Venue: TTD Information Center, Venkatanarayana Road, T. Nagar, Chennai
Date: 11 June 2007
Organizer: TTD Information Center
Vocal: Vid T.V. Gopalakrishnan (TVG)
Violin: Vid S. Varadarajan
Mrudangam: Vid T.V. Vasan
Ghatam: Vid V. Suresh
List of songs:
1) Om sahana vavatu (shLokam) – sAvEri
2) sarasUDa (varnam) – sAvEri – Adi – kothavAsal venkaTrAma iyer (A)
3) girirAja sutA – bangALa – Adi – tyAgarAja (AS)
4) hiraNmayIm – lalitA – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkSitar (A)
5) mAtA manam – pUrvikalyANi – misra cApu – nAdOpAsanA srInivAsan (?) (ANS)
6) chinnanADena – kalAnidhi – Adi – thyAgarAja (AS)
7) venkaTashaila – hamIrkalyANi – Adi – subbarAya sAstri (AST)
8 ) centanE sadA – kuntalavarALi – Adi – tyAgarAja (O)
9) cEtashri – dwijAvanti – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (A)
10) pArvai onrE pOdumE – bhImpLAs – Adi – UthukkAdu venkaTa subbaiyer
11) agrE pashyAmi tEjO (shLokam) – nIlAmbari
mAdhava mAmava dEvA – nIlAmbari – Adi – nArAyaNa tIrthar
12) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – tyAgarAja
13) mangaLam kOsalEndrAya (slOkam) – madyamAvati
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
It was TVG’s 75th birthday and he appeared quite excited and emotional about it. He started the concert by saying that he has been doing service to music since he was 3-4 years old and talked for a few minutes about his musical journey. He announced that he will primarily sing perumAL kritis as Tirupati perumAL is his kuladeivam. He also said that he had been to Tirupati early in the morning for the 3.30 AM Suprabhata Sevai.
TVG started the concert with the shLOkam “Om sahana vavatu sahanau bhunaktu, sahavIryam karavAvahai, tejas vinAvati tamastumA vidhvishAvahai, Om shAnti shAnti shAntihi” in the raga sAvEri. He then sang the sAvEri varnam “sarasUDa” to some very good accompaniment from the other accomplished artists on stage, who all incidentally are his students. The second sangati in the next song “girirAja sutA tanayA” saw him suddenly jump from shaDjam to pancamam of the lower octave at “yA” of “tanayA“. I think he sang the word “tanayA” as “R S P(lower)”. Kalpana swarams were put at the pallavi line. “hiraNmayIm” was started from the anupallavi “ciratara sampatpradAm …. “. Sri T.V. Vasan and Sri V. Suresh started playing only when “harivakSasthalAlayAm hariNIm caraNakisalayAm” started. They seemed beautify the portion “ciratara sampatpradAm kSIrAmbudhi tanayAm” by allowing just the vocal and violin to sing/play it without any percussive support.
TVG announced that pUrvikalyANi is a raga he likes a lot but won’t be able to elaborate much due to time constraints. The kriti he sang in this raga sounded very nice. It seemed to go very well with the misra cApu tALam it was based in. One of the portions I liked a lot in this song was I think in the anupallavi where TVG sang the words “vEdavalliyE” repeatedly using different kinds of fast traversal of the swaras. I think one of the patterns he used was a lightning fast “N R G M P M G R S N“.
The “hamIrkalyANi” alapana saw TVG displaying the full range of his voice. Towards the end of the alapana, TVG went till the pancamam (called anumandara pancamam) which is two octaves lower than the normal octave pancamam. He stayed there for some time and then gradualy came up till the shaDjam (called atithAra sthAyi shaDjam) that is one octave above the upper shaDjam of the normal octave. A somewhat short but sweet taniavartanam was played for the hamIrkalyANi kriti in the catusra and tisra naDais.
Sri Varadarajan was at his usual best conquering the mind of rasikas with his melodious playing. Sri Vasan played quite well. Wonder why he doesn’t play mrudangam accompaniment for concerts regularly (he usually plays the ghatam). Sri Suresh was impressive as usual.
Sri P.S. Narayanaswami (PSN) and Sri Sirkazhi Sivachidambaram spoke about TVG and his contribution to music. Sri PSN presented TVG with a shawl and reminisced the days when he used to go to TVG’s house to practice. An interesting anecdote told by PSN was that TVG was one of the first musicians in his circle to buy a car, though he spent most of the time under the car than inside it 🙂