Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ STSVS, Chennai

Venue: Sri Thiagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam, Thiagarajapuram, Mylapore

Date: 18 June 2007

Organizer: Sri Thiagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam

Vocal: Vid. Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin: Vid. Nagai Muralidharan

Mrudangam: Vid. Guruvayur Dorai

Khanjira: Vid. Neyveli B. Venkatesh

List of songs:

1) yOcanA – darbAr – Adi – tyAgarAja (OS)

2) rAmA ninnu namminA – mOhanam – Adi – tyAgarAja

3) nE pogaDakunTE – varALi – kanDa cApu – tyAgarAja (ANS)

4) adi kAdu bhajana manasA – yadukulakAmbOji – Adi – tyAgarAja (A)

5) nIkE teliyakapOtE – Anandabhairavi – Adi – tyAgarAja

6) sattalEni dinamulu vaccenA – nAgAnandini – Adi – tyAgarAja (AS)

7) nI daya rAvalegAka – tODi – Adi – tyAgarAja (AST)

8 ) vandanamu raghunandana – sahAnA – Adi – tyAgarAja

9) sAgaruNDu veDale nidO – yamunAkalyANi – rUpakam – tyAgarAja

10) rAmacandra nI daya – suruTTi – Adi – tyAgarAja (O)

11) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – tyAgarAja

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

How would a Carnatic musician feel if fans in Chennai – the “Mecca of Carnatic Music” eagerly await his/her performance almost every time it is scheduled to happen? What a feeling it would be if for him/her to see people of all ages assembled in large numbers, right from tiny tots to veteran rasikas to veteran artists themselves, just to hear him/her sing !!!! It is a privilege only very few chaste classical musicians enjoy and one among them is Vid Sanjay Subrahmanyan.

I don’t even remember when I last saw such a huge turnout at the Samajam. Rasikas came in large numbers in anticipation of a great concert and Vid Sanjay delivered, the way he does almost every single time he performs.

Vid Sanjay started what turned out to be an exclusive Tyagaraja kritis concert with a outline of the darbAr raga and was just about to finish it when the organizers at the Samajam, an institution run by musicians, suddenly remembered they had to announce the name of the artists of the evening and a few other minute details that they deemed very important. Once all these formalities got over, Vid Sanjay launched into a fast paced “yOcanA” to some explosive but good accompaniment by Vid Guruvayur Dorai with Vid Neyveli Venkatesh following Sri Dorai like his shadow. KalpanA swarams were put at the pallavi line. A very good rendition of “rAmA ninnu namminA” followed suit. A detailed raga alapana of varALi came next. The close to 4.5 minute alapana by Vid Sanjay was a treat to the ears, as was the one Vid Nagai Muralidharan played later. “nE pogaDakunTE” was sung with neraval and kalpana swarams at “nIraja nayana shrI tyAgarAjanuta ….” in the caraNam. There were some simple but intelligent patterns used at the beginning of the kalpana swaram itself like G M P ; M P D ; P D nIraja , G M P ; P ; M P D; D; P D N ; nIraja and G M P ; P ; P ; M P D; D; D; P D N; N; nIraja.

The other ragas chosen for elaboration were yadukulakAmbOji, nAgAnandini and tODi and each one of them was a pleasure to listen to. I have been hearing a lot of tODis in the recent past but Vid Sanjay’s tODi just stood out. It was a cut above the rest. Kalpana swarams were put in the nAgAnandini kriti at “sattalEni” and for the tODi kriti at “nI daya rAvalegAka”. If I recall correctly, Vid Sanjay seemed to hold his breath at “ru” of “palumAru” in the caraNam of the nAgAnandini kriti for about 3 avartanams while Vid Guruvayur Dorai played his ending three times. This drew a lot of applause from the audience. The kalpana swarams in tODi saw Vid Sanjay doing a misra koraippu with varieties. This culminated in a kOrvai which was announced by Vid Sanjay as having been originally put by flute vidwan Sri N. Ramani who was present in the audience. The kOrvai was sung three times and its structure each time was as follows:


3; 3; 3; /5, 5, 5 = 32 aksharams i.e. within 1/2 Avartanam of Adi tALam – 2 kaLai in catusra gati

4 3; 4 3; 4 3; / 5;, 5;, 5 = 48 aksharams i.e. within 1/2 Avartanam of Adi tALam – 2 kaLai in tisra gati

4 4 3; 4 4 3; 4 4 3; / 5;;, 5;;, 5 = 64 aksharams i.e. within 1 Avartanam of Adi tALam – 2 kaLai in catusra gati


  • ; = 2 aksharam kArvai/pause
  • , = 1 aksharam kArvai/pause
  • / = separator between pUrvAngam & uttarAngam

Total duration = 2 Avartanams of Adi tALam – 2 kaLai


Taniavartanam was played for Adi tALam primarily in the catusra and tisra gati. During the first round of catusra gati, Vid Guruvayur Dorai also played a small portion in kanDa gati. The same was also played by Vid Neyveli Venkatesh when his turn came.

Vid Sanjay wrapped up this wonderful concert with “rAmacandra nI daya” in suruTTi followed by the traditional mangaLam in saurAshTram.

The Gods too seemed to be delighted to hear the concert and they seemed to be expressing their happiness in the form of rains that lashed the city after the concert got over.

9 thoughts on “Sanjay Subrahmanyan @ STSVS, Chennai

  1. Seeing the Swarams for Thodi, I can say one of these two things must be true:Sanjay has been listening to a lot of Kanakku oriented tapes in the brief hiatus he has had, say something like TNS,Alathur Brothers and so on.Or he would have just been inspired to sing like the way he did on seeing people like Shri Chengalpet Ranganathan.
    A good concert,overall!

  2. Nice posting . As good as the concert.

    Thodi (my father was saying) alapana reminds him of Rajaratnam Pillai ( thodi in nadhaswaram is a delight to hear). A very good alapana and a great concert

    Dry summer months have been compensated with 1 concert ( as it rained ( both sangeetham and rain)


  3. Sriram ji,

    Agree with you completely on the concert. It is raining outside even now and the tODi is still afresh in my mind.

  4. Wat a concert it was! Thodi, Naganandini and Varali stood out…. I too agree that the thodi was as beautiful as TNR’s. Interesting moments from Shri Dorai. And I felt on whole other accompanists couldn’t match the standards Sanjay had set!

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