/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": Scholarly Touch : Prof. T. R. Subramanyam

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scholarly Touch : Prof. T. R. Subramanyam

Carnatic music is an interesting field of art. It is as much cerebral as it is musical. Given its rigorous classical structure, much like the German language, it has a terseness to it that generally puts off those interested in light music. But at the same time, the more “Mensa' types are attracted to it, as every composition presents a kind of riddle, with its raga, tala structure, and composer's style. Some musicians even go out of their way to mystify the audience.

But what can one do with good training, an improvisation technique that does not bore and at the same offers a cerebral version of Carnatic music? The answer presents itself as Prof. T. R. Subramanyam (TRS). As you listen to his music, the first thing that strikes you is his fine voice. A rich timbre, a facile movement to the higher octave, brigas and modulation, all are present. He has a charming way of pronouncing words, and also a zest in rendering songs.

TRS is a disciple of Musiri Subramanya Iyer. He formally graduated from the university. TRS retired a few years ago from the University of Delhi, where he was a Professor in the Department of Music. He has given many lec-dems, including on Ragam Tanam Pallavi.

In this Parvathi concert, he renders Palisemma Muddu Sharade in Trishra Eka Tala, in Shriranjani. This rendition is quite interesting, and is his own tune. Similarly his Pantuvarali composition “Idu Bhagya” is gripping. TRS's admiration for GNB's music is evident in several places in the featured concert. The concert recording itself rather truncated, but has many interesting moments. The accompanists have risen to his challenge and both the violin and mridangam excel in several places.

TRS renders a fantastic string of ragas and sings a wonderfully evocative shloka, Adi Shankara's Meenakshi Pancharatnam, which is unforgettable.

The Hindu writes, “Apart from having been a successful performer and a very generous teacher, TRS has also been one of those few vidwans who have greatly encouraged the younger generation of artists by attending their concerts irrespective of the bhani which they follow.”

Parvathi Concert Details

T.R Subramanyam ---Vocal
Chalakudy Narayanaswamy---Violin
V.Kamalakara Rao-----Mridangam
Manjunath -----Ghatam
on 9-4-1974 at Parvathi

[ 01. Evarani- Devamruthavarshini- Thayagaraja *** 02. Rara mayintidaka – Asaveri – Thyagaraja *** 03. Palisemma muddu Sharade- Shriranjani- Purandara Dasa *** 04. Idu Bhagya – Pantuvarali- Purandara Dasa *** 05. Mokshamu Galada -Saramathi – Thyagaraja *** 06. Vara Narada – Vijayashri – Thyagaraja *** 07. Kalyani Raga Alapana ( Vocal and violin) *** 08. Shivakamasundari – Mukhari – Papanasam Sivan *** 09. Meenakshi Pancharatnam – Ragamalika (Poorvi Kalyani, Nayaki, Saama, Hamsaanandi) *** 10. Dhyanavu Krutayugadalli – Ugabhoga- Sindhu Bhairavi *** 11. Tamboori Meetidava – Sindhu Bhairavi – Purandara Dasa ]

Parvathi Days
( Text from R. Sachi's soundbites of Shri. K. Srikantiah )

"... on some days the house would just be a bedlam... starting early in the morning with the first cup of coffee ... sounds of my mother doing puja intermingled with Balamurli exercising his vocals... refrains of Parur in another room with the violin... TVG banging away on the mridangam in a third room...."

" .... along with these types of things going on all the time...there was that Bidarama Krishnappa Rama Mandiram too with its brilliant 'Kutcheris'... Maharajapuram Vishwanatha Iyer... and Musiri Subrahmanya Iyer... all these great heavyweights would come... I am young and I am engulfed in their music...Maharajapuram used to sing brilliantly Bilahari, Abheri, Arabhi...Mohana...I don't think there was any greater music than those wonderful times....now Father is also President of the Rama Mandiram... as I told you earlier Maharajapuram Vishwanath Iyer brought his wife with him on an occasion... and my father invites them both for lunch the next day... before that the previous day the funds at the gate were less...so my Father immediately before the 'mangalam' orders me to go home and ransack his coat pockets and almirah and bring whatever money there is in our house... he would always make up a respectable total himself ... this was the life back then..."