/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": June 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thyagaraja's Faith in Sri Rama – Vidwan K.V. Narayanaswamy

The House of Sankalpa "Parvathi", Mysore, congratulates Vidwan Trichy Shankaran for winning the "Sangeeta Kalanidhi" award for 2011

The Parvathi Ramanavami festival started in 1970. Its inspiration for the Chowdiah Memorial that later came up in Bangalore is documented in this blog elsewhere. In that watershed year, many glorious concerts were held in Parvathi in memory of Sangeetha Rathna Chowdiah. The concert we feature here is one such gem, with stalwarts KVN, V. Sethuramiah, Trichy Sankaran, H.P. Ramachar and Mysore Manjunath.

Vidwan K.V. Narayanaswamy, whose name comes up every time we discuss the great Carnatic musicians of the last 60 years, has done exemplary service to the spirit of the Ramanavami festival in this concert. Every song is a masterpiece of music and devotional excellence.

The Pantuvarali song Ninne nera nammi nanura, sung with gusto, translates thus ( taken from The Spiritual Heritage of Tygaraja) :

From my early days, convinced that everything in the world is unreal, I have placed my implicit faith in you and you alone, Oh Rama! I have seen people learned in Vedas, Sastras and Puranas stand bewildered at the undetermined religious controversies. I have seen people roam restlessly performing Yagas passionately for worldly enjoyments. I have come to the conclusion that unless one obtains your grace, one cannot thrive in life in this world.

The saint composer states in Evarani:

I prostrate to those wise ones who combined the spirit of the two mantras viz. Ma from Shiva Panchakshari, and Ra from Narayana Ashtakshari and arrived at your blessed name “Rama”.

He goes on in Mokshamu galada:

Is it possible for one who is devoid of real devotion and knowledge of divine music, to attain salvation?

The concert has three stellar compositions – Pakkala Nilabadi in Kharaharapriya, Sri Subrahmanyaaya in Kambhoji, and Brochevaarevarura in Khamach. KVN delivers his trademark punches in the neraval and swara cycles in each song, replete with laya gymnastics, glides and curls around key musical phrases.

Maestro Sankaran's long career as a professor in Canada has limited his appearances in India somewhat to the December festivals (which he compares to the Olympics). This great artiste has made a unique contribution to Carnatic music over so many decades now. Vidwan Sankaran's mastery over the 'naada' of the mridangam as well as the art of accompaniment is in full flow in this concert.

Vidwan Sethuramiah's seven stringed violin accompaniment respectfully invokes the presence of his guru and rounds off this concert as a true tribute to T. Chowdiah, the epochal star of Carnatic music.

The Concert Details

K.V.Narayanaswamy ---- Vocal
V.Sethuramiah ----------- Violin
Trichy Shankaran -------- Mridangam
K.S.Manjunath ----------- Ghatam
H.P.Ramachar ------------ Khanjira
On 23 - 4 - 1970 at Parvathi.

Song List

01. Evarani – Devamruthavarshini – Thyagaraja *** 02. Ninne nera nammi – Pantuvarali – Thyagaraja *** 03. Pakkala Nilabadi – Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja *** 04. Mokshamu galada – Saramathi – Thyagaraja *** 05. Sri Subrahmanyaaya – Kambhoji – Muthuswami Dikshithar *** 06. Brochevarevarura – Khamach – Mysore Vasudevachar ***.

(PS: We regret the vagaries of tape speed in this 41-year old recording.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The vidwat of harnessing the voice – Vidwan Tanjore S. Kalyanaraman

The GNB school has made a huge impact on Carnatic music. Frequent references are made in our circles to GNB's unique style and impact, his star disciples like MLV, and the briga-laden stylistics that are the inspiration of many an upcoming singer. In this context stands out a gifted musician, who added to the GNB style his own unique aesthetics, providing an eloquent direction to the youngsters who want to cultivate manodharma sangeetha instead of rattling off songs in quick succession.

Tanjore S. Kalyanaraman (1930-1994) whom we are privileged to feature in this concert, was a musician's musician. His music carries a freshness and charm. Singers and rasikas alike search avidly for his recordings. He had a grand design to his method, and his voice culture was a key to his success. We can glean from Internet resources details of this master musician's musical journey.

Before we list the concert details, let us share a quote from someone who has written about Kalyanaraman:

Quote (Mr. S. I. Krishnamachari of Woodridge, IL., USA )

He was a researcher, singer, composer, teacher, unrelenting learner, vainika, whistler and a teacher of violin too. To this date, he represents (what) one can do to ply one's own voice and be the ring-master of his own music. Intellect, analysis and faith in classical values were the characteristics of his music. Taught first by his father, and later by none less than GNB himself, he acquired a singing style and personality for himself. Awards and recognition eluded him. Nonetheless, other musicians and the modern- minded rasikas always saw him as a star on par with GNB himself. There are a few in the profession who believe that his Sangeetha Kalanidhi award was long overdue.

He was an expert on voice culturing. Realizing that traditional methods of voice culture would not work for him, given his congenital heart and respiratory problems, he had to develop one of his own.


We also give you a link to a documentary : Sunadha Vinodhan S. Kalayanaraman

Carnatic music is blessed to have these path-breaking innovators. They bring a new meaning to creativity within the context of classicism. In this concert, we have a fair measure of rare compositions and masterly raga expositions e.g. Dharmavathi and Kambhoji. MSG and Karaikudi Mani along with H.P. Ramachar have added their bit to make this concert truly memorable. Karaikudi Mani, whom we feature for the first time in this blog, has provided masterly accompaniment in the Kambhoji Pallavi. It seems the mridangam is singing the pallavi as much as the voice and the violin.

The Meera bhajan, set to music by Kalayanaraman, expresses his creative mindset well. He had done original work in the area of dwi-madhyama ragas.

The details of the concert:

S.Kalyanaraman ------ Vocal
Parur M.S. Gopalakrishnan --- Violin
Karaikudi Mani -------- Mridangam
H.P.Ramachar ------ Khanjira
at Parvathi Ramanavami Festival on April 20, 1973

Song list

01. Jaya Jaya – Nata – Purandaradasa*** 02. Makelara – Ravichandrika – Thyagaraja *** 03. Gajavadana – Gowla – Purandaradasa*** 04. Paramapavana Rama – Purvi Kalyani – Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar*** 05. Ninnu Nera – Devamanohari-Muthiah Bhagavathar*** 06. Kanda – Dharmavathi – Koteeshwara Iyer*** 07. Nenarunchi Nanu -malavi-Thyagaraja*** 08. Ragam Tanam Pallavi Kambhoji (Ragamalika Ranjani, Kunthalavarali, Nayaki, Gangeyabhushani, Hamsanandi) *** 09. Koovi Azhaithal – Valachi – Valee*** 10. Hari gun gaavath – Dipali – Meerabai*** 11. Saapashyat Kausalya – Jonpuri – Panchapakesha Shastri*** 12.Mangalam