Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

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SrinathK
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#1 Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Venue : Infosys Hall, Mudhra, 5pm-9pm

Live Review

Vocal : Bharat Sundar
Violin : L Ramakrishnan
Mridangam : Delhi Sairam
Kanjira : K V Gopalakrishnan

Song List :

varnam - kalyANi - ATa (+ 2 eDuppu) - Ramanathapuram Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar

jAnaki ramaNa - shudda seemAntini - Adi (1/2 eDuppu) Thyagaraja - S (at rakta naLina daLa nayana)

anu dinamunu gAvumayyA - bEgaDa - rUpakam - Ramanathapuram Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar - R,N,S

mAnasa guruguha - Ananda bhairavi - Tisra Ekam (2 kaLai) - Muthuswamy Dikshitar

gAnAmrta pAnam - jyOtiswaroopini - mishra chApu (2/7 eDuppu) - R - Koteeswara Iyer

tunai purindaruL - shuddha hindOlam - Adi 1 1/2 eDuppu - Papanasam Sivan - S at patita pAvanA

kaddanu vAriki - tODi - Adi 2 kaLai 1/4 eDuppu - Thyagaraja - R,N,S, TA (at paddu tappakanE).

tulasamma mAyinTa - dEvagAndhAri - Adi 1/2 eDuppu - Thyagaraja

This is the first time I'm reviewing a 4 hour concert, a rare species that fortunately hasn't vanished in today's fast and hectic times. I have brought in the laptop this time to make my life easier, and it's way more comfortable typing on a keyboard. It doesn't look like there's enough battery to last though even on a full charge, so I might find myself thumbing it on the phone at the end.

I was a tad late to the start owing to a small miscalculation of traffic on N Usman Road and the fact I had to go around to Panagal Park to get to the other side of the road. Finally getting into my seat, I see the kalyANi aTa talam varnam has just ended. Knowing Bharat though and the sound volume, it would have been a blast of a brisk beginning. The mic volume is good, staying at just over 80 dB.

Bharat is the archetypical "Big Guy" of this gen of CM artistes - comparisons with Sanjay Subrahmanyam are almost inevitable given the way he sings. The Team has also come in all whites today which further adds to the theme. And it's only reinforced by his powerful, weighty and agile voice with a huge range across the octaves. The team are also up to the task and so I expect this is going to be stronger than a big cup of strong Madras Coffee.

Following the varnam, Bharat and Team have taken up a scorching jAnaki ramaNa culminating in a huge round of swaras with one excellent, complex and porrutam kOrvai at rakta naLina daLa nayana. Supported by some heavy thudding on the percussion, this is a mighty effort.

A sedate AlApanA of bEgaDa now. After going up the octaves with time tested phrases, Bharat sings a rare GPMP-GRS special phrase coming down, before going all the way down to the lower G and then finishing a neat and tidy bEgaDa. L Ramakrishnan has proven to be the Virat Kohli of violinists for some truly outstanding phrases selection all season, and he's capturing the essence of bEgaDa right now. NSGPMGRS featues in the upper octave, and one more of that GPMP-GRS.

anudinamunu is up on the menu, a second Poochi number, and this kriti has a well crafted chiTTaswaram with some rare patterns you don't hear every day.

Neraval now at kana kana ruchi. After a couple of rounds in the middle octave, now Bharat goes up to the upper G3, before following it up with a couple of madhyama kala rounds and a few rounds of simpler shorter swaras with no korvai, before winding up the kriti.

After a few seconds of silence, Bharat goes for Anandabhairavi with mAnasa guruguha. The kriti is one of my favourites, a slow and magnificent stroll through the rAgA, with deep lyrical and devotional import as one of the guruguha kritis. It as an interesting GRR,MGG,PMM phrase in the pallavi and also in the closing line of the anupallavi. The 2nd speed madhyamakala at the end of Dikshitar kritis is always a grand feature, one that can make the hairs stand on end if you have begun to relish Dikshitar and here Bharat also took it to the 3rd speed. A nice chugging theermanam to finish it off.

A vivAdi rAgA is up next. It's jyOtiswaroopiNi, the 68th mEla. Bharat's deft handling of the vivAdi R3 with G3, with the MPDNS in this raga bringing it on common ground to shanmukhapriya is notable - even hanging on the vivAdi R3 (equivalent to G2) adds to the resemblance. He has gone for the long kArvai at the upper S as I write this. The upper octave is looking full of long and powerful kArvais today, with a few brighas punctuating at the end. He's come back down quickly and has ended it slow and sowkhyam. Up next to LR now. He takes it delicately around the middle S to G and then goes on to some nice flowing phrases. Up the ascent up the scale to the upper G, not spending much time up there before coming back down and taking up a some fast violinesque brighas followed by some rare P varjya phrases. Nice finish. LR and his rich phrases are something indeed.

The Koteeswara Iyer kriti among the set of 72 is up for savouring. A nice boat ride through these rarely heard numbers. No Swaras or Neraval though. There's another 2 and 3 quarter hours left, so we can wait.

A really fast tunai purindaruL is next. One of those early Papanasam Sivan numbers that has taken manasulOni's mettu as it is for itself. And just like that, the swaras come on at patita pAvanA. After a few brisk opening rounds, Bharat goes for a ending built up on super short 4 swara patterns. LR chooses to go for the easier long route. The next round looks like it has borrowed from the fact that the train line runs right behind the school hall. A lot of passages ending on D2, then a macho round of thundering swaras and a furious korvai with an ascending pattern. It's LR's turn now. He goes for a heavy round, but the complicated korvai proves to be a handful at that speed, but in steps the percussion support and Bharat to help for the final round with an impromptu twist ending before conclude the song with a bang.

Next up is the emperor of rAgAs, tODi, rarely heard this year methinks, after everyone last year seemed to have made a beeline of it (some gentlemen / ladies' agreement last year?). Bharat sang a superb tODi earlier this season at Arkay and lets see what he can do this time. Starts strong in the lower octave before starting to climb up the ladder. Do note though, tODi is such a vast raga with so many possibilities that no amount of words even comes close to capturing all the variations you can do on it, or even all the variations on a single note.

Some aha passages on the middle M1. Then up to P (the most introspective note in tODi btw). An absorbing essay this one. Very Long karvai passages on the upper S followed a long round of phrasing in humming. Now an open throated round of nagaswara podi phrases. Now up to R1 and G2. Bharat goes for some plainer G2 initiated phrases. Some nice patterned brighas culminating in a climb up to the upper M1 with some Sanjay-esque janTa brighas. Then up to the upper P and then the upper D1 too (Bharat has a powerful upper range if you're wondering). Some descending passages from P to S, that's a new one. Then coming back down slowly following a brigha, all the way to the lower P and M before ending a sedate essay.

LR is going for some heavy wristy M Chandrashekaran-esque phrases. Bharat is keenly watching what he comes up with like a hawk. Some witty phrases on the M1 and P. He's toeing the vocalist's line in sowkhyam as he goes from P to way to N2 and then S, but his creativity at phrasing is his USP. Absolutely smooth bowing too. A long and difficult brigha at the S with plenty of his guru's (A Kanyakumari) signature style phrases and many more uniquely his. No hesitation in going all the way to the upper P and D1 himself. Some clever super short phrases on the way back down. Now some long fast brighas and nagaswara phrases executed with impeccable clarity. Finally down to the lower octave and concluding a masterly essay.

Well well, kaddanu vAriki huh? Long time no see. A rare 1/4 eDuppu kriti of Thyagaraja this one, and it has over the centuries been built up into the heavyweight class. Good start on the pallavi and over to the anupallavi. He has some fun on the rubber band sangatis at niddura nirAkarinchi before heading off for neraval at paddu tappaka bhajinchE. But there's a plot twist, as Bharat recapitulates to the previous line (shuddha maina), joining it with paddu tappaka for a 2 line neraval. Slow speed neraval deep into the upper octave before handing it over to LR. He's not done with the backwards passing. Now the neraval line has shifted back to niddura nirAkarinchi. This is definitely a new idea. If that means he's going to use the whole charanam for neraval, so be it. Now the faster round begins, sticking to paddu tappaka. A few blistering rounds of vocal virtuosity later, time for the slow speed swaras. A nice poruttam included (R,S,D, - padduta...). Now the high speed swaras. An "interesting" start to say the least. A few rounds later, the kuraippu on the upper S, with some arithmetic lessons. One sometimes gets the impressions that they try to imitate the tani with those pauses. Anyway on to the penultimate round and then the korvai - a standard decreasing yati in the purvAngam, and an increasing yati in the uttarAngam. Delhi Sairam goes bang bang boom boom for the final round ending with a furious theermanam.

PART 2 Next Post
Last edited by SrinathK on 06 Jan 2020, 10:42, edited 5 times in total.

SrinathK
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#2 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

Who put in the darned 10000 character limit? If that was an anti rant measure, I appreciate it, but it doesn't help the cause of detailed discussion :mrgreen:

Song list continued :

Ragam Tanam Pallavi -kApi- pada malar paNiyum bhaktarai kApi rE - kuzhaL isai tanil mayangi unadu (pada) - khanDa tripuTa 2 kalai + 1 eDuppu

Swaras in kApi, kAmbhOji, balahamsa, varALi, hamir kalyANi followed by final round in kApi. Mini TA.

aravinda padamalar nOgumO - kApi - Adi 1/2 eDuppu - Ambujam Krishna

viruttam - shanmukhapriyA, nATakurinji, sindhubhairavi, mishra mAnD

tillAnA - mishra mAnD - Adi 1 1/2 eDuppu - Lalgudi Jayaraman

nee nAma (mangaLam) - saurAshtram - Adi - Thyagaraja followed by mangalam kousalEndrAya in suruTTi.

Now the tani. Round one off to a trotting start by Delhi Sairam. It concludes with a korvai featuring an increasing progression that is first played at slow speed 3x, then fast 3x, then even faster at firework speeds before ending with thom thom THOM! KV Gopalakrishnan comes up with an impressive reply. Ending a korvai at 1/4 eDuppu in 2 kaLai is slightly tricky, more for me putting the talam than them. Delhi Sairam goes for round 2 with more fireworks while KVG prefers to avoid the booms - it's a study in contrasts. Side note, it looks like all you need to do is end on a kaboom and the audience will applaud. But it's raining korvais and more korvais in multiple speeds at the end of every round. Now it's kuraippu round and they're going for some trippy patterns. Now it's raining farans for the kuraippu and on it goes into the actual farans round. Mohra is on samam eDuppu. The korvai is an interesting one, not overly long, but it does the job neat and crisp.

Ok, on a side note, there's S Srivathsan in the audience leaving (he performed in Mudhra a few weeks back himself). With plenty of time left on the clock, can we expect a detailed RTP (I sometimes wish artistes would make the RTP the main number especially in these concerts). Anyway, it's tulasamma in dEvagAndhAri next. Nice. Now some silence as the tambura needs some fine correcting. So what's next?

I should have known, the drink of choice for this season, kApi. Looks like that Madras kApi reference has proven itself prophetic unknown to me. Bharat had sung a superb kApi for inta sowkhya at Raga Sudha, but I had missed most of the alapana. Not this time. His powerful voice is apt for communicating the emotions of this raga with both gAndhArams and nishAdams as well as in the long upper karvais. Bharat is definitely the next gen Sanjay alright, the way he structures his phrases, but without the quirks and occasional anticlimaxes for now. And as before, he goes for the long karvais on the G2 and then his favourite G3 in SG ending phrases. Then up to the P and beyond to D1 and even higher to phrases with the N2 with a bit of mixed voice. He sang that unique N3 S N2 D2 D1 P that bowled me over last time, but this time it didn't get the same spotlight. But finally the D1 makes an appearance for the pathos. Coming down for a round of brighas across the octaves. Before going down to the lower R2 and concluding a strong Mylapore brewed coffee :mrgreen: Let's see what sixers LR will hit for his turn. He's going for delicious nibbles, this is chocolate cappucino he's serving. What innovative touches! Definitely someone special among today's CM violinists - an MS Dhoni of the violin. A very moving halt on the D1 earns spontaneous applause. Some arpeggios too for the nuts in the coffee. Bharat and co are delighted. Well deserved applause at the end.

Ah, so it is an RTP. Still, the days of the long RTP like in the days of GNB and before seem to be behind us and even 4 hour concerts are probably not going to resurrect those test matches. Tanam is on full swing now with Bharat and L Ramakrishnan trading the creative spark. Gradually speeding up as they climb up to S and now Bharat is really getting into a groove here. What an effort to end with a decreasing progression for this next round! With that the tanam is finished in short order.

The pallavi poorvAngam is taken from one of Neyveli Santhanagopalan's pallavis and the uttarAngam is by Bharat Sundar. The pallavi itself isn't anything complex, it's in staple khanDa tripuTa, but it has a +1 eDuppu. Trikalam is in slow speed, chatushra tisram, regular and 2x speed followed by the multi speed rounds. Then on to swaras. My laptop battery finally gives up the ghost (not one of those macbooks with 12 hour batteries), so my thumbs have to work from here.

Bharat is doing dialogue style slow speed swaras in proper conversation with lots of pauses. And just like so, kAmbhOji makes an entry. What was that one from LR? Oh yes, he's moved into balahamsa!! Bharat goes to highlight RMGS (this is modern balahamsa btw, earlier it used to be much more like kEdAragauLa). Now RS, G, RS, MGRS - Bharat has switched to varALi. Ending in a seamless shift to tisra naDai by singing it in patterns of 2 and 4 notes. What will LR throw up next? A curve ball of a hamir kalyANi. What a finish! Ok, now we're backtracking, one phrase of each and back to kApi. And finally the fast round of swaras (all so far has been slow speed, good). And straight to the kOrvai, a 2 avartanam giant, followed by a mini tani of Mohra and Korvai ending with another kaboom boom boom to finish up a very well executed effort by the team.

Bharat isn't done drinking his fill of kApi though. He probably intends to stay up all night, so he takes one more cup of kApi for Ambujam Krishna's aravinda padamalar nOgumO. Caffeine has also proven itself to enhance athletic performance btw.... Anyway this is only the 2nd time yours truly is hearing a composition of Ambujam Krishna in a live concert, so I will drink it up.

So what now? A viruttam. Is he going to stretch this past 4 hours? I don't mind. I haven't felt the time at all. Knowledge of verses isn't remotely my strong point, so hope someone else fills up the gap on what he chose for singing. LR finds an opening and hits a boundary in his short reply. 2nd line soon shifts to nATakurinji. LR brings in a D1 from somewherea and probably switched ragas for a second, but it was too short to tell. Anyway 3rd line starts on nATakurinji and moves to sindhubhairavi.

Mishra mAnD is up for the next line. A raga than can flatten the D2 and G3 in a uniquely folksy way. So it is LGJ's mAnD tillAnA - never heard it sung before. Nice. Looks like it's pouring cats and dogs outside now. Fortunately where there is a wheel, there is a way. The team is enjoying the charanam. Lots of variations on the closing rhythmic passages. Splitting the SSS S, S, S, and S,, S,,S,, ending into 3 variations on 3 repeated lines was a nice touch.

Bharat takes a moment to thank Mudhra Bhaskar and Radha Bhaskar for their 25 years of service to CM and we hope there's another 25 and more in the future. And with that, a momentary dip into raga saurAshtram (a nice little touch) and then the mangalam comes down for a superb 4h 15 min concert followed by a small ovation! Kudos to Mudhra too for an excellent season and also for hosting 4 hour concerts in this day and age! They have been doing it every year since the beginning, and hope they continue the tradition always!
Last edited by SrinathK on 06 Jan 2020, 10:38, edited 7 times in total.

rshankar
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#3 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by rshankar »

Great going, Srinath!
I think the pallavi was probably “pada malar paNiyum bhaktanai kAp(p)IrE, kuzhal isai tanil mayangi unadu (pada)”

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#4 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

Yes. That was it. Corrected now.

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#5 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by sureshvv »

SrinathK wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 23:03
Yes. That was it. Corrected now.
Not really. :D

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#6 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by rajeshnat »

srinathk
what a joy to read your review. i wanted to make it but had to take a family detour only had a kothas coffee.

kudos to bharat sundar superb selection . The joy of pallavi ragamalika and matching with small shot cappucino with aravinda padamalar is like gnb style of palllavi and tukkada jump in same raga kapi. Manasa guruguha drops reminds me of ariyakudi or tns. Two mighty rns in begada and todi must be intensely pracheeana choices. I have noticed a lot of tns in bharath and kadanuvaariki would have given that shade.The cute openers like janaki ramana is a great opener to give a sparkling start in nadaswara pidi.

L ramakrishnan is really suoerb artist and a star in making. sairam and kvg would have been expressive.

May i know how long was pallavi and how long was tani?

thank u mudhra and radha bhaskar , one of the finest sabhas who take time to curate better concerts.

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#7 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

I don't remember how long each item was. IIRC he started the RTP at 8:10 and wound up by 9 pm and the next 15 min were for the rest.

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#8 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by CRama »

Tani was for 20 minutes

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#9 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by CRama »

It was an amazing concert as Srinath has brought out each and every phrase before us. This season I heard three Bharat Sunder concerts and he has made a mark in all of them. This being a four hour concert stands tall for his manodharmam, planning, repertoire and musical acumen. Thanks to Srinath. I wonder how he could communicate so much in the live review while enjoying the concert to the minute details. Thanks again Srinath.

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#10 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

It does get in the way of fully enjoying the music and trying to register many phrases - recalling what all he sang is also affected. But not as much as I feared.

That's why some concerts I do not review. I want my full attention there.

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#11 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by Jigyaasa »

rshankar wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 23:01
Great going, Srinath!
I think the pallavi was probably “pada malar paNiyum bhaktanai kAp(p)IrE, kuzhal isai tanil mayangi unadu (pada)”
Shouldn't it be umadu since kAppirE is plural (by respect)?

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#12 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

My knowledge of tamizh is as bad as my English is good (never having studied it due to where my parents got transferred to in those days). I do intend to work on that... :mrgreen:

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#13 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by arasi »

Srinath,
Another little correction in tamizh: gAnAmuda pAnam (oh, this Amrutha, amritha, amuda thing!).

iamnothurt
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#14 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by iamnothurt »

SrinathK wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 17:23
4 hour concert on 05/01/2019- this should read as 2020 if i'm not wrong..
Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2019

SrinathK
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#15 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by SrinathK »

Oops. Can mods fix the title?

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#16 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by HarishankarK »

4 hour concert - so few thukkaddas
Otherwise list is very classical

But thukkaddas are also importatnt

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#17 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by RasikasModerator2 »

Ok. Now the date is corrected. For all 16 posts...

Of all the errors we see, nothing quite gives us mods as much work as date correction. ;)

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#18 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by arasi »

Yes, tedious work, agreed. Still, better than dealing with malignant mail...
It is a shame, most of us take you guys for granted...:(
No 'moderators day' once a year to celebrate your lot either :)

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#19 Re: Bharat Sundar at Mudhra, 4 hour concert on 05/01/2020

Post by hnbhagavan »

I have attended several concerts where Delhi sairam has accompanied.I am not an expert,but i found that his mridangam plays more as a spoiler than elevating the concert.

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