Carnatic Music

1962 should have been a damn great year.  I guess.  I was not born that year. So that couldn’t be it.  The year I was born should go down in the annals of history as “The Year”.  I am modest and will accept that and just move on.

It is about this half an hour of that year that prompts me to declare that 1962 should have been a damn great year.  The half an hour that would have given goose pimples to everybody who witnessed the event.  It has been captured for posterity so everyone can get goose pimples once, again and all over again.

It all though started way back in the 1800’s.  With the bard of Thiruvaiyaru who went on to discover the 22nd scale in the sampoorna mela pathadhi.  And then immortalized that scale with such grand compositions.  Delectables that entrance and enhance us. 

MMI’s grand Chakkani or SSI’s Rama nee samanamevaru or Pakkala nilapadi are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Me thinks Karaharapriya is like a oil well that will never run dry. Even so, this half an hour would eclipse all that and come out as half-an-hour-non-pareil. None other than the inimitable CVB @ Poomulli Navaratri Series in 1962.  This makes 1962 a damn great year.  The interaction between CVB & the violinist(LGJ?  MSG? TNK? Chowdiah?) and all together makes this a half-an-hour-worth-listening-to-no-interruptions-please.

Guess CVB would have been past 50 that year.  One can only wonder what he would have been in his youth and what and how many such enthralling moments he would have produced!  Sigh!

If you find a link for this in Sangeethapriya or somewhere else, please do mention in the comments.  I am having issues in accessing esnips URL that I got courtesy Yahoo! search.  I downloaded the recording long back and not able to recollect the source now.


Quite a fluent talk, and mostly in chaste Tamil. That was quite welcome after a lot of Tanglish stuff.

Kumudam Alapanai – Rajkumar Bharathy – registration required.

I did not know about Kumudam’s Alapanai section and it was my wife that discovered it. And the thing is, she doesn’t care much about carnatic music inspite of being from a family with some notable carnatic musicians.  She absolutely can’t stand alapanais. “Enna vendirukku, thadarinannannuttu..” 🙂

From Vijay Siva – what loss is not knowing raga, laya & sahitya (lyrics) of a song. As long as you are able to enjoy! Ofcourse, the message is in Tamil, rather Tanglish.

Follow the rest of the clippings from the same programme to get a measure of his simple yet wholesome fare.

P.S. what is the equivalent word for anubhavam?

Vijay Siva, Charumathi Raghuram (Violin) & Mannargudi Eswaran (Mridangam) team gave a fare yesterday that is akin to vatha kuzhambu & sutta appalam after an overdose of vadai payasam pachadi virundhu.

MMG – Sri Nathadi – Adi – MD (S) – My god, what a long song it is.
Saranga – Neevada negana – M Jhampa – T (RS)
Anandabhairavi – Marivere – M Chapu – SS (S)
Kamas – Sitapate Na Manasuna – Adi – T (RN) – alapanai in mel sthayi & nereval at prema juchi napai – grand.  I felt that swaras after the nereval would mar the nereval and guess he understood my wishes and there were no swaras 🙂
Vasanta – Ma dayai nidhi ennum – Adi – PS – beautiful song.  The one I heard before is by MS in a cassette.  While I could not discern all the words correctly in that, I understood each and every word of Vijay Siva’s.
Bhairavi – Raksha Bettare – Adi – T (RNST) – nereval at sangeetha priya thyagaraja.  He pulled off the nereval brilliantly at that phrase.  Though he sang it as sangeethApriya instead of sangeethapriya.  Was T’s wife’s name Sangeetha wink  The way Mannargudi played for this song was grand.  Tani was short and sweet.  I am not knowledgable on nadais and all, so no more on that.  There was no mass exodus either.  Just 5 or so out of 120+ crowd walked out.
Bowli?/Punnagavarali/Kuntalavarali – Slokam followed by Male Manivanna – Thiruppavai – Andal (Brief sketches of the ragas on violin)

I had to leave then as it was gettng quite late.

Charumathi did great except for certain instances where I could hear tiny screeches/shrieks.

So while TMK wrote about underrepresentation of the fairer sex but did not use them (did he?  seems like he did.  akkarai subbulakshmi & amrita murali.  so he walks the talk as well 🙂 ), VS is doing something there.

Another gem from Master BMK. This time in Brahma Gana Sabha @ Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium. Accompanied by Nalina Mohan (Violin) & Trissur Narendran (Mridangam) & a young lad on Kanjira (name??)

I intentionally chose to attend Master this time and he did not disappoint. Sanjay was in the audience for about an hour of the concert. First ever time I saw a contemporary artist attending a junior’s concert.

While it was a grand RTP in Kambhoji at MA, this time he started with Kambhoji Varnam in Ata Tala. The main was Keervani. Asaveri, Kannada & Vasantha Bhairavi were the other highlights.

Kamboji Varnam – Sarasijanabha – Ata Tala
Nattai – Mahaganapatim – (brief sketch, S)
Asaveri – Lekana – Adi – T
Ramapriya – Korinavaramu – Rupakam – PSI (RNS) – Sounded like Pantuvarali to me. First ever time I hear Ramapriya though.
Manirangu/Pusphalathika? – Paradevate Un Padham Nambinen – (brief sketch, S)
Kannada – Shri Mathrubootham – Misra Chapu – MD (swaras at the madhyama kalam passage)
vasantha bhairavi – nee dayarada – Adi – T (haunting and beautiful. the one I use as yardstick is the one by NCV).
Keervani – Kaligiyunte – Adi – T (RNST)

Malladi Brothers, V Sanjeev, K V Prasad & Kanjira (Artiste?)

They sang to a packed hall.

Nattai – Jaya Jaya Swamin – Adi – Narayana Theerthar? (S)
sarasangi – Neekela dayaradhu – Adi – Ramaswamy Sivan/Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan (S). The raga was announced.
Begada – Gatti ganu nanu – Rupakam – T (S)
Vagadeeswari – Paramatmudu – Adi – T (RS at hari hara)
varali – Mamava Meenakshi – Misra Chapu – D
Brindavana Saranga – Kamalapta kula – Adi – T (S at kamalapta kula)
Kambodhi – Ma Janaki – Adi – T (RNS T?)

I had to leave as they started nereval at Ma Janaki courtesy my long trek back home 😦

The brothers have such powerful voice. The vagadeeswari alapana was a tad long and it jarred on my ears. Mebbe because of its vivadiness. However, the kambodhi essay was pure bliss in three octaves. The brother (shorter one) shone in the higher octaves with his long held karvais. Sanjeev’s vinyasa of Kambhoji was perfect as well.

I haven’t heard any of these songs except for Paramtmudu (TKR) & Ma Janaki (MMI) in recordings.

Overall I am very satisfied that I chose to attend them yesterday.

Those of you that did not attend the concert yesterday, please feel free to rue the day of your misfortune.   Master BMK was just grand.

Bhairavi – Viriboni – Ata Tala Varnam (brief sketch of raga, 2 speeds) – Pachimiriyam Adiyappaya
Mayamalavagowlai – Deva Deva – Roopakam (NS at jatarupa) – Swati Tirunal
Vagadeeswari – Paramatmudu – Adi – Thyagaraja
Simmendramadhyamam – Ninne nammitinayya (R, NS at pannagendra sayana) – M Chapu – Mysore Vasudevachar
Yadhukulakambhoji – Yarendru ragavanai (Brief raga sketch, moving nonetheless) – Adi – Arunachala Kavirayar
Dhenuka – Theliyaleru – desadi – Thyagaraja
Karaharapriya – Chakkani – Adi (elaborate R, S at kantiki, no neraval though) – Thyagaraja

Had to leave as he started swarams at kantiki.

TK Murthy proved his worth at Chakkani.  The sound of his mridangam itself is quite different from other mridangams.  It really is a mrudu angam.  The way he played for each and every sangathi was simply superb and embellished the song.  Think the tani would have been quite enjoyable as well.

Usha Rajagoplan on violin did a fantastic job on Simmendra madhyamam & Karaharapriya.  There was no dull moment in the concert in that 2 hours I was there. 

TK Murthy had one of his sishyas also assist him on mridangam.   Kanjira – I could not get the young lad’s name even from the organizers 😦

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