Venue: Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall, TTK Road, Chennai
Date: 14 Apr 2007
Organizer: Narada Gana Sabha (Golden Jubilee Celebrations)
Vocal: Vid. R. Vedavalli
Vocal Support: Vid. Sumitra Vasudev
Vocal Support & Tambura: Vid. Sumathi Krishnan
Violin: Vid. Charulatha Ramanujam
Mrudangam: Vid. Manoj Siva
Ghatam: Vid. Sukanya Ramagopal
List of songs:
1) praNavAkAram – Arabhi – Adi – UthukkADu venkaTa subbaiyer (S)
2) kOrinavara – rAmapriyA – tisra Ekam – pattanam subramaniya iyer (NS)
3) brOva samayamidE – gaurimanOhari – Adi – garbhapurivAsar (O)
4) shaDAnanE sakalam arpayAmi – khamAs – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (A)
5) mugathai kATTiyE – bhairavi – misra chApu – pApavinAsa mudaliAr (ANS)
6) nI dAsAnu – hamIrkalyANi – Adi – thyAgarAja
7) rAgam tAnam pallavi – shankarAbharaNam – kanDa tripuTa (2 kaLai) (T)
pallavi wordings: “nArada gAna rasa, bhArati sutO jayati”
kalpanA swarams in shankarAbharaNam, aTANA, srIranjani, danyAsi, jaganmOhini, behAg & suruTTi
8 ) krIDati vanamAlI – dEsh – Adi – sadAsiva brahmEndra
9) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja
10) swasti prajAbhyah paripAlayantAm (slOkam) – madyamAvati
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
The name “R. Vedavalli” stands for pure classical music. Every time I attend Vedavalli mami’s concert, I am taken on a joyous, jerk-free ride of the world of carnatic music and there is this bliss that envelops me. Needless to say, she presented a thoroughly enjoyable concert on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Narada Gana Sabha.
Smt. Vedavalli started the concert with the kriti “praNavAkAram” in which kalpanA swarams were initially put at “praNavAkAram” and later at “abi samvrita shiva gaNa … “. Then came the rAmapriyA kriti “kOrinavara” in which neraval and kalpanA swarams were put at “parichara vAnara samUha“. A short outline of gaurimanOhari gave way to “brOva samayamidE“. Then came a beautiful alapana of khamAs. While Smt. Vedavalli built up the alapana steadily, she let her disciple Smt. Sumitra Vasudev finish it off nicely.
After “shaDAnanE” came a classic alapana of the raga bhairavi. It was just awesome stuff. It was as though mami was offering her rasikas spoon after spoon of highest quality bhairavi to taste with every spoon making us want more of it. Towards the end of the alapana, mami suddenly surprised us with different short sancharas from panchamam to the higher rishabham. Mami kept alternating between the lower octave and the normal octave while singing them and this produced a very good effect. The series of not-so-often-heard songs continued for me with mami singing “mugathai kATTiyE” with neraval and kalpana swarams at “sAyarakshayil vandu salikka pArpOm enrAl“.
“nI dAsAnu” was followed by a pleasant surprise – a RTP in shankarAbharaNam. Mami is famous for her RTPs. But its been quite some time since I heard her sing one and so I happily lapped up whatever was on offer.
The structure of the pallavi was as follows (B=beat, 1 Avartanam of kanDa tripuTa 2 kaLai = 18 beats) (starts 1.5B after samam): nA (2B) ra (1B) da (2B) gA (1B) na (2B) ra (0.5B) sa (+ gap = 3B) bhA (1.5B) ra (1B) ti (1B) su (0.5B) tO (1B) ja(0.5B) ya (0.5B) ti (0.5B).
The accompanying artists played with a lot of sowkhyam. Smt. Charulatha Ramanujam, who plays for Smt. Vedavalli quite often, was quite good in her alapanas. Sri Manoj Siva and Smt. Sukanya Ramagopal played along soothingly providing just the right percussive support to go along with mami’s singing. They even shortened the taniavartanam just to include the final mOrA and kOrvai.