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Monday, October 9, 2017

Nostalgia – that Priceless Ingredient in Carnatic Music


Vid. Neyveli Santhanagopalan
1990 'Parvathi' Ramanavami Concert


R. Sachi - 'Distinguished artists and some memorable times'


Dear rasikas, we are pleased to share, just before Deepaavali, a gem of a concert from 1990.

Mysore, or Mysuru as some spell it, just witnessed a grand Dasara festival. Dasara is a big deal for Mysoreans. It is a world of nostalgia. It also brings every year hordes of tourists who soak in the sights and sounds and tastes of a great royal city.




What is life without nostalgia? In fact, nostalgia is the priceless ingredient of Carnatic music. Any rasika worth his salt would start regaling or boring you within a few minutes with stories of how Maharajapuram (not the son or grandson or great grandson but the big daddy, Sri Vishwanatha Iyer) sang that incredible Mohana in 1955. Or how GNB wore that wonderful perfume called Swag and women used to swoon over it. How MSS gave that incredible benefit concert when she sang O Rangashayi for 50 minutes. Or how Palghat Mani Iyer played the main role in that concert 50 years ago. Or how Mahalingam warred with Chowdiah musically on stage in 1958.

We also gloat in nostalgia at Parvathi. We are proud of its 70+ years heritage of concerts. In fact we bring you now a vintage 1990 concert of the incomparable Vidwan Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. He is a multifaceted genius and performs as well as teaches around the world. He perhaps holds a world record for training huge choir ensembles in USA.

Sri. Santhanagopalan gives in this concert held over 27 years ago a delectable concert, with melody and depth. The accompaniments of Sri. Mysore Nagaraj on the violin and Sri. Rajagopal, a veteran artiste, on the mridangam, Sri. Krishnamurthi on the ghatam, are very enjoyable.

After a vervy Hamsadhwani, we have a classic Pantuvarali. Then comes a great Nalinakanti and then a sweet Kapi. What more is needed for a diehard rasika?

Kapi is an eternal favourite in Carnatic music. Whereas Jagadoddharana is perhaps one of the most famous Carnatic songs, there are gems composed by Thyagaraja that allow for the elaborate treatment of a main piece in Kapi. Here Sri. Santhanagopalan, ably accompanied by Sri. Nagaraj, paints a resplendent portrait of a raga rich in colour with many star-studded melodious phrases. Appropriately, he sings the song wherein Saint Thyagaraja says he cannot describe in words his infinite joy in singing the name of Rama.

The post-tani songs in Tilang, Bhimplas, Hamsanandi and Behag, are full of bhava and round off a great fare.


Concert Details

Neyveli Santhanagopalan ----------- Vocal
Mysore Nagaraj ------------------------ Violin
V.S.Rajagopal..................................Mridangam
M. A. Krishnamurthi......................... ........Ghatam
on 10-4-1990 during Sri Ramanavami Music Festival

Song List

01 Intachala- Begade Varna – Veena Kuppaiyer ***02 Raghunayaka-Hamsadhwani-Thygaraja *** 03 Pantuvarali Raga *** 04 Raghvara ninnu-Thyagaraja *** 05 Nalinakanti Raga *** 06 Manavinala kinchara-Thyagaraja *** 07 Kapi Raga *** 08 Inta soukhya-Thyagaraja *** 09 Tani *** 10 Rama Rama –Tilang-Purandara dasa *** 11 Nandatanaya –Bhimplas-Purandara dasa *** 12 Viruttam:: Punnagai onru podhume- Hamsanandi-Ambujam Krishna *** 13 Tillana –Behag – Papanasam Sivan *** 14 Mangalam ***




Thursday, August 24, 2017

Worship through Music


Vid. Chittibabu
'Parvathi' Ganesha Festival 1968 Concert


A Review by R. Sachi


Dear rasikas, we wish you all a wonderful season of festivals, come earlier than usual in 2017. The famous Gauri Ganesha Festival of Mysore is upon us. Endless prayers, homas, image worship with the choicest of flowers, distribution of Prasad, the grand immersion procession, all fill our minds and hearts with the greatest joy.






Vid. Chittibabu should be described as a unique musician who produced the sweetest veena music in the world. We have already shared two concerts of his before. Here is a full concert performed 49 years ago in Parvathi Mysore! Vid. Chittibabu stormed the scene when Mr. K. Srikantiah introduced him to the appreciative audiences of Mysore in the 60’s.

In this concert, accompanied by some spirited percussion (Vid. Vellore Ramabhadran. Vid. Ramachar and Vid. Vaidyanathan), Sri. Chittibabu unleashes a plethora of beautiful ragas and songs.

The veena speaks to our hearts in the most loving manner. There cannot be any worship better than music. The great poet Kalidasa says in the Shyamaladandakam,


māṇikyavīṇāmupalālayantīṁ
madālasāṁ mañjuḻavāgvilāsām |
māhendranīladyutikomalāṅgīṁ
mātaṅgakanyāṁ manasā smarāmi ||

Translation: I pray to Gauri, daughter of Matanga Muni, of delicate limbs and lustrous mien
like the blue mountain, the charming maiden speaking with the sweetest voice, and
caressing the bejewelled veena.


The home of Parvathi, who have worshipped through music for seven decades and more, are conducting one more festival on 31 August, in memory of Sri. K. Puttu Rao. Here is the cordial invitation to all rasikas!




Vid. Chittibabu Concert from 49 years ago
Vid. Chittibabu – Veena
Vid. Vellore Ramabhadran – Mridangam
Vid. H.P. Ramachar – Khajira
Vid. Vaidyanathan – Ghatam
- Ganesha Festival held at Parvathi on 31 August 1968

Song List

01 Paridana micchite-Bilahari- Patnam Subramanya Iyer *** 02 Manivinala kinchara-Nalinakanti –Thyagaraja *** 03 Kamboji Raga*** 04 Tana in Ragamalika*** 05 Pallavi(Parimala Rangapate)-swara*** 06 Chinnanjiru kiliye(Ragamalika)- Subramanya Bharati *** 07 Govindamiha-Bageshri- Narayana Tirtha *** 08 Jagadodhaarana-Hindustani kapi – Purandara Dasa *** 09 Devaranama*** 10 Kommalo koyila*** 11 English note*** 12 Come september*** 13 Mangalam and Veda***




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Manasa Guruguha – The Intellectual’s Delight in Carnatic music


Vid. Hemmige S. Prashanth
K. Puttu Rao Memorial Concert 2014


A Review by R. Sachi


We bring to all our rasikas a fine vocal recital of the young musician, Vid. Hemmige S. Prashanth, from the 2014 K. Puttu Rao Memorial Festival, held at Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore.




Sri. Prashanth is a graduate in electrical engineering and pursues a career in technology, in addition to being a keen student and performer of Carnatic vocal music. He has trained under a great master- Sangeetha Kalanidhi K.V. Narayanaswamy- for a number of years. A sincere effort to seek out a great teacher is often rewarded by Providence by addressing the needs and aptitudes of the student by taking him to an appropriate Guru who embodies mastery, insight, and grace. That is the message of the Bhagavadgita which says
Bg 4.34
tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ


Meaning : Know THAT by long prostration, by question, and service, to the "wise" who have realised the Truth. They will instruct you in (that) 'Knowledge.'

The quintessence of Sri Palghat K.V. Narayanaswamy’s music was melody, balance, finesse, and subtlety. We can see many instances of that in the concert finely presented here by Vid. Prashanth, in the able company of Vid. Govindaswamy on the violin and Vid. Srinivas on the mridangam and ... on ghatam.

An important composition presented in this concert is “Manasa Guruguha” composed by Sri. Muthuswami Dikshitar in Ananda Bhairavi. Sri. Dikshitar, an incomparable composer, offers through his works constant delight to any intellectual who takes interest in Carnatic music. Sri. Dikshitar represents many confluences:

1. Musical confluence of Carnatic and Hindustani music.
2. Spiritual confluence of Adavita, Sri Vidya Upasana, and Guruguha/Skanda Upasana.
3. Combination of intricate metrical structures woven into a composition along with subtleties of the raga bhava.
4. Samskrita and scriptural erudition harnessed to elaborate on the Bhakti marga.

The Ananda Bhairavi composition is one of the Guruguha Vibhakti kritis, wherein each composition, addressed to Guruguha or Subrahmanya, employs a certain Vibhakti form for the nouns (in this case, Dwitiya Vibhakti, called Accusative case in English).

In this composition, the individual intellect (Manasa) is advised to pursue the path of liberation, by first recognising the twin realities of the Avidya (=ignorance) enveloping us, and at the same time, the opportunity afforded by one’s human birth (with its perceptive, intellectual, and Sadhana potential). Both these realities are God’s creation. At the same time, the path of liberation is also shown by God, and He grants the removal of ignorance by one’s surrender to Him. When one is ready, the Guru, who is none other than the human form of the Divine, takes the disciple under his care and shows the way.

Come, let us enjoy this wonderful concert!


Concert Details

Hemmige S.Prashanth ----------- Vocal
M.S.Govindaswamy ---------------Violin
B.R.Srinivas ------------------------ Mridangam
?????---------------------------------- Ghatam
Held at Jaganmohan Palace on 1-9-2014 during Sri K.Puttu Rao Music Festival at Mysore.

Song List

01 Neranammiti- Kanada- Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar *** 02 Ra Ra Mayintidaga -Asaveri- Thyagaraja *** 03 Kanjadalayatakshi- KamalaManohari – M Dikshitar*** 04 Manasa Guruguharupam –AnandaBhairavi- M Dikshitar *** 05 BirinavaraLicchivo- Kalyani – Shyama Shastri *** 06 BhogeendraSayinam- KuntalaVarali- Swathi Thirunal *** 07 Kaligiyunte Gada-Keeravani- Thyagaraja followed by Tani *** 08 Matadabaradeno- Khamach – Bangalore Nagaratnamma *** 09 Kandu Dhanyanade- Behag – Kamalesha Vitthala Dasa*** Mangalam


Friday, May 19, 2017

The King who worshipped the Mother Goddess


Vid. KS Gopalakrishnan- Flute,
1984 Parvathi Ramanavami Concert


"Reveling in a Flautist's Magic" by R. Sachi


It is our great pleasure to share with rasikas worldwide the flute recital of Vid. KS Gopalakrishnan, of over 3 hours, with the best of accompaniment too, from two Sangita Kalanidhis, Vid. M. Chandrasekharan and Vid. Umayalpuram Sivaraman. The concert was held at Parvathi 33 years ago.




The bamboo flute creates sheer magic in the hands of an expert flautist. The home of Parvathi and its large audience of avid music lovers had a chance to listen to many great vidwans and vidushis on the flute: Mali, Ramani, KSG, Sikkil sisters, BN Suresh, and recently Chandan Kumar, among others. The warm April weather, with occasional showers of grace, the bedecked mantapa of Sri Rama Pattabhisheka, the fragrance of parijata and jasmine, combined with the mesmerising sounds of the flute, carried off listeners into a different world of ethereal beauty. This concert will give you a charming glimpse of that world. And Sri KSG, with Sri MC and Sri UKS, fills the three plus hours with infinite melody.

Vid KSG presents a concert of great poise and virtuosity, anchored in melody and replete with imaginative phrases in Bindumalini, Kanada, Shanmukhapriya, Yamuna Kalyani...The recording faithfully captures the aesthetics and the on-stage dynamics between three maestros. The concert is so gripping that one will go into a listening loop of many hours.

The kriti taken up early in the concert is the Devi kriti in Kanada, Mamava Sada Janani, by the composer king Swathi Thirunal of Travancore. Anyone who has visited God’s own country, walked in its green forests, on its golden beaches, prayed at the Padmanabhaswami temple, and heard the compositions of Swathi Thirunal, cannot but think of heaven on earth.

The composer king lived a short but extremely beautiful life, full of music and literature. His compositions, tuned in such wonderful melodies, represent the best of Carnatic music. Vid. Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma, a great Sanskrit scholar, musicologist and disciple of Bidaram Krishnappa, has discussed in his book, “Ganakale””, the lyrical excellence and the high quality of Sanskrit used by Swathi Thirunal .In the song, Mamava Sada Janani, we get an inkling of the composer’s depiction of divine beauty. That is beauty that excels anything between heaven and earth. And that beauty showers grace, the grace of the Divine Mother. The mood harkens to the Devi Mahatmyam prayer, “Sarvamangala Mangalye ...”



Come, let us enjoy this great concert!


Details

K.S.Gopalakrishnan ---------- Flute
M.Chandrasekharan ---------- Violin
Umayalapuram Shivaraman --- Mridangam
at "Parvathi" on 15-4-84 during Ramanavami Music Festival.

Song List

01 Chalamela –VarnaNaattakurinji= M Rangaswamy Nattuvanar *** 02 Sri Mahaganapthe Surapathe-Nata-Mayavam Vishwanatha Shastri *** 03 Entamuddu- Bindumalini – Thyagaraja *** 04 Marivere dikkevvaru –Latangi- Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer *** 05 Kanada Raga*** 06 Maamavasada-Kanada-Swathi Thirunal *** Tani *** 07 Sarasamukhi-Gaudamalhar-Muthiah Bhagavatar *** 08 Shanmugapriya Raga*** 09 Tana*** 10 Pallavi-Ragamalika swaras (Shahana, Hindola, Hindustani Todi, Revathi) *** 11 Emani- Huseni-Thyagaraja *** 12 Krishna nee begane- Yaman Kalyani -Vyasaraya *** 13 Bhagyaada Lakshmi baaramma-Madhyamavati-Purandara Dasa *** 14 Thiruppugazh-Hamsanandi *** 15 Mangalam***




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rama, the good, great and gracious always!


Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan- 1994 'Parvathi' Ramanavami Concert


2017 RamaNavami thoughts by R. Sachi


We extend our prayers and wishes to Rasikas worldwide on the auspicious occasion of Sri Ramanavami, 5th April, 2017. We feature a wonderful concert of Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan this time, from our archives of the 1994 Ramanavami concert at Parvathi, Mysore.

Vid, Sanjay is accompanied in this concert by Vid. S.V. Narayan on the violin, the leading mridangam doyen of our times Vid. T.K.Murthy, and Vid. Bangalore Venkatram on ghatam.




Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan, already a Sangeetha Kalanidhi at only 48 years of age, has had a greatly successful musical career for nearly 3 decades. He has impeccable dedication to his art, and exults in the youthful exuberance of his music as well as the worldwide adulation from his listeners. His concerts are a textbook standard for the concert planning, punctuality, stage chemistry, repertoire, especially the absence of mnemonic aids like pieces of paper or ipads, the use of a real tambura always, and even his attire.

For many youngsters, Sanjay is also a role model for his wide-ranging interests in sports and his blogs on books and fitness and everything else.

In this concert, several gems of songs on Sri Rama have been sung. The word that stood out to us is Rama-“Bhadra”. We reproduce below the meaning of the word Bhadra in the VS Apte dictionary:




Rama, with epithets like Rama-chandra, Rama-bhadra, has to be the eternal inspiration for our Samskruti. Rama is timeless. Rama has to be worshipped in every act and thought. Celebrating Rama is our tradition and greatest fortune.


Concert Details:

Sanjay Subrahmanyan --------- Vocal
S.V.Narayan ------------------------ Violin
Tanjore K.Murthy ----------------- Mridangam
Bangalore Venkatram -----------Ghatam
on 21-4-1994 during Sri Ramanavami.

Song List:

01. Inta Chalamu – Begada Varna –Veena Kuppaiyyar *** 02. Brochevarevaru – Sriranjani- Thyagaraja *** 03. Sundarataradeham-Pantuvarali-Thyagaraja *** 04. Ragaratnamalikache- Reetigowla-Thyagaraja *** 05. Kambhoji alapana *** 06. Evari mata- Kambhoji- Thyagaraja *** 07. Ramaya Ramabhadraya Shloka, Janakipathe-Kharaharapriya-Papanasam Sivan *** 08. Manadhir Kugandadu-Sindhu Bhairavi-Tanjavur Sankara Iyer*** 09. Govardhana Giridhara – Darbari Kanada-Narayana Teertha *** 10. Sapashyat Kausalya – Jaunpuri-Panchapakesha Shastri*** 11. Taam Taam Taam – Khamach Thillana- Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer *** 12. Thiruppugazh – Bageshri *** 13. Mangalam ***


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sthitapragna Lakshana according to Thyagaraja


Vidwan OS Thyagarajan, 1990 'Parvathi' Ramanavami Concert


An introspection by R. Sachi


We are pleased to share a concert recording from the 'Parvathi' Ramanavami series held 27 years ago.



Vidwan OS Thyagarajan has had a stellar career spanning several decades. He specialises (!) in mainstream Carnatic music, full of the repertoire drawn from Saint Thyagaraja.

In this concert, he has presented Manasu Svadhinamaina, a famous composition in Shankarabharana, highlighting the requirement of abhyasa and vairagya in the life of an advaitic aspirant. In The Spiritual Heritage of Tyagaraja, The sahitya has been translated as follows:




This reminds of what Bhagavan Krishna says in the Bhagavadgita, while describing the Sthitapragna.

Bg 2.71

vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim adhigacchati

Bg 2.72

eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle ’pi brahma-nirvāṇam ṛcchati

Translation:

71. That man attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of 'l-ness' and 'my-ness'.

72. This is the BRAHMIC -state, O Son of Pritha. Attaining this, none is deluded. Being established therein, even at the end of life, one attains to oneness with BRAHMAN.


Sri OST has been accompanied very well by Sri Manjunath and Sri Lakshminarayan, both great musicians from Mysore.

Come let us enjoy this lovely concert!


Details

O.S.Tyagarajan -------------------- Vocal
Mysore Manjunath ---------------- Violin
P.G.Lakshminarayana ------------- Mridangam
on 4-4-1990 during Ramanavami Music Festival at "Parvathi".

Song List

01. Ramanannu Borvara-Harikambhoji-Thyagaraja *** 02. Pantuvarali raga *** 03. Sundaratara Deham – Pantuvarali- Thyagaraja ***04. Sriranjani raga *** 05. Brochevarevare-Sriranjani-Thyagaraja *** 06. Shankarabharana Raga *** 07. Manasu Svadhina Maina – Shanakarabharana-Thyagaraja *** 08. Tani *** 09. Shloka (Bageshri, Hamasanandi, Behag) 10. Sada Enna – Behag-Vijaya Vitthala Dasa *** 11. Mangalam




Friday, December 16, 2016

Captivating, Creative, Confident Genius - Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna (1930-2016)



A Retrospect on the great Master by R. Sachi


When someone writes the history of Indian classical music of the past 100 years, they are bound to mention in the very first list of all-time greats the name of Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna.

When the maestro breathed his last recently, a torrent of obituaries and tributes poured in, from famous musicians, youngsters, veteran artistes, film directors, actors, and composers, as well as listeners from all over.

Balamurali, as he became famous in 1960’s, shook the orthodox Carnatic music world, with his brand of improvisational music, his refreshingly different rendition of sahitya, and his own compositions. He was melodious, multi-faceted, and innovative. If he came across to the public as arrogant and irreverent sometimes, it was a part of the package called Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. This is understandable when someone becomes popular before his teens, composes in all the 72 melakartas while still in his teens, and fearlessly innovates in every concert, becomes a popular film playback singer, attracts followers from the north as well as south of India, performs famous jugalbandis, and wins laurels the world over. He sang for nearly 80 years, collected a dozen doctorates, almost all awards in the country, and the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, in addition to the 'Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' by the French Government in 2005.

Balamurali performed in 'Parvathi' many times. His concerts were always popular. We feature photos from his early concerts and links to earlier uploads below:

Musical Bylanes I (CLICK)
(PHOTOS OF SEVERAL OF THE VIDWANS IN 'PARVATHI')

'MANDIRAMU MANAMANDIRAMU' (CLICK)
(Vidwan's acceptance Speech in Chowdiah Memorial, Bengaluru Nov 29, 2009)
(Vidwan receiving the K. Puttu Rao-Palghat Mani Iyer Award May 31, 2005)
(Vidwan's vintage concert in 'Parvathi' in 1965)
(Vidwan's vintage concert and felicitation photos from 7-4-1971)




IN THIS CONCERT, Balamurali gives an irresistible feast of the best of his music. We have heavyweight ragas like Mayamalavagowla and Pantuvarali. Especially in Pantuvarali, he scales 3 octaves with ease and impact repeatedly. Nagaraj on the violin holds his own well. We then have a wide range of beautiful Thyagaraja krithis invoking devotion. We also have some highly meditative krithis of Annamacharya, Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Sadashiva Brahmendra. We have the delectable Mamava Pattabhirama of Dikshitar, sung uniquely. The finale of the concert, the trademark Balamurali tillana and mangalam, rounds off a remarkable concert.

In the true spirit of his music, Balamurali will be more than delighted with the listeners of Parvathi blog enjoying this concert all over the world.


Details

M.Balamuralikrishna --------------- Vocal
Mysore Nagaraj ---------------------- Violin
Vellore Ramabhadran -------------- Mridangam
Sheshagiri Das ----------------------- Khanjira
M.A.Krishnamurthy ----------------- Ghatam
on 27 -4-1983 at "Parvathi" during Ramanavami Music Festival.

Song List

01 Merusamana – Mayamalavagowla -Thyagaraja *** 02 Bhajanaseyarada –Athana - Thyagaraja *** 03 Abhogi Raga *** 04 Nannu Brova- Abhogi -Thyagaraja *** 05 Pantuvarali Raga *** 06 Appa Rama bhakti – Pantuvarali - Thyagaraja *** 07 Sri Ramam sada bhajeham – Tanarupi- BMK *** 08 Karuna samudra- Devagandhari- Thyagaraja *** 09 Tani-truncated *** 10 Etirugananu – Nadanamakriya – Bhadrachala Ramadasu *** 11 Rama ninnuvina – Shanakarabharana - Thyagaraja *** 12 Peridi ninnu- Kharaharapriya-Thyagaraja *** 13 Raghunandana Raghunandana - Kedaragowla -Thyagaraja *** 14 Brahmagaligina padamu- Mukhari -Thyagaraja *** 15 Harirasamavihari- Hindola- Annamacharya *** 16 Pibare Ramarasam –Ahir Bhairav- Sadashiva Brahmendra *** 17 Hodi nagarimele- Ananda Bhairavi- Purandara Dasa *** 18 Jo Achutananda jojo mukunda –Kurinji- Annamacharya *** 19 Tillana Kuntalavarali -BMK *** 20 Mamava PattabhiRama- Manirangu- Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 21 Mangalam ***