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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ruminations of a Rasika

Reference to Vid. K.V. Narayanaswamy, 1978 Ramanavami

R.Sachi: Transcriptions of conversations with Sri K. Srikantiah

K. Srikantiah - Moments of Inspiration

" I wish to share my unbounded joy after listening again to the 1978 Ramanavami concert recording of Vid K. V. Narayanaswamy that we have just posted.

To preface my specific comments, let me share how I have been blessed by Lord Rama to enjoy the greatest of Carnatic music from 1940s in the best of places including the holy setting of Thiruvaiyyaru, as well as all the leading sabhas such as the Madras Music Academy. I have had a close acquaintance with all the stalwarts including Mysore Vasudevacharya, Chowdiah, Ariyakudi, Chembai, GNB, Mani Iyer, Semmangudi, and almost all others of that generation. Lord Rama granted me the opportunity to arrange many of their concerts at home, and our tradition of Ramanavami music festival continued for many decades with five generations of male and female artistes.

To make good concert recordings for posterity was not an easy task. As the tapes were scarce, I had to get them from America. The old faithful Philips reel-to-reel recorder has been serving the cause of Rama all these years.

I say all this as a prelude to expressing my feelings about the latest posting of the KVN 1978 concert.

I am simply overwhelmed by its impact.

I just heard it again after the posting. It gives a feeling like being flanked on one side by the might Himalayas and on the other side by the endless ocean. KVN has risen to Himalayan heights in his raga alapana of Kharaharapriya. The way he has rendered the song, with the neraval on the line "manasuna talachi mai marachi" gave me goose bumps.

His swaras took me to a different world. And Raghu - with his deep strokes like the roar of the ocean, throughout the concert! Particularly in the Kharaharapriya krithi, at the start of the anupallavi, and during neraval and swaras, his strokes are simply masterful.

This is such a wonderful concert that I have to express my feelings of endless gratitude to Lord Rama. One should be really fortunate to enjoy this level of music. I wish more and more Rasikas partake of this feast. "

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thyagaraja’s Ecstasy of Devotion

Vid. K.V. Narayanaswamy, 1978 Ramanavami

An appreciation from R. Sachi

During this Ramanavami season, it is our great pleasure to share with rasikas a fine concert by the Sangita Kalanidhi Palghat K.V. Narayanaswamy. KVN, as he is affectionately called, is an eternal favourite of Carnatic music lovers around the world. As the most famous Shishya of the most famous legend in CM, Sangitakala Shikhamani Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, KVN is the torchbearer of a truly classical tradition that gives deeply enriching, aesthetic and devotional, experience to every listener. KVN had perfected his art to maximise the lasting beauty of classicism, eschewing all dramatics and frills. He came across in person as someone who lived this spirit 24/7 as they say these days.

This concert also features the famous combination of KVN and Raghu. This combo is as proverbial as the famous Ariyakudi-Palghat Mani combo. Other examples are MSS-TK Murthy and Ravi Shankar-Alla Rakha. Indian classical music places great emphasis on rhythm or tala (Srutirmaata layah pitaa). So when such a great combination of a lead performer and percussionist clicks, we get decades of great musical excellence, based on a musical rapport at the gut level. This is a bonus in this concert too.

KVN and Raghu collaborated and taught together at a US university during the ‘60s. Here is the disc cover of their famous LP, brought out with an introduction to South Indian music:

Coming to this concert, it is full of rich melody and song repertoire. Spanning major ragas eg. Shankarabharana, Kharaharapriya, Mohana, and Todi (a rare Tillana), KVN delivers his trademark raga alapanas, neraval and swaras in a succinct manner. The shlokas and the Kannada padas are suffused with devotional fervour. Talking of which, the famous krithi Nanu Palimpa, expressing Thyagaraja’s ecstasy of devotion, is rendered with a lot of verve. This krithi is reported to have been composed by the saint on beholding a beautiful painting of Sri Rama, painted by one of the Walajapet disciples Pallavi Ellayyar and carried on foot over a long distance to be presented to the saint. The meaning of this song as given in The Spiritual Heritage of Thyagaraja is reproduced below:


Oh Lord of my Life! Have you come walking all the way to bless me,knowing fully the unexpressed secret longing of my heart, that to have a vision of your lotus-eyed face is the sole purpose of my life! You have been gracious enough to appear before me with a body resplendently blue colored, adorned in the chest with strings of pearls, with shining bow, and arrows in hand and accompanied by Sita.

We therefore feel blessed to be able to share this concert with Rasikas.

Concert Details:

K.V.Narayanaswamy ------- vocal
T.S. Veeraraghavan ------- Violin
Palghat Raghu ----- Mridangam
K.S.Manjunath ---- Ghatam
on 24 -4-1978 during Ramanavami Festival at "Parvathi", Mysore.

Song List

01 Bhaktibhiksha-Shankarabharana- Thyagaraja *** 02 Kharaharapriya Raga *** 03 Pakkala nilabadi-Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja *** 04 Rangapuravihara- Brindavana saranga- Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 05 Nanu Palimpa-Mohana- Thyagaraja *** 06 Shlokas – Khamach, Mayamalavagowla, Behag, Sindhubhairavi *** 07 Harihara ninnanu- Sindhubhairavi – Purandaradasa *** 08 Kandu dhanyanade- Behag- Kamalesha Dasa *** 09 Tillana –Todi –Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar *** 10 Mangalam***

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ingredients of delicate artistry in Carnatic music

Vid. S. Sowmya – Ramanavami 1995

An appreciation from R. Sachi

We are pleased to share with rasikas a fine vocal concert from the 1995 series, by Vidushi S. Sowmya.

S. Sowmya is a Carnatic music vocalist as well as a vainika. She learnt music initially from her father Dr. Srinivasan, and later from Dr. S. Ramanathan and Smt.T. Muktha. In 1998, Sowmya co-founded Carnatica - an institution dedicated to classical music and dance instruction, archival, talent search and other related activities. She co-authored the first comprehensive reference CD-ROM on Carnatic music, Nadanubhava. She is also a visiting professor at the Advanced School of Carnatic Music of the Music Academy Madras.

S. Sowmya is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Madras with postgraduate qualifications in chemistry. She has been awarded a PhD for her research into the technical aspects of mridangam design and construction. We learn also that she is on her way to acquiring a PhD in Sanskrit from Madras University.

While listening to this present concert, we are to be forgiven for forgetting all these academic accomplishments of this distinguished vidushi. What shines forth is a high order of delicate artistry honed under great teachers including two legendary maestros. We feel her music is suffused with a rare quality in Carnatic music called “saumya” guna or delicate artistry.

The word “saumya” in Sanskrit signifies the epitome of aesthetic evolution. The dictionary defines it as resembling the moon, placid, gentle, mild, auspicious, happy, pleasant, cheerful and even “cool”- the buzzword these days. In the Bhagavadgita, after beholding the Vishwaroopa, Arjuna is so badly stirred and shaken that Krishna decides to cool him down with his “saumya” appearance – bhUtvA punaH saumyavapuH mahAtmA (BG 11.50). Even in the lalithAsahasranAma, Devi is described as sAmagAnapriyA saumyA (v.168).

In this concert, a young and extremely melodious Sowmya sings so many beautiful ragas – Saveri, Athana, Begada, Vasantha, Pantuvarali, Anandabhairavi, Shankarabharana, Bageshri, Nadanamakriya…each song is presented with a delicate voice modulation which has the stamp of scholarship as well as artistic sensibilities of the highest order. The Begada krithi is a rare Kannada one, and the alapana (seldom attempted by women vocalists!) is like a beautifully painted landscape. The swaras in Pantuvarali and Shankarabharana show her solid vidwat. The Anandabhairavi song is her gentle tribute to the vainika-gayaka Muthuswami Dikshitar.

The accompaniments of Vid. Narayan, Vid. Sharma and Vid. Srinath add further charm to this concert.

So, let’s enjoy the wonderful music of Vid. Sowmya!

Concert Details

S.Sowmya ----- Vocal
S.V.Narayan ---- Violin
Ananthakrishna Sharma ---- Mridangam
Srinath ------ Ghatam
on 9-4-95 during Ramanavami at Parvathi, Mysore

Song List

01 Sarasuda-Saveri Varna - Kotthavaasal Venkatrama Iyer *** 02 Anupama gunambudhi -Athana- Thyagaraja *** 03 Nimma bhagya- Begada -Purandara Dasa *** 04 Rama Rama -Vasantha- Purandara Dasa *** 05 Shiva Shiva- Pantuvarali -Thyagaraja *** 06 Manasa Guruguha- Ananda bhairavi – Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 07 Swararagasudharasa- Shankarabharana –Thyagaraja *** 08 Shloka & Rogaharane –Bageshri – Jagannatha Dasa *** 09 Karunajaladhe –Nadanamakriya- Thyagaraja *** 10 Mangalam