/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": The Glory of Serving the Lord is also through His Grace: Prof. T. R. Subramanyam at "Parvathi" 1973

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Glory of Serving the Lord is also through His Grace: Prof. T. R. Subramanyam at "Parvathi" 1973

We bring to you a splendid concert by Prof. T. R. Subramanyam this time. A recognized scholar, teacher and gifted musician, he has shone in Carnatic music for many decades now. We had earlier posted a concert of his to much appreciation. This time too, his concert has all the ingredients of a memorable performance, with wonderful accompaniment by Sri M. Chandrasekharan, Sri Vellore Ramabhadran and Sri K.S. Manjunath.

(2009 photo, Courtesy: The Hindu)

A noteworthy inclusion in this concert is a rendering in Khamach of a rare composition of Mysore Sadashiva Rao (ca. 1790-1880). Being a disciple of Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar (a disciple of Saint Thyagaraja), Rao is said to have met and served the saint in Walajapet. He moved later to Mysore and became the royal musician in the court of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. His famous disciples included Veene Sheshanna and Veene Subbanna. Mysore Vasudevacharya is said to have compiled his compositions. Vidwan Sadashiva Rao is hailed as the harbinger of the Mysore Bani.

In his brilliant book, “Splendours of Royal Mysore”, Vikram Sampath narrates an interesting episode. Sadashiva Rao’s definitive night-long exposition of Todi brought a misguided musician to his senses. The musician had before arrogated to himself mastery over Todi and had even mortgaged the Raga for a financial consideration to a zamindar in his native land. After listening to Rao’s Todi, he surrendered his ego and confessed that he had not known the heights of Todi before. Wodeyar himself came in disguise to witness the master class, and later revealed himself to honour the great vidwan. Vikram Sampath also narrates that a young Sadashiva Rao had at a young age composed and presented extempore “Thyagaraja Swamy Vedalina” in Todi to Saint Thyagaraja himself and won his appreciation and blessings. Many interesting episodes from Mysore Sadashiva Rao’s life are listed also in karnatik.com. His famous compositions are Saketa Nagaranatha (Harikambhoji) made famous by GNB, Ee Maguva (Dhanyasi), and Sri Kamakotipeethasthite (Saveri).

In the Khamach composition, “Sadashiva Kavi” sings of the lord of Srirangam, describing in detail His grandeur as the deity goes in a procession, and how devas, rishis, and Vaishnavas are performing devotional services. The composer says he is blessed to attend the grand event in Srirangam, and be able to serve the lord, and says that it is all His grace. This sentiment is highly evocative for all of us, as we consider how the Sri Rama Navami festivals initiated in Mysore by Vid. Sadashiva Rao afterwards inspired generations of musicians and rasikas like Bidaram Krishnappa, Sri Puttu Rao, Mysore T. Chowdiah and our own Mr K. Srikantiah, to continue the glorious tradition. This has been a continual act of worship joined by a galaxy of great musicians, some of whom we feature here.

The enthusiastic accompaniment of Vid. M. Chandrasekharan and Vid. Vellore Ramabhadran often draws out appreciation from the Prof., with words “Appadi!”, “Appadi!” The rich atmosphere of inspired manodharma sangeetha by the ensemble abounds in creativity and even a touch of flamboyance, and all rasas are served in full measure to the lucky set of rasikas. In reflection, all the bells and whistles added by TV Mahotsavams today seem peripheral to the fundamental, rich mood of Carnatic music. Nothing indeed seems lacking in this presentation 39 years ago by Prof. T. R. Subramanyam.

There is more. The musician has chosen a Kannada poem to present like a viruttam. It is composed by Betageri Krishna Sharma (1900-1982)-his pen name was Anandakanda- who was a school teacher, poet and journalist. He composed the following poem in Belgaum in mid-1930’s. We reproduce below an extract from Sahitya Akademi’s History of Indian Literature: .1911-1956, struggle for freedom : triumph and tragedy by Sisir Kumar Das:

We are sufficiently inspired by Prof. T. R. Subramanyam’s brilliant rendition (in ragas Mohana, Kannada, Bageshri and Abheri) to give you the full text of the poem:

A rough translation:

How wonderful is this Kannada language, an enchanting nectarine flow! It’s akin to the high-pitched songs of parrots, the joyous songs of cuckoos, the tête-à-tête of squirrels in early morn.

Its melody flows from the lips of Goddess Sarasvati, singing to her vina’s accompaniment in unceasing splendour.

The cascade from Krishna’s flute has inspired gopis to dance in moonlight, and that joy has filled Kannada.

Well, we reluctantly come down to earth from that mood, and give you the list of songs. Mr. Srikantiah points out that in this concert also, Prof. T. R. Subramanyam has shown noteworthy prowess in kalpanaswaras, especially daatu movements and swaraksharas, that will have an amazing appeal to rasikas.

Ramanavami Concert, Parvathi, Mysore
Date: 18th April 1973

Vidwan T. R. Subramanyam – Vocal
Vidwan M. Chandrasekharan – Violin
Vidwan Vellore Ramabhadran – Mridangam
Vidwan K. S. Manjunath – Ghatam

Song List (Please note the mridangam sounds prominent in this 39 year-old mono recording)

01. Kanada Varnam Nera Nammithi – Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar *** 02. Gajavadana – Hamsadhwani- Purandara Dasa *** 03. Neebhakti bhagyasudha- Jayamanohari – Thyagaraja*** 04. Paramadbhuta Maina – Khamach – Mysore Sadashiva Rao *** 05. Mama hrudaye – Reetigowla – Mysore Vasudevachar*** 06. Varanarada – Vijayasri – Thyagaraja*** 07. Meevalla –Kapi-Thyagaraja *** 08. Vaddane Varu- Shanmukhapriya – Thyagaraja *** 09. Tani (partial)*** 10. Etu nammina – Saveri – Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer *** 11. Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Sriranjani+Kanada *** 12. Enitu Inidu (Kavite) – Mohana, Kannada, Bageshri, Abheri – Anandakanda*** + Bhajare Manasa – Mysore Vasudevachar *** 13.Ma Ramachandruniki shubhamangalam- Kedaragowla- Thyagaraja ***