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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 ***




Friday, October 28, 2016

The Festival of Inner Light


Vid. Veena Doreswamy Iyengar
1981 'Parvathi' Ramanavami Concert


A Deepavalli inspiration from R. Sachi


If one were to choose ten words to describe India and its culture, the word “Deepaavali“ would surely feature high in that list. What lights, sparkles, noises, food, gifts, and all-round cheer, does this one word bring to mind!

This year, everyone is telling everyone else that we should have less noise and pollution, and more prayer and goodwill toward one another. Is there a better way to bring this to everyone, than music!?




Featuring this time the famous vidwan from Mysore, Veena Doreswamy Iyengar, we offer you our Deepaavali greetings, and also some exquisite music.




He performed many times in Parvathi festivals, and was loved by the audiences for his sober and sweet music befitting the Mysore Veena Bani. This time he is accompanied by his son and successor, Sri D. Balakrishna, as well as the redoubtable percussion combo of Sri Palghat Raghu on the mridangam and Sri Manjunath on the ghatam.

The music offered spans a range of classical krithis, and noteworthy is the krithi of Saint Thyagaraja, “Nama Kusuma” in Sri Raga. In the Spiritual Heritage of Sri Thyagaraja, this is the translation offered:




“ Install the Lord on the golden throne of thought, seat Him on a music-bedecked seat, and worship Him with flowers of my chant of Rama and Shiva names, oh mind!”” The spirit of this Thyagaraja song closely follows Adi Shankara's composition, "Shiva Maanasa Puja".

Can there be a better definition of what is worship through music, and what is the festival of inner light, the true Deepaavali in our hearts!?


Details

Vid. V.Doreswamy Iyengar --------------Veena
Vid. D.Balakrishna -------------------- Veena accompaniment
Vid. Palghat Raghu -----------------------Mridangam
Vid. Manjunath -------------------------- Ghatam

Concert held on 15-4-1981 at PARVATHI during Ramanavami.

Song List

01. Shahana Varna –Tiruvottriyur Thyagayyar *** 02. Merusamana – Mayamalavagowla-Thygaraja *** 03. Sarasvathi Manohari-? *** 04. Ninne nera nammi-Pantuvarali-Thyagaraja *** 05. Nama Kusuma – Sriraga-Thyagaraja *** 06. Nati Mata – Devakriya – Thyagaraja *** 07. Nidhi Chala – Kalyani-Thyagaraja *** 08. Brochevaru – Khamach- Vasudevacharya *** 09. Kanada Thillana – Vasudevacharya *** 10. Kalaye –Jinjhuti- Swathi Thirunal *** 11. Bhajare Yadunatham – Piloo-Sadashiva Brahmendra *** 12. Folk Song *** 13. Mangalam ***




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2016 - Aug 31 - K. Puttu Rao Memorial Music Festival


Thanks to all Rasikas & An Invitation
Concert by Priya Sisters






Friday, August 26, 2016

The Primacy of the Raga-Tana-Pallavi


Vid. T. N. Seshagopalan, 1984 Ramanavami at 'Parvathi',Mysore




Preview from R. Sachi


We are delighted to share this time, with rasikas everywhere, a lovely RTP concert of Vid. T. N. Seshagopalan in the able company of vidwans Mysore Nagaraj, Srimushnam Raja Rao and Bangalore Venkatram.

The time of this concert is the 1980’s, when Vid. Seshagopalan stormed the Carnatic music scene with his exuberant style, vocal range, and ever-innovative manodharma. Young stars of today are often guided by the methods of the early innovators in Carnatic music, and that list includes for sure GNB, BMK, and TNS. Being a thinking musician with a pliant voice, TNS wowed audiences all over with his impactful concerts in that period. He also had good accompanists always, and this concert is no exception.

The format of Raga-Tana-Pallavi or RTP is of great importance in Carnatic music. Its history goes back several centuries, and the concept of Pallavi is said to be traceable to concepts in Sangita Ratnakara. Many great musicians made their name in the past centuries based on their mastery of this idiom and an RTP concert would last several hours. Mr. Srikantiah recalls how Mysore Vasudevacharya was unmatched for his tana singing, in three octaves and three speeds.

In this concert, only a few portions of which survive on the spool tapes available, the RTP in Shankarabharana, with raga-malika swaras, lasts over 70 minutes. Even though the pallavi starts off in Khanda Triputa tala, it is presented with delightful laya and raga variations. We can begin to fathom the manodharma of a great artiste in the way he approaches the Raga-Tana-Pallavi, in the sense of whether it is a mere “check in the box” affair, or is meant to showcase some “cleverness”in sahitya, or he really explores its scope in a grand scheme of interpretation.

So come, and enjoy, the feast of TNS’s manodharma music! Mysore Nagaraj has played a highly competent accompanist role, especially in the raga-malika swaras. The percussion support too is admirable from Vid. Srimushnam Raja Rao and Vid. Venkatram.


Concert Details

Madurai T.N.Sheshagopalan ----------- Vocal
Mysore Nagaraj --------------------------Violin
S.Raja Rao ------------------------------ Mridangam
Bangalore Venkatram ------------------ Ghatam
on 16-4-84 at "Parvathi" during Ramanavami.

Concert Excerpts

01. Endaro Mahanubhavulu – Sri raga – Thyagaraja *** 02. Ksheerasagara Shayana – Devagandhari – Thyagaraja *** 03. Shankarabharana Raga *** 04. Tana-Pallavi-Ragamalika (Vasantha, Dwijavanti, Maru Bihag, Hindustani Kapi) ***




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rich Violin Strains from Mysore


Vid. M. Nagaraj and Vid. M. Manjunath
'Parvathi' Ramanavami Concert – 1998


Expressions from R. Sachi


We feature this time a violin duet by the famous Mysore Brothers, Vidwans Nagaraj and Manjunath. Mr. K. Srikantiah has been a kind of godfather for them from their earliest performing days, and speaks with beaming pride of their international star status now. The brothers have mastered the instrument and can present any type of music, from the melodious and soft type, to the strident and fast-paced music.

Having accompanied many stalwarts at Parvathi as well as performing duets at the annual festivals, the brothers have enjoyed much popularity at Parvathi. They are invariably accompanied by strong percussion, and this time we have Vid. Bhaktavatsalam on the mridangam, and Vid. Krishnamurthy on the ghatam. There is an elaborate Ragam Tanam Pallavi as well as a Tani in the posted concert.


[Photo Courtesy: imsom.org, Minnesota]


Among the songs presented are many famous compositions of Saint Thyagaraja appropriate to the Ramanavami sentiment. Come, let us enjoy the concert!


Concert Details

M.Nagaraj & M.Manjunath ------------ Violin Duet
T. Bhaktavatsalam -------------------------- Mridangam
M.A.Krishnamurthy ---------------------- Ghatam
During Ramanavami festival at Parvathi, Mysore on 5-4-1998.

Song List

01. Marugelara-JayanthaShri-Thyagaraja *** 02. Mamava Raghurama- Saranga- Thyagaraja *** 03. Brova Bharama – Bahudari- Thyagaraja *** 04. Kharaharapriya Raga *** 05. Rama Neeyeda- KHP- Thyagaraja *** 06. Bhogindrashayinam- Kuntalavarali- Swathi Thirunal *** 07. Kalyani Raga, Tana *** 08. Pallavi (Ragamalika) *** 09. Tani *** 10. Bhajan- Raag Haricharan *** 11. Mangalam