Concert Reviews

by Balaveenai

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[Editor's Note: The concert reviews appearing on this page are contributed by a musician-rasika, "Balaveenai" Sri. T. R. Balakrishnan. Any views and opinions expressed here are entirely his own]

Selvi T. Sudarshana (Vocal), Satish Kumar (Violin) and Sankaranarayanan (Mridangam)
Arranged by Music Circle at Raga Sudha Hall on 30th May 2004

T. Sudarshana, a  Chartered Accountant and dancer having given more than 50 sabha programs  and singing for more than a hundred dance performances to her credit, gave a nice vocal concert. She does nattuvangam too, for dances. Her mother Smt. Malathi Thothadri is a leading dance Guru belonging to Adyar K .Lakshmanan school and a Vainika too, trained under Sri R. Pitchumani Iyer. Malathi is Sudarshana's first Guru and Sudarshana has learnt under Late Calcutta Krishnamoorthy. She is now a disciple of Sanjay Subrahmanyan. It is notable that though being a dancer, she exhibits no mannerisms in vocal singing!

Sudarshana began her concert with the varnam Karunimpa of Tiruvottiyur Thyagayyar in Sahana in two tempos. After a brief but precise Saraswathi raga alapana she rendered Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatarís Vageswari Vanisaraswathi, with  the original chitta swaram. The Anandabhairavi raga had all sancharams and Shyama Sastriís Mariveregathi in Mishra Chapu was good, with the chittaswaram and sahitya in two tempos. Her Pantuvarali raga had range over three octaves and the krithi was Tanjore Ponniah Pillai's Needupathame gati, not commonly heard. 'Guruguhadasa' is his signature and has to be sung as a single word and should not be split.

The main raga was Todi sung elaborately with its swing and skews. The Gokulashtami special Shrikrishnam bhaja manasa with all sangatis built up was beautiful and niraval at "shankha chakra" was well executed. The swara prastara also was striking. The violin support by Satish Kumar, who is now under the advanced tutelage of Sri. M. S. Gopalakrishnan, was indeed remarkable. Sankaranarayanan on his mridangam too was equally shining.

Mridanga Arangetram of Master R. Akshay Ram, disciple of Ghatam V. Suresh
Dakshinamoorthy Hall P. S. Higher Secondary School, Mylapore, Chennai, June 2nd 2004.

The ten-year old school boy Master Akshay Ram was the hero of the vocal concert by Dr. Ganesh (disciple of
Maharajapuram Santhanam) with M. R. Gopinath on the violin and B. S. Purushottaman on the Kanjira. Ganesh commenced with the varnam, Intachalamu of Veena Kuppier in Begada in two tempos. Next was Sri Mahaganapathi of Dikshitar in Gowla. The swaras were at "prakAshakarO" and Akshay played matching for the jatis and swaras. Budhamasryami, the vAra kriti of Dikishtar in mishra jhampa was good test for Akshay. This was followed by Pantuvarali and ShambhO mahAdEva the Kovur  Pancharatna kriti of Tyagaraja in Santhanam's style, with niraval unusually at the pallavi and a testing swara prastara for Akshay. The main raga was Todi. Elaborating all sancharas, Ganesh sang Shrikrishnam Bhajamanasa of Dikshitar with swaras at "pankajAkSa..." with korvais and
kuraippu, where  Akshay met the challenge, receiving applause. For the Poorvi tillana of Maharajapuram too, Akshay had good anticipation. The tani was striking, with tirmanams, korvais and moharas and kept the audience attentive. B. S. Purushottaman was throughout guiding and supporting the young mridangist. M. R. Gopinath excelled in his solos. The august audience included Sangita Kalanidhis T. K. Moorthy and Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam, K. V. Prasad and other leading mridangists too encouraged Akshay.

In the middle of the concert there was a long felicitation meeting addressed by danseuse Padma Subrahmanyan, Dr. V. V. Srivatsa and Pujyasri Mathioli R. Saraswathi of Nandalal Sevasamthi Trust, all appreciating Akshay. Guru Suresh gave the vote of thanks. Both Suresh and Akshay have indeed toiled hard.


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