour chatting with him. He told us that he began learning the mridangam when he was 6 years old and had a choice between the ghatam and khanjira as an upapakkavAdyam. He chose the later as one's fingers harden at the base while playing the ghatam and thats not good if one chooses to play both the mridangam and ghatam. He was impressed with Harishankar sir's style of playing and began learning to play like him by listening to his audio recordings. He mentioned about seeing Harishankar sir on TV and mistaking him to be a foreigner on account of his Albinoism.When Amruth finally met Harishankar sir, he told him that he had learnt to play like him and if sir would accept him as his disciple; if sir refused he would continue to learn from tapes as he wanted to play the Khanjira just like Harishankar sir and no one else. After listening to his playing, sir accepted him as a student and he learnt from him for a few years till Harishankar sir's demise. (That year witnessed the passing away of 2 Khanjira vidwans , G.Harishankar and T. Nagarajan.)
Amruth dropped us at Mylapore bus stand in his car. We didn't expect him to do that but it was a nice gesture on his part and shows his humility despite being one of the front ranking Khanjira players in India.

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