Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
Post Reply
rajeevsid
Posts: 92
Joined: 03 Jun 2005, 08:55
x 3

#1 Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by rajeevsid »

Another review for another wonderful albeit truncated Girijashankar Sundaresan concert at Sivagami Pettachi Auditorium today. The concert started almost half an hour later due to an earlier concert exceeding set time. I felt for the excellent vocalist who was given just a little over an hour and 10 minutes to work his magic, but let's not dwell on this and move on to the concert list.
1. Taruni Varnam - khamboji (brief R sketch)
2. Orajupuchu - Kannada Gowla (brief R sketch)
3. Marivere dikevaru- Lathangi ( R,S)
4. Akshaya Linga Vibho -Shankarabharanam (R, N at 'akshaya linga',S,Thani)
5. Ododi vanden kanna- Dharmavati
6. Thillana - Rageshri (brief sketch R)

The concert started with a khamboji varnam ,Taruni. Now this is a wonderful choice to warm up the vocal chords seeing how its transcends octaves and rests on Swaras with deep gamakas. The audio system, again, was not at the satisfaction of the performers or the audience yet.

However the technical aspects of acoustics were settled before he started singing the fast paced Orajupuchu in Kannada Gowla. This is a lovely composition by Saint Thyagraja resorting to ninda sthuti(actually praising although superficially criticising)directed at Lord Rama, asking him as to why he would look at him with a corner eyed, strange indirect sneering glance. The composing genius uses a similar tone in the arabhi Krithi 'O rajeevaksha ora jupulu juchera' which is a gem in its own right. Anyway, lest I digress, Kannada gowla was sung with the emotive treatment the krithi deserved using the thick/thin variations to adequately bring out the apparently condescending yet pleading mood of the krithi.

He then started in his inimitable fashion a well crafted Alapana of lathangi. I was waiting for this raga to be explored in detail by some one this season and as luck would have it, Girijashankar obliged. The brilliant thing about this alapanai was how it seemed unhurried, relaxed and still star-studded in depth. He meticulously first weaved his passages around the Ga, then the Da, then the tara sthayi Ga and finally using Nadaswaram based briga laden passages to transverse almost close to two octaves. Marivere dikkevarru ,a beaut by Patnam Subramnyam Iyer, was sung with aplomb ,every sangathi treated the way it should have been. My only gripe was that sans neraval came the Kalpanaswarams ,but again time was certainly a constraint. Kalpanaswarams were well done using the same template of Ga,Da and tara sthayi Ga as resting Swaras and weaving a wonderful lathangi blanket with strings of Swaras traversing, as I said earlier, almost two octaves.

The magnificent Sankrabharana Alapana which followed came into its own very soon. Usually in an elaborate shankarabharanam Alapana singers take a good two to three minutes to reach the Panchama, however Girijashankar reached there with his first passage. This urgency to get to the meat of the raga, though dictated by time remaining, wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It reminded me of something T.M. Krishna said once in a lecture demonstration many years ago and I'm paraphrasing here ;'Someone can sing an Alapana for half an hour and still not dwelve into the depth and mood of the raga and an 7 minute alapana by someone else would be encompassing all the beauty and depth the raga has to offer'. Well,to be concise, this was one of those 7 minute alapanas. Then came the Dikshitar magnum opus Akshaya linga vibho, rendered splendidly with each syllable being clearly audible and diction being near perfect. The surprise was the sudden neraval in the Pallavi line 'akshya linga vibho'.The neraval started out well and while I was thirsty for more, the Kalpana swarams began rather prematurely, I must confess. Wonderful creativity and ingenuity by both the vocalist and the violinist in the kalpana swaras, so much so that with each swara and phrase combination used ,a new norm or facet of shankarabharanam was revealed.

What followed was a somber ododi vanden kanna in Dharmavathi ,the voice and inflections catering perfectly to the mood of the song. The Rageshri thillana was lovely and served to end the concert in an uplifting, positive mood that is often the signature of the raga.

Vaibhav Ramani, was a solid accompaniment on the violin, sharing the vocalists ability to imagine and convey different facets of the raga in both the alapanai and the swara rendition. His Lathangi and shankarabharanam alapanai were unique and refreshing, indicating his own distinct manaodharma.

B.S. Prashant on the mridangam played in an unobtrusive way, filling the gaps with intricate rhythmic patterns. His short thaiavartanam indicated his ability to carry on for much longer with unique sets of mathematical permutations. A very apt percussion accompaniment indeed.

I left the concert happy to have been able to catch this Girijashankar concert before he becomes famous and I have to galavant around town to procure myself a ticket. All said, a very satisfying experience.

rajeshnat
Posts: 9118
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 117
x 9

#2 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by rajeshnat »

rajeevsid wrote:
24 Dec 2019, 09:37
The surprise was the sudden neraval in the Pallavi line 'akshya linga vibho'.The neraval started out well and while I was thirsty for more, the Kalpana swarams began rather prematurely, I must confess. Wonderful creativity and ingenuity by both the vocalist and the violinist in the kalpana swaras, so much so that with each swara and phrase combination used ,a new norm or facet of shankarabharanam was revealed.
WHen the krithi akshyalinga vibho was mentioned , i made an assumption prior to reading the review that he must have sung the neraval in badarivanamula for this masterpiece krithi akshayalinga vibhO. Based on the one concert that i heard i felt there is a lot of overlap of girijashankar and late ramnad krishnan who has rendered an extraordinary akshayalinga vibho.

I have not heard neraval in the pallavi line itself for this akshayalinga vibho. IF there is any vidwan/vidushi had done it before let me know (Attn fellow rasikas). Good luck to this very capable vidwan.

rajeevsid
Posts: 92
Joined: 03 Jun 2005, 08:55
x 3

#3 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by rajeevsid »

I thought the same thing about the neraval when he started singing Akshaya Linga Vibho. He reminds me more of KVN more than anyone else.

Sivaramakrishnan
Posts: 1545
Joined: 02 Jan 2010, 08:29
x 1
x 6

#4 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

Surprised to note that the trend of singing Neraval at Pallavi has gone too far.

rajeevsid
Posts: 92
Joined: 03 Jun 2005, 08:55
x 3

#5 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by rajeevsid »

Is there a trend of singing neraval in the Pallavi line. Personally I haven't heard many artists do it this season.

CRama
Posts: 2750
Joined: 18 Nov 2009, 16:58
x 78
x 20

#6 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by CRama »

Yes. It is a recent trend of singing neravals for the pallavis. Many instances can be quoted. Even Sree Kanthimatim Sankara yuvatim.

I have heard the concert of this young musician in BHaratiya Vidya Bhavan and he sings well. I did not hear the concert under review. But I dont favour a neraval for the lines Akshayalinga vibho. Time tested neraval at Badarivna moola will be more appealing.

CRama
Posts: 2750
Joined: 18 Nov 2009, 16:58
x 78
x 20

#7 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by CRama »

He got an award in the Music Academy this year.

HarishankarK
Posts: 2081
Joined: 27 Oct 2007, 11:55
x 3
x 2

#8 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by HarishankarK »

I don't see why neraval can't be done in this line.
Its perfectly good line with praise to Lord Siva.
Not everything Has to be time tested.
I hope this concert comes on utube. I want to hear the young man's creativity

Sivaramakrishnan
Posts: 1545
Joined: 02 Jan 2010, 08:29
x 1
x 6

#9 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

Neraval has to go in line with the varnamettu of a suitable sahitya passage of the kriti.
Inappropriate innovations need to be discouraged.

rajeevsid
Posts: 92
Joined: 03 Jun 2005, 08:55
x 3

#10 Re: Girijashankar Sunderesan - Sivagami Pettachi 23 Dec 2019

Post by rajeevsid »

I am not that much of an expert that I can perceive what is appropriate or otherwise in a concert. That said , I wouldn't mind a neraval in the Pallavi line as long as the Bhava or mood the composer intended is not compromised. Then again, the answer to whether that Brava is compromised or no is a very subjective topic. So for me personally, as long as the expression of art is true to both the composer and the grammar of the raga ,all is fine.

Post Reply