Venue: Varasidhi Vinayakar Temple, Besant Nagar, Chennai
Date: 01 Apr 2007
Organizer: Varasidhi Vinayakar Sath Sangam, Besant Nagar
Vocal: Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan
Violin: Vid. Nagai Muralidharan
Mrudangam: Vid. Neyveli B. Venkatesh
Khanjira: Vid. K.V. Gopalakrishnan
List of songs:
1) nI bhakti bhAgya sudhA – jayamanOhari – rUpakam – thyAgarAja (S)
2) kshitijA ramaNam – dEvagAndhAri – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
3) manavyALakin – naLinakAnti – Adi – thyAgarAja (AS)
4) bhajana sEyavE – kalyANi – rUpakam – thyAgarAja (AS)
5) rAmanukku mannan muDi – hindOLam – Adi – aruNAchala kavi
6) kaligiyunTE – kIravANi – Adi – thyAgarAja (ANST)
7) rAma nAmamE tudi – dEsh – Adi – tanjAvUr sankara iyer (O)
8 ) vandE mAtaram ambikAm bhagavati (viruttam) – sahAnA, yAgapriyA, bImpLAs, Anandabhairavi, dwijAvanti
akhilAndEswari – dwijAvanti – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
9) mODi jEsEvElarA (jAvaLi) – khamAs – Adi – paTTAbirAmayyA (O)
10) nijagAdasA – sindhubhairavi – Adi – jayadEva
11) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – sowrAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
It was an almost perfect concert for me to end the weekend with. Sri Sanjay Subrahmanyan started the concert with “nI bhakti bhAgya sudhA” reminding me of an old Charsur release of his where he has begun the same way. He then went on to sing “kshitijA ramaNam” which immediately reminded me of Smt. R. Vedavalli’s rendition of the same. Vedavalli mami’s school sings this composition superbly and when mami sings, one just feels like sitting with eyes closed admiring the beauty of this masterpiece by Sri Dikshitar. Sri Sanjay also sang this composition well. Next came a beautiful raga alapana of naLinakanti followed by rendition of Sri Thyagaraja’s “manavyALakin” to some explosive percussive support. Sri Neyveli Venkatesh seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the song and whenever he does that he seems to almost start dancing on stage in sync with the beats of his mrudangam. His left foot also starts tapping vigorously from under his veshti. Sri Sanjay began the kalpana swaram in this song by singing patterns of akshara count 3 (sa ga ri manavyALakin) , 4, 6, 9 and 11 in consecutive avartanams. After “manavyALakin“, Sri Sanjay sang a detailed raga alapana of kalyANi which was throughly enjoyable. Sri Nagai Muralidharan also played the raga alapana beautifully. He used portions from compositions of the trinity at many places to add beauty to the alapana. “bhajana sEyavE” seemed to be inspired by Sri T. N. Seshagopalan (TNS) at a lot of places, especially in the kalpana swaram where Sri Sanjay shifted with ease from singing patterns of 3 x 4 aksharas (or the normal chatusra way of rendering swarams) in one avartanam to patterns of 4 x 3 aksharas (with the first akshara of each set of 3 sung and the remaining two left as kArvai) in one avartanam just like TNS does. He also sang patterns of 4×5 aksharas in one avartanam. The calculations in kalpana swarams were a subset of what TNS uses while singing this song.
Sri Sanjay then sang “rAmanukku mannan muDi” beginning with the anupallavi “pAmaramE unakku ennaDi pEchE“. Then came a detailed raga alapana of kIravANi which was like nectar to my ears. It seems like ages since I heard someone sing kIravANi and Sri Sanjay seemed to do full justice to the raga in his 11 minute alapana. Sri Nagai Muralidharan also played the raga well in his shorter version of the alapana. Neraval and kalpana swaram were put in the kriti “kaligiyunTE” at “bAguga srI raghu rAmuni padamula“.
Sri Neyveli Venkatesh and Sri K.V. Gopalakrishnan (KVG) played taniavartanam in Adi talam (2 kalai) which primarily comprised the misra naDai. There was a round of kuraippus in kanDa naDai. It started off with one avartanam comprising of the following structure: 4 patterns of 5 aksharams each followed by one pattern of 4 aksharam to provide the necessary start for 2 sets of patterns of 4 x 7 aksharams (total 80 aksharams = 1 avartanam of Adi talam, 2 kaLai in kanDa naDai). Sri KVG was especially very impressive immediately reproducing whatever Sri Neyveli Venkatesh played.
The organizer said that it was at this place that Sri Sanjay Subrahmanyan had his arangetram many years ago and that Sri Sanjay has always been very willing to perform at the temple premises.