Sanjay Subrahmanyan at Narada Gana Sabha

On 24-12-2017

Duration: 2 hrs 45 minutes

Varadarajan – Violin
Neyveli Venkatesh – Mridangam
K V Gopalakrishnan – Khanjira

1. Ninne Kori (varnam) – Asaveri – Ata
2. Munnavane yaanai mugatthavane (viruttam) – Hamsadhwani
VaaraNa mukhavaa – Hamsadhwani – Swarams at munnavane
3. Etula Brotuvo – Chakravaham – Alapana, Swarams at Etula
4. Kaakka Unakkirakkam – Kharaharapriya – Started at thookkatthile unadhu kaalinai maravaamal
5. Sri Subrahmanyaya – Kambhoji – Alapana, neraval and swarams at Vasavadi
Tani Avartanam
6. RTP – Danyasi – Taanam in Janaranjani, Kannada, Subhapantuvarali
Pallavi – Varada Venkata Gopala – Misra Chapu
7. ? – Khamas – 4-beat taalam (Eka taalam put in different style or something else??)
8. Japat Japat Hari Naam – Ragamalika with Maand, Sivaranjani, Behag, Sindhubhairavi – Brief Alapana of Maand – Adi
9. Theruvinil (Tiruppugazh) – Sururtti
10. Mangalam

The classic Sanjay – Varadarajan – Neyveli Venkatesh combination was back in this Narada Gana Sabha concert with K. V. Gopalakrishnan on the Khanjira. So it was a given that we were in for some classic treat today.

At two and a half hours duration, Narada Gana Sabha kutcheris are always shorter in duration compared to a majority of Sanjay’s kutcheris during the December Season. So at the end of the first 45 minutes itself, Sanjay had already completed four pieces and had started the Kambhoji alapana. But if you thought any of these pieces might have sounded rushed, it definitely didn’t. Raagams can be presented concisely too and that’s what happened.

I don’t remember having listened to the nice Asaveri varnam with which the concert started. The entire varnam was sung in a single kaalam.

A nice viruttam with all the feel early in the concert and a brief yet mind-blowing fast Hamsadhwani kalpana swarams which made one wish it would go on for some more minutes adorned VaaraNa mukha.

An elaborate Chakravaham Alapana bringing out all its nuances and the kriti Etula Brotuvo presented very well replete with kalpana swarams were very satisfying reminding me of Sanjay’s Chakravaham RTP from an old Charsur cassette.

Kaakka Unakkirakkam Illaya is one of my favourites sung by Sanjay and, as always, his rendition of it was quite moving. I only wished an alapana or a neraval had accompanied it.

At the end of 45 minutes, started alapana of the main piece of the day – Kambhoji. It is not only one of my favourite classic raagams but also one of my favourites sung by Sanjay with his renditions of songs like Tiruvadi Charanam topping the list.

A very elaborate Alapana which went on for fifteen minutes was filled with oodles of ‘aahaa’ moments! While the audience at Brahma Gana Sabha seemed to have taken Sanjay holding on to a higher octave note for a good stretch during the main Alapana, for granted, the audience here gave an applause, though not as loud as erstwhile.

The kriti, Shri Subrahmanyaya, was itself was sung so well with the moving neraval further adding on to the beauty of the composition. There was the janaranjakam aspect again when traces of the ‘Saraswati Sabatham’ song, ‘Kalviya Selvama Veerama’ made its way into the neraval.

The opening R G S phrases of the swarams, the more melodious swarams that followed and the fast swarams becoming more and more enjoyable as the climatic finish of the swarams approached were all absolutely brilliant.

When the Tani Avartanam started, Sanjay had already sung the Kambhoji for about 50 minutes with never even a second of it boring.

Neyveli Venkatesh’s tani avartanam started off with a lot of different stuff than his usual patterns and was very enjoyable with Gopalakrishnan on the Khanjira too giving an equally enjoyable experience.

Early in the Tani Avartanam, Gopalakrishnan was seen using his khanjira like a fan making one wonder if all the bright, colourful lights adorning the stage were radiating too much heat.

The filler between the main and the RTP was the classic Telisi Rama in pUrnacandrikA sung in a very fast tempo. While the composition, the chittaiswarams and, of course, the raagam in itself are so very blissful, if that bliss is to be served at its peak, it has to be during the concluding ‘rAmA’! Just for those few seconds of absolute bliss replete with all the highs and beauty of pUrnacandrikA, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this concert.

A gripping RTP in Danyasi followed with delightful taanams in Janaranjani and Kannada and a soulful taanam in Subhapantuvarali.

The pallavi comprised of the names of the day’s accompanists – Varada Venkata Gopala. A quick round of swarams concluded the RTP.

A nice song in Khamas later came a soulful composition of Swati Tirunal, Japat Japat, a ragamalika. The song had a fitting finale with the line Japat Hari Naam Manuja in all the raagams in the ragamalika.

Then came a joyous Tiruppugazh in Surutti, the words of which seeming to indicate an important day in our state being commemorated.

As the concert concluded with Mangalam, this turned out to be yet another most fulfilling concert of this Season! I am excitedly waiting for the next concert at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.

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