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Monday, February 9, 2015

Traditional Song and Western Influences

Vid. Rajkumar Bharathi – Vocal Concert 1998: "Parvathi" Ramanavami Music Festival

By R. Sachi

We are pleased to share with rasikas worldwide the concert from the Ramanavami series 1998 of Vid. Rajkumar Bharathi. This very enjoyable concert has traditional Carnatic fare as well as a lovely “English” note of Thyagaraja-swami and also a patriotic song of the famous Tamil literateur Subrahmanya Bharathi, the renaissance poet of the early 20th century, who stridently voiced the spirit of the Indian freedom struggle and gave a whole region much inspirational poetry.

Rajkumar Bharathi is the great grandson of Sri Subrahmanya Bharathi.  For Rajkumar Bharathi it was but natural to be associated with music owing to his family’s keen interest in art and literature. By the instructions of his music guru, Sangeetha Kalanidhi T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Rajkumar decided to quit his engineering job in an R&D division and devote his time for classical music.
Rajkumar Bharathi has given Classical Carnatic music concerts throughout India and abroad. His career spans classical music, bhavageethe, film playback singing, composing for classical dance, international fusion and choir music and teaching. He has many audio cassettes and CDs to his credit. His voice is very popular across Karnataka for his clear diction and melodious singing of Kannada compositions.
The concert has excellent accompaniment from Sri Manjunath and Sri Cheluvaraju.

The concert features an interesting composition, not often heard, of Saint Thyagaraja, which sounds very much like an English note. The words are meaningful and clever. We reproduce the lyric and meaning, taken from sahityam.net:

The Subrahmanya Bharathi song in Behag reflects the aspirations of a resurgent India, a century ago, when the population was just 30 crores! The spirit of the nation and also the “modern” spirit of national pride was the product ironically of the efforts of the English rule to create a single nation patched up from several smaller princely states. The result was a “critical” mass of national spirit.

Come, let us enjoy the concert!

Concert Details
Rajkumar Bharathi -----------------  Vocal
Mysore Manjunath ----------------- Violin
Cheluvaraj ------------------------- Mridangam
Srinath ----------------------------- Ghatam
          on 13-4-98 During Ramanavami.

Song List

01. Chalamela -Atatala Varna Shankarabharanam- Swathi Thirunal *** 02. Vandisuvudadiyali- Nata- Purandaradasa *** 03. Sri Rama -Purnachandrika - Thyagaraja *** 04. Sunadavinodini alapana 05. Devadideva - Sunadavinodini- Mysore Vasudevachar *** 06. Chintane Sada - Kunthalavarali - Thygaraja *** 07. Madhyamavathi alapana *** 08. Ramakathasaudha - Madhyamavathi - Thyagaraja *** 09. Ramanamava Nudi Nudi- Ragamalika (Desh,Vasanthi,Brindavani)- Purandaradasa  *** 10. Hanumana matave - Jog- Purandaradasa *** 11. Varaleelaganalola -Shankarabharana-Thyagaraja *** 12.  Bharathasamudhayam-Behag-Bharatiyar *** 13. Mangalam