B. Balasubramaniam @ Musiri Chamber Concerts, Chennai

Venue: Musiri Chamber Concerts, 28/2, Musiri Subramaniam Road, Mylapore

Date: 13 Jan 2007

Vocal: Sri B. Balasubramaniam

Violin: Sri R.K. Sriramkumar

Mridangam: Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao

List of songs:

1) sArasAlanu (varnam) – karnATaka kApi – tisra Eka – tAnjOre quartette

2) hastivadanAya – navarOj – misra chApu – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

3) avatAram enduku – harikAmbOji – kanDa chApu – thyAgarAja (AS)

4) saraswati manOhari – saraswati manOhari – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

5) saTrE vilagi – pUrvikalyANi – rUpakam – gOpAlakrishna bhArati (ANS)

6) vINA pustaka – vEgavAhini – misra jampa – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

7) ninnADa nEla – kannaDa – Adi – thyAgarAja

8 ) vidhi illArkku – kharaharapriyA – tisra Eka – Anai ayyA

9) gajavadanA – tODi – Adi – kumAra rAja eTTEndrA (AST)

10) venkaTashaila – hamIrkalyANi – Adi – subbarAya sAstri

11) valapudAsa (padam) – varALi – misra chApu – kshEtragna

12) OsOsi (padam) – mukhAri – misra chApu – muddu naTEsA

13) jAnarO I mOgamu (jAvaLi) – khamAs – tisra Eka – rAmanAtapuram srInivAsa iyengAr

14) maharAju (jAvaLi) – behAg – misra chApu – ??

15) kandugamada kariyai (viruttam) – rAgamAlikA (sindhubhairavi, chakravAham, hansAnandi, nATTakurinji, suruTTi & hindOLam)

dIm tAna nana nAdru (tillAnA) – hindOLam – kanDa Eka – mysOre vAsudEvAchAr

16) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – sowrAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Mylapore has many busy roads and one of them is Musiri Subramaniam road. As you travel on this road from Alwarpet signal towards Mylapore Fine Arts Club, you will see a small yellow signboard (put up by Mudhra?) that proudly says “28/2, Musiri Subramaniam Road” and beckons you into a silent bylane in the otherwise crowded and noisy Mylapore. A few steps in the lane and you are outside one of the best places to enjoy a carnatic music concert in Chennai!!!!

Sri Musiri Subramania Iyer’s family does this wonderful job of organizing chamber concerts here. There are many good things about a chamber concert as such. Apart from the apparent realities like ability to observe the artists at close quarters, better communication between the artists and the rasikas and better concentration on the music being presented with minimal distractions, the one good thing that must be very encouraging to artists themselves is the fact that even a small, nice sanchara is lapped up by the audience and evokes a lot of appreciation. When a lot of such good sancharas/prayogas are packed in a concert, its just a heavenly experience for the rasikas.

I have been witness to two good concerts at this venue in the last two weeks. Last week it was Smt. Suguna Purushothaman rendering her own compositions and this week it was Sri B. Balasubramaniam giving a vocal recital accompanied by accomplished artists Sri R.K. Sriramkumar and Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao on the violin and mridangam respectively.

What appealed to me the most in Sri Balasubramaniam’s concert was the rendition of the songs. Some sangathis used in the songs were just brilliant which speaks a lot about his gurus and his school (I incidentally learnt from a friend of mine that he belongs to the Brinda-Muktha school). The compositions chosen in the initial half of the concert were ones that aren’t heard much in the concert circuit these days. Sri Sriramkumar played along almost like Sri Balasubramaniam’s shadow and showed his individual brilliance during the raga alapanas. Sri Raja Rao played well for the songs, with a lot of sowkhyam.

Almost all the post-tODi compositions were rasika requests. Sri Balasubramaniam ended his concert with a melodious thillana in hindOLam in which he rendered the pallavi in normal speed, tisram and double speed.

2 thoughts on “B. Balasubramaniam @ Musiri Chamber Concerts, Chennai

  1. Hello Ram,
    Looks like a kutcheri with Krithis rarely heard today.On January 13th, I went to Shri TN Krishnan’s lectture demonstartion on Kharaharapriya at Ragasudha Hall.He played an Alapana,Thyagaraja’s Rama Neeyeda and a Tanam.This is the second of a series.The first was on Bhairavi sometime in November 2006.Looking forward to the next one.

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