/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": January 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The course of Kalyani, all beneficences of life - Madurai Somu waxing eloquent

In our humdrum lives, it is easy to pass by the true beneficences of life, busy as we are “getting and spending”, as Wordsworth said.

Therefore do we need to thank every moment our heritage, upbringing, and childhood experiences that foster a love for classical music. Our music combines so many life-affirmative resonances that nobody can ever feel totally down and out if he or she can even faintly recall the joy of music. Carnatic music insightfully combines all musical values - melody, rhythm and lyric - into a worship of life. And one of the high points of Carnatic music is Kalyani. Kalyani means not only the popular raga but also benediction, the Cosmic Mother, a cool pool of holy water we can immerse ourselves in… so many connotations. And the raga Kalyani celebrates life like none other. Hence every composition in Kalyani is such an enriching experience.

Madurai Somu, the eternal favourite of Parvathi rasikas, begins this concert with Kalyani. MSG follows his raga contours closely, and we have a solid foundation for the song that follows, śivē pāhi mām , of Thyagaraja. The saint refers to Kaveri, the nectarine river that courses through every Carnatic music lover’s veins...

Thyagaraja addresses the mother goddess as kAvErijOttara vAsini kAtyAyini dharma samvardhini , meaning, “ You are Katyayini, known as Dharma Samvardhani residing on the north side of Kaveri river”. This composition is one of his Thiruvaiyaru khestra compositions.

The neraval and swaras are executed very melodiously, with some great accompaniment by MSG and the redoubtable Raghu. Raghu intones the words so well on the mridangam, modulating each stroke to match the melody.

What strikes you is the fine fettle of Somu’s voice, matched by the sweetness of MSG’s violin, as well as Raghu’s measured percussion. An elaborate Bhairavi has a fullness to it. Somu lends a tangy flavour to the nishada, and MSG replicates it. Raghu takes off in the neraval and swara like only he can. The result is a virile treatment of Bhairavi lasting over 40 minutes. The audio quality of this home recording done 41 years ago is outstanding.

Madurai Somu is all praise for MSG as the honeyed flow of Abheri from his violin simply heightens the mood of this ever popular raga. We just got the happy news of MSG’s being honoured as Padma Bhushan in today’s Republic Day honours. A richly deserved recognition by a grateful nation of this outstanding violinist.

The Shanmukhapriya RTP is a feisty improvisation. Even here, Raghu revels in the rhythmical segments like a homing bird.

Among the following items, the impromptu shloka in Jijhooti and other ragas is highly memorable.

1971 Gowri-Ganesha Festival in "Parvathi"

Madurai Somasundaram – Vocal
Parur M.S. Gopalakrishnan ---- Violin
Palghat Raghu ------- Mridangam

01. Sive Pahimam – Kalyani –Thyagaraja *** 02. Manavi aalakincha- Nalinakanthi -Thygaraja *** 03. Shri Rajarajeshwari – Bhairavi –TBA*** 04. Shankaraparane – ragamalika –TBA *** 05. Nagumomu – Abheri – Thyagaraja *** 06. Shanmukhapriya RTP *** 07. Unnai Bharata – Hindolam – TBA *** 08. Azhagiya mayil – Basant Bahar – TBA *** 09. Bhaja mana bhajare – Bhimplas – TBA *** 10. Swarna Gowri Srimahaganapathe – Shloka – Jinjhooti, Punnagavarali, Sindhubhairavi, Natakurinji, Kambhoji, Saveri Kalyani Bhairavi Kamach Kanada Kedaragowla *** 11. Nadabindukala – Jinjhooti – Arunagirinathar *** 12. Bhajore Bhayya – Desh, Mand – Kabir *** 13. Mangalam ***

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcoming the Year with the “Madhura” Vani of Mani Iyer School

We are happy to bring you a recording of the concert by Vidwan T.V. Sankaranarayanan held in the Puttu Rao Memorial series in the Jagan Mohan Palace, Mysore recently. The vidwan is a great favourite of Parvathi rasikas, with his effervescent style and the bani of the great Madurai Mani Iyer. The world celebrates Madurai Mani Iyer’s centenary throughout 2012. As this blog is also a tribute to the great rasika Sri Puttu Rao and his legacy at Parvathi, we think it is fitting that we begin the new year by giving a great concert fare from Vidwan TVS just on the eve of Sankranthi. We would like to quote some fine words about Vidwan Mani Iyer from the Hindu:
2002 Birth Anniversary (http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/fr/2002/10/25/stories/2002102501340900.htm)
" A vidwan with a unique style, Madurai Mani had indeed cast a spell on the listeners of Carnatic music, young and old, connoisseurs and even the rickshawallahs of those times. People came in hordes to listen to his singing. They sat on the walls, on the floors and wherever they could find a place to sit or stand. They did not mind the inconvenience. They only wanted to listen to Madura Mani as he was fondly called. Madurai Mani was certainly Madura (sweet) Mani. His music was melodious. More than anything else, he enjoyed singing and that reflected in his personality both on and off stage. In fact he often eschewed lyrics that smacked of disillusionment with the world and other worldly matters. He firmly believed that music should enliven the listener. That was his conviction right from the start of his professional career as a musician, a joyous journey that began in 1924 at a temple Kumbhabishekam in the district of Ramanathapuram. He was 12 years old then. "
2011 Margazhi Season (http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article2754050.ece)
From the pen of Vidwan Ravikiran:
" The torch-bearer of the Madurai Mani Iyer bani, T.V. Sankaranarayanan reminisces about his uncle's incredible repertoire, memory and musicianship. “Mama taught me numerous songs that one would have rarely heard him sing at concerts — Idisamayamura (Chayanata), Sanatana (Phalamanjari), Evarunnaru (Malavashri), Paramatmudu (Vagadheeshwari), Samukhana nilva (Kokilavarali), Namoralagimpa (Devagandhari), Etavuna nerchitivo (Yadukulakambhodhi), Nadachi nadachi (Kharaharapriya), Ninnuvinaga (Poorvikalyani), Durusuga (Saveri)... I can go on and on,” he says. “What is incredible is that he would not have revised these songs in 20 years but would access them from memory at will.” This was augmented by the celebrated mridangam vidwan T.K. Murthy. “At a concert in Delhi, Mani Iyer sang outstandingly but a critic, known for his inconsistent and perverse reporting, had a dig at him the following day for singing his usual fare. Mani Iyer just smiled but in another concert the same day, his list consisted of pieces that even I — who had accompanied him for several years — had never heard him sing. The critic, who also made it to the concert, apologized profusely!” TVS adds: “His voice had just the right balance between delicateness and weight and his sense of gamakas was impeccable. And the way he could hold any note almost endlessly was mesmeric! It would create an all-permeating tranquility that had to be experienced to be believed.” Anyone who has spoken to me about this distinguished musician has been unanimous in accrediting him as a human being of impeccable qualities. He was gentle, courteous, well-meaning, helpful to younger artistes, loving towards his disciples, committed to the art, and devoid of negativism even in jest. In short, as pitch-perfect in life as in music... "
THE CONCERT Performed on Sept 4, 2011 T.V Shankaranarayanan ----- Vocal Mahadevan (son of TVS) ---- Vocal support M.S. Govindaswamy -------- Violin C.Cheluvaraju --------------- Mridangam M.A.Krishnamurthy ------- Ghatam 01 Maha Ganapate Namo- Hamsadwani- Indira Natesan*** 02 Orajupuju- Kannada Gaula – Thyagaraja *** 03 Appa Rama Bhakti- Pantuvarali- Thyagaraja *** 04 Ee Pariya Sobagava- Ragamalike – Purandaradasa *** 05 ManasuNilpaShakti- Abhogi – Thyagaraja *** 06 Smara Janaka Shubha Charita – Behag – Swathi Thirunal *** 07 Marakathavallim – Kambhoji – Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 08 Virtuttam – Bageshree, Tilang *** Rama Rama Rama Enniro-Tilang *** 09 EnglishNote- Shankaraabharana – Muthiah Bhagavathar *** 10 EppoVaruvaro- Jonpuri – Gopalakrishna Bharathi*** 11. Mangalam ***