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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
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 ***