/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": February 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Doyen Vid. Prof. Mysore V. Ramarathnam – A Remembrance

In our desire to be true to many things over a very large landscape, we as a team sometimes come up short in featuring some very respected personalities who may have done exemplary things to a community or have contributed their might in the field of music.

It was during our recent post of the reverential Vidwan Dr. R.K. Srikantan, that we happened to reflect on some of the great difficulties that we have often had to run into in making available a concert. One realized that one could not do a full concert posting on many, due to not having recordings, or to having lost many that were there, over time.

Even though memories of GNB, Chembai and the Alathur brothers used to resonate so high with members, one was not able to post even a single concert on them that was performed in "Parvathi". Similarly, though we have mentioned T. Chowdiah several times, we have been hard put in playing even two or three of his recordings. Then, there is the whole list of Karnataka musicians, who have always been such constant fixtures in a continuous life with “Parvathi”, such as Titte Krishna Iyengar, M.A. Narasimhachar, R.N. Doreswamy, Flute B.N.Suresh, V. Deshikachar (in a long list); on whom we have never been able to do a sufficient posting.

Somewhere, we also missed out, previously, in expressing our gratitude to Prof. V. Ramarathnam who passed away on November 15, 2008, at a grand age of 91.

Reproduced below is a rare and historical photograph that once used to adorn the "Parvathi" walls. For the sake of accommodations to this blog, and to display the faces of the Vidwans in a magnification, we have seen fit to split the large photograph into two halves.

1939: This Photo is an "at home" celebration given by K.Puttu Rao at his Mysore residence 'Parvathi' to felicitate T. Chowdiah on being conferred with the title 'Sangeeta Rathna' in the company of all the leading musicians of the day. [ Vidwan Ramaratnam can be seen in the bottom picture, standing second row from top, third from right ]

In such circumstances we turn to Sri Srikantiah on his thoughts:

“ Vidwan V. Ramaratnam was closely associated with me ever since he landed in Mysore city under the Shishya vritti of Sangeeta Rathna T.Chowdiah, who was our family friend.

Prof. Ramaratnam used to be in touch with all the great artistes in Carnatic music like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Alattur Brothers, Musuri Subrahmanya Iyer and others, and learn many fine compositions from them. He was always eager to enrich his knowledge in Carnatic music.

I had the privilege of honoring him during our Silver Jubilee Sri Ramanavami Music Festival in the Year 1994. "

" Prof.Ramaratnam had a very long and distinguished music career in his life. He served as the Vice-Principal of Ayyanar College for 20 years, Principal of Mysore University Music College for 12 years, and presided over the 14th Music conference of Bangalore Gayana Samaj. He gave many Music concerts in every music sabha getting great acclaim from music rasikas.

Ramaratnam has also brought out many valuable carnatic music publications for the benefit of music students. There was abundant depth in his music knowledge.

It is very unfortunate that recordings of his performances at 'Parvathi' are missing, along with a few other valuable recordings. ”

We are also extremely glad for Prof. Ramarathnam having brought out his own reminiscences and for having narrated such a beautiful history of Mysore during his times.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Doyen Vid. R. K. Srikantan – A Remembrance

1994 Ramanavami Concert of Vid. R. K. Srikantan at Parvathi, Mysore

Contributed by R. Sachi

1972: Vidwan R.K. Srikantan in “Parvathi”
With: Vid. T.A.S Mani (Mridangam), Vid. Anoor Ramakrishna (violin)

We offer our respects and prayers for the doyen of Carnatic music, Vid. R. K. Srikantan, who passed away this week in Bangalore. As a mark of our respect, we share an excellent vocal concert of his from 1994. His voice, repertoire, and vidwat on display in this concert, when he was already 74 years of age, are truly noteworthy.

Mr. Srikantiah’s Reminiscences

" I knew Vid. Srikantan from 1950’s. As a young musician, along with his brother, he used to visit our house to meet and learn from the masters like Musiri and Semmangudi whenever they stayed with us in Mysore. He went on to take up employment in AIR, Mysore. He performed and taught Carnatic music for seven decades. He was full of encouragement to young musicians of Karnataka. His leading disciple, Vid. M.S. Sheela, has perfomed a few times in Parvathi.

Vid. Srikantan received acclaim and awards from all over the world, though belatedly. It is remarkable that he continued to perform and teach well into his nineties. His passing is a great loss to the world of Carnatic music."

Concert Details

R.K Srikantan ..... Vocal
R.S. Ramakanta......vocal support
Mysore Manjunath...violin

on April 26, 1994 during Ramanavami.

Song List

01 Chalamela (Varna)-Durbar- Tiruvottriyur Thyagayya *** 02 Kamalambike - Nata –Jayachamaraja Wodeyar *** 03 Undedi Ramudu –Harikamboji- Thyagaraja *** 04 Rama ninnu - Anandabhairavi – Veene Sheshanna *** 05 Paramatmudu –Vagadheeshwari –Thygaraja *** 06 Kalyani Raga *** 07 Varava kodu enage- Kanaka Dasa *** 08 Eti janma –Varali – Thyagaraja *** 09 Bhairavi Raga *** 10 Olaga Sulabhavo-Vyasaraya *** 11 Hare Venkatashaila – Sindhubhairavi – Sripadaraja *** 12 Nadupai – Madhyamavati- Thayagaraja *** 13 Mangalam***

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Carnatic vocal music - a grand idea

Vid. O. S. Thyagarajan – Ramanavami 1995

An R. Sachi Text

We are happy to present a fine vocal concert by Vid. O. S. Thyagarajan from the 1995 Ramanavami festival.

Every time a responsive rasika listens to good vocal Carnatic music, he cannot help wondering what a grand idea it represents in terms of a musical experience.

To begin with, its melodic canvas gracefully spans three octaves. A good vocalist has to sound melodious over a range. The tambura drone provides a vibrancy to the silences as well as the sounds throughout. The prayerful words take us right away to a different world of thoughts and sensibilities. Add to that the power of rhythmic structure and the accompaniment of a good violin and mridangam: a well presented vocal Carnatic music concert turns out to be a magnificent experience. And when a vocalist maintains that level for well over two hours, it speaks of mastery. We are reminded of all this when we listen to this very good concert of OST.

OST sets the stage with a beautiful rendering of Thyagaraja’s Meru Samana.

Everything about this song is grand- Mayamalavagowla, one of the grandest ragas in the Indian classical system (= Bhairav in HM); the tempo of the song that treads a regal pace; and the theme of Rama’s exquisite appearance. As the song progresses in this concert, we notice the excellence of the vocalist’s and violinist’s manodharma and attunement. The mridangam of Vid. Ganesh is also very responsive. We are surely going to have a grand concert. As they sometime advertise, “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.

After more Thyagaraja songs, OST takes up Kaddanuvariki as the main item with elaborate raga alapana, song rendition, and niraval and swaras. Vid. Nagaraj’s violin speaks eloquently and very melodiously throughout. Todi is a raga without parallel in terms of depth, musical possibilities and suitability for vocal rendering. In this song, Thyagaraja makes a point how a good musical rendition can be a grand devotional offering. So he hints that if you invoke the lord in the right way, He will surely appear to give you a grand experience.

( Both lyrical translations quoted above are from
The Spiritual Heritage of Thyagaraja )

Concert Details

Parvathi Ramanavami 1995 Mysore held on 16-4-95.
O.S.Thyagarajan ----- vocal
Mysore Nagaraj ---- violin
K.R.Ganesh ------ Mridangam

Song List

01 Meru samana- Mayamalavagowla-Thyagaraja*** 02 Sri Rama Padama-Amrutavahini- Thyagaraja *** 03 Ranjani Raga*** 04 Durmargachara-Thyagaraja *** 05 Orajoopuchu –Kannadagowla- Thyagaraja *** 06 Todi Raga*** 07 Kaddanu variki-Thayagaraja *** 08 Sloka-Sri Raghavam – Sahana –Vandanamu- Thyagaraja *** 09 Neene Anathabandhu – Shubhapantuvarali - *** 10 Uyyalaloogavayya – Nilambari- Thyagaraja *** 11 Mangalam***

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Vidwat and Manodharma in the Carnatic Tradition

Vid. Saketharaman, K Puttu Rao Memorial Festival 2013

Narration by R. Sachi

We are happy to share with rasikas an excellent concert of the young vidwan Saketharaman from the 2013 festival.

As Jon Higgins once explained why he chose to learn and sing Carnatic music, our classical tradition seems to clearly emphasise first and foremost Vidwat and Manodharma. The voice is important of course but comes as a secondary attraction. This thought comes as we listen to Vid. Saketharaman. He has developed a strong vocal style with the energetic Manodharma of a Semmangudi and the solid classical vidwat of the Lalgudi bani. A professional “techie” ( M. Tech in software engineering), he also performs as a top artiste on the radio, TV and all major music festivals. He is one of the foremost disciples of the legendary maestro Vid. Lalgudi Jayaraman.

Wikipedia: Saketharaman's mother, Vijaya Santhanam, is a postgraduate in Chemistry and an ardent follower of Shri Shri Krishna Premi Swamigal. His father, Santhanam, is a Chartered Accountant. His elder sister, Vishaka Hari is a well-known Harikatha exponent. His wife, Vidhya, is a doctor. The couple reside in Bangalore.

Coming to the present concert, the two major pieces are an elaborate Brindavana Saranga (“Ranga Puravihara”) and Shanmukhapriya (“Marivere”). The way Vid. Saketharaman presents Brindavana Saranga is fascinating. It is very Carnatic and yet brings out all the rakti in this raga which composer Muthuswami Dikshitar imported from the north of the Vindhyas into Carnatic tradition. Vid. Nagaraj, a stalwart accompanist on the violin reigning at the top for some decades now, wields the bow to further that exotic feeling invoked by this very appealing raga.

Shanmukhapriya is the main piece. Lasting over an hour, it gives an extremely wholesome feeling. This raga seems to have been a favourite of the guru Vid. Lalgudi Jayaraman, and you will find his splendid RTP in the Parvathi archives. A raga with limited representation of compositions from the Trinity, it has found very high popularity thanks to the efforts of post-trinity composers starting with Sri Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer. The raga features at the top among choices for RTP and major krithi renditions in almost every other concert these days. Vid. Saketharaman brings his stamp of manodharma and paints a very evocative canvas of this raga. Vid. Nagaraj is also in his element. The percussion duo of Vid. Ravishankar and his brother Shashishankar have added lustre as usual to the concert.

Sri. K. Srikantiah in his valedictory speech at the conclusion of the third annual Puttu Rao festival, thanks the audience for their enthusiastic support and also compliments the young Saketharaman for his brilliant Shanmukhapriya, especially the unique swarakalpana. Mr. Srikantiah also compliments the highly successful Nagaraj and mentions how he gave him a break by featuring him with Yesudas some 25 years ago.

Concert Details

Saketharaman ----vocal
M.Nagaraj ------violin
B.Ravishankar ----Mridangam
on 4-9-2013 during K.Puttu Rao Festival, Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore

Song List

01 NeeveGatiYani-Lalgudi Jayaraman-Nalinakanti Varnam*** 02 Pranamamyaham -Vasudevachar-Gaula*** 03 RangaPuraVihara-Muthuswami Dikshitar-Brindavanasaranga*** 04 Toli janma-Thyagaraja-Bilahari*** 05 MarivereDikkevarayya-Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer- ShanmukhaPriya*** 06 KandenaGovindana-Purandara Dasa-Chandrakauns*** 07 Enna Tavam Saidanai-Papanasam Sivan-Kapi*** 08 Sri. KS Speech*** 09 Tillana-LGJ-Shivaranjani***