Sanjay Subrahmanyan this Season
I went to 7 concerts of Sanjay this season. Needless to say all his concerts were simply superb! His concert at Kalarasana on the 24th of December is the one that I enjoyed the most. To begin with, this one was a 3-hour 24-minute concert. Sanjay was accompanied by S.Varadarajan on the violin, C.S.Venkataraman on the mridangam and Neyveli B.Venkatesh on the khanjira. The Sri Ranjani, Jyothiswaroopini and Karaharapriya (Chakkani Raja was the main song) alapana were all amazing! I loved the neraval and swarams at the line ‘Chintateerchuda Kentamodira’ in the Tyagaraja krithi ‘Entavedukondu Raghava’ in Saraswathi Manohari raaga. RTP was in Lalita raagam (Pallavi – Seethamma Mayamma). He sang the pallavi in Ananda Bhairavi, Neeleambari and Huseni. That was awesome. Varadarajan on the violin was excellent as usual. The claps didnt stop for a long time after each alapana/song. The audience gave a standing ovation at the end of the concert!
Coming to Sanjay’s concert at Music Academy, the Mohanam alapana and the RTP in Brindavana Saranga were the ones that I loved. Incidentally, T.M.Krishna and Sangeetha Sivakumar had also come to this concert.
At Rasika Fine Arts’ concert, he sang Appan Avadaritta in Karaharapriya and Karikalaba in Saveri for nearly 40 minutes each with elaborate alapana of both the raagas. In between these two he sang a very beautiful song in Neelambari, KaaNa KaNNaayiram veNdum, that lasted for nearly 10 minutes.
The last concert of Sanjay that I attended was at Asthika Samajam on 11th January. The Nattakuruji alapana that he sang that day will remain etched in my memory for a long time to come. I don’t have words to describe the way he sang Gopalakrishna Bharati’s song Vazhi Maraitthirukkudhu in a slow tempo with a very beautiful neraval at the line Utru Paarkave. This is the first time I am hearing Sanjay singing each and every word of the song clearly. In contrast to Vazhi Maraitthirukudhu, he sang a very fast-paced Aadum Chidambaramo in Behag. For this concert too, Sanjay was accompanied by Varadarajan on the violin.
Now that the Season has come to an end, I don’t know when his next concert at Madras is on. Am eagerly waiting for the next one.
Rithvik Raja on 30/12/2006 at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium (Brahma Gana Sabha)
Rithvik Raja is T.M.Krishna’s student and you can spot him on the stage with TMK in all his concerts. After going to too many concerts of TMK, I went to Rithvik’s concert just to see how he sings. I must say I was not disappointed. He sang quite well. Starting with Sahana varnam, he then sang Rama Neepai in Kedaram. After a neat alapana of Varali, he sang Seshachala Nayakam. Neraval was done at the line Aravindapatra Nayanam. The main piece was PuNNiyam Oru Kodi in Keeravani raagam. Rithvik concluded the concert with Tirupati Venkataramana in Sindhubhairavi.
Saketharaman on 30/12/2006 at R.A.Puram Bhakta Jana Sabha
I had gone to Saketharaman’s concert at Music Academy last year and it was pretty good. This concert was also equally good. Starting with Saveri varnam, after a couple of songs, he sang a Tyagaraja kriti in Subhapantuvarali after a raaga alapana. Saraguna Palimpa in Kedaragowlai was the one chosen for elaboration. But for the slip at one point when putting the swarams at the line Varaguna Seshadri, he sang it quite well. After Om Namo Narayana in Karnaranjani, the concert concluded with a beautiful Tillana in Madhuvanti. Akkarai Subbalakshmi on the violin was very good.
Carnatica Brothers on 31/12/2006 at Raga Sudha Hall (Naada Inbam)
This is the first time I am listening to the Carnatica Brothers sing. I liked Ganesh’s voice more than Sashikiran’s. I had to again listen to Saveri varnam in this concert too. Ne Jesina Neramu in Poornachandrika, Sooryamoorthy in Sowrashtram, Ini Enna Pechirukkudu in Sahana and a song in Begada were the ones I liked very much in this concert. Devi Brova in Chintamani raaga was the main piece of the concert. Though the concert was good, their singing didn’t impress me enough to make me go to another concert of theirs in the near future.
Guitar Prasanna on 28/12/2006 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Prasanna started the concert with Nattakurunji varnam. He was accompanied by J.Vaidyanathan on the Mridangam and E.M.Subramanian on the Ghatam. After playing compositions in Abhogi, Devaranji, Kapi, Jayantasena, Kedaragowlai and Sindhubhairavi, he played an alapana of Harikambhoji raagam and did a raaga bedham at madhyamam and played Mohanam. After this he played Raghuvamsasudha after someone in the audience asked him to play it. While playing Kalyani alapana he did a graha bedham and played raagas Harikambhoji, Karaharapriya and Sankarabharanam. Talli Ninnu Nera, a composition of Syama Sastry was the one he played in Kalyani. After playing Vanchatonuna in Karnaranjani, again an audience request, he concluded the concert with ‘Bowling for Peace’, that he termed as neither a varnam nor a kriti but just a piece of music that he had composed for his album, Electric Ganesha Land’.
Guitar Prasanna on 30/12/2006 at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium (Brahma Gana Sabha)
In this concert, Prasanna was accompanied by Mannargudi Easwaran on the Mridangam and Purushotthaman on the Khanjira. The highlight of this concert was the Raagam Taanam Pallavi in 4 raagams that he said he had composed only on the previous evening. The pallavi was Anandam Sachchidaanandam Paripoorna Brahmosmi where Anandam was in raaga Revathy, Sachchidaanandam in Hamsadhwani, Paripoorna in Hindolam and Brahmosmi in Mohanam! The composition was superb! The tani avartanam was one of the best that I have heard in the season. After the Tani, Prasanna said in all his concerts people left only after the Tani Avartanam! Some of the other songs that he played are Nannuvidachi in Reetigowlai, Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Alaipayuthey. He ended this concert also with ‘Bowling for Peace’.
I enjoyed both the concerts very much. Does the fact that not many people turned up for both his concerts inspite of Prasanna playing so beautifully show that still not many like to hear Carnatic music played on guitar?
Sangeetha Sivakumar on 24/12/2006 at Rani Seethai Hall (Kalarasana)
Though my initial plan was to go only to Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s concert at Rani Seethai Hall at 6.15 pm after attending Sowmya’s concert for an hour at Music Academy, my plan changed thanks to Sowmya deciding to postpone her concert that day due to a bad throat. I reached the place when Sangeetha was finishing a kriti in Kalyani. After singing Vinaraadana in Devagandhari, she started the Keeravani alapana, the raaga chosen for the main piece of the evening. She sang Tyagaraja’s composition, Kaligiyunte with neraval and swarams at the line, Baguga Sri Raghunathuni Padamula. After one more song, she wound up the concert with Khamas Tillana. I liked this concert of hers more than the one at Academy.
Nithyasree Mahadevan on 25/12/2006 at Music Academy
I missed the first one-hour of the concert. Nithyasree was singing Kaya Roshanesham in Abheri when I entered the auditorium. Here’s the partial list of songs:
1. Anandutanu – Jingala
2. Maamava Satatam – Jaganmohini (Main piece of the concert)
3. Maalon Maruganai (Viruttam) & Koovi Azhaikka Koodaathaa – Sindhu Bhairavi
4. Begada – Raagam Taanam Pallavi
She sang the pallavi in raagas Vasantha, Atana, Hameer Kalyani, Varnaroopini
5. Tum Bi Kaun Khabar – ?
This happens to be the third concert of Nithyasree’s that I went to in this Season. I don’t know why but I didn’t enjoy any of her concerts as much as I used to earlier. Initially I thought since it has been more than a year since I last went to her concert, I should go to one more Nithyasree’s concert and see. But I got a bit bored too during her concerts! But the fact that the auditorium was jam-packed shows that not everyone felt the same way as I did.
P.S.: I am not writing about any of Sanjay’s or TMK’s concerts now since I have reserved the best concerts for the last!
As I didn’t write about the concerts I went to for quite sometime now, here you go. I am planning to write in parts about all the concerts I went to till now. Those who are not interested in Classical music, please skip these posts!
Concerts at Music Academy:
Lalgudi G.J.R.Krishnan & Vijayalakshmi – Violin Duet on 22/12/2006
This happens to be the first concert of theirs that I am going to. Each and every song/alapana they played were so good. The raaga chosen for elaboration was Todi and RTP was in Vachaspati. I now want to go to more concerts of theirs.
I went to Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s concert at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium yestereday. I had called the previous concert as one of Sanjay’s best. Now I am at a loss for words to describe yesterday’s concert! Should I call it one of his ‘bestest’?!! It was sheer pleasure to attend such a wonderful 3-hour concert after a long time!
Here’s the complete list of songs sung by Sanjay:
1. Nadathanumanisam – Chintamani
2. Raghunayaka – Hamsadhwani
3. Geeti Chakra – Kannada
4. Arulvaai Angayarkanniye – Darmavati
5. Aadum Deivam – Kambhoji (Main piece)
6. RTP – Hamsanandi
Pallavi: Karuninchara – Ragamalika (Sahana, Saveri, Suddha Danyasi, Nalinakanti, Bhahudari)
7. Pagaivanukku Arulvai – Ragamalika
8. Kulam Tarum(Viruttam) – Ragamalika (Shanmugapriya, Behag, Sindhubhairavi, Sama)
Narayana Nalinaayaka – Sama
9. Ganta Mani – Kanada
10. English Notes – Sankarabharanam
11. Mangalam – Sowrashtram
Varadarajan – Violin
P. Satish Kumar – Mridangam
Bangalore Rajasekar – Morsing
The Kannada raaga alapana that he sang before singing the Dikshitar krithi ‘Geeti Chakra’ was superb. Incidentally, that happens to be one of my favourite songs sung by Sanjay! The joy of hearing your favourite singer sing your favourite song in a kutcheri is something that cannot be described in words!
The Kambhoji alapana was so beautiful that it left you wishing that he would sing it for some more time (It was less than 10 minutes in duration). The Pallavi ‘Karuninchara’ which he sang in different raagas and that too in the tune of popular krithis like Énta Nerchina, Manavyala and Brova Baarama, made it even more enjoyable.
Varadarajan, on the violin, was excellent as usual. (Since Varadarajan plays for both Sanjay and TMK regularly, I think I would have attended more number of Varadarajan’s concerts than Sanjay’s and TMK’s). Bangalore Rajasekar on the morsing and Satish Kumar on the mridangam, made the Tani Avartanam a thoroughly enjoyable one.
It’s that time of the year again when there are so many concerts happening in every nook and corner of the city that you will end up being confused as to which one you should attend that day! No wonder Madras is the place-to-be for a Carnatic music rasika in the month of December!
I went to the concert of Sanjay Subrahmanyan yesterday at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. It was one of Sanjay’s best concerts! He started the concert with my favourite ‘I Vasudha’ in Sahana. I just loved the Harikambhoji and Hamirkalyani alapana. Sanjay was accompanied by S.Varadarajan on the violin, Srimushnam Raja Rao on the mridangam and Coimbatore Mohanram on the ghatam. Each one of them gave a thoroughly enjoyable performance. Thank God I didn’t miss the concert yesterday!