Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
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Post by CRama »

Thavil- Vellore P.R.M.Venkatesan and Udumalapet V. Manikantan
List of songs.
1. Oraaru mugane- Reetigowla- NS (S)
2. Ranganaathude- Sourashtram- Ponnaiah Pillai
3. Arabhimanam - Ragamalika- Tarangampadi Panchanada Iyer. (R)
4. Bhogeendrasaayinam- Kuntalavarali- ST
5. Sivanukkilaya- Hemavati- Mayuram Viswanatha Sastri- (R,S)
6. Ramanukku mannan mudi- Hindolam-AK
7. Sankaraachaaryam- Sankarabharanam- Subbarama Dikshitar (R,S)
8. Tani avarthanam
9. Saramaina-Behag- ST
10. Manadirukugandadu-Sindubhairavi

Link for the above concert

Kasim and Babu, grandsons of the legendary Nagaswaram Maestro Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sheikh Chinna Maulana Sahib, enthralled the modest audience in Ragasudha Hall with their traditional Nagaswaram Concert marked by Sruti sudham, manodharmam, pleasing sound of the instrument, proportion and good selection of songs. This is the first time I am hearing the brothers live. There was good coordination among the vidwans. Ragam Arabhi and Sankarabharanam were elaborated by Babu and Hemavati by Kasim. The alapanas were generally well structured and showed their mastery over the instrument and abundant manodharmam. In the alapana of Sankarabharnam, there were a few passages with plain notes that gave a shade of Western music, but there were also a few passages which did not come out well. Raga Hemavati was very clear with no ambiguity with any other allied ragam. All the kritis were played well.

Sankaracharyam is not very frequent on the concert stage. So are Arabhimanam and Sivanukkilaya. It was good that Kasim announced the song list at the start of the concert.

The tavil vidwans played well with good coordination and support to the Nagaswaram Vidwans. The tani had enough fire and sound and appreciated by all. Excellent concert for two and half hours.

Thanks to Parivadini for hosting Nagaswaram concerts very frequently and initiatives to bring more rasikas to the Nagaswaram concerts.

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Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

Parivadini has been making their Nagaswaram concert evenings more informative and meaningful by requesting the main artist of the evening to reminisce on past masters / significant events (apart from presenting Nagaswaram and Tavil instruments to deserving students and arranging a concert of budding melam artists early in the evening).

Sri Kasim, before start of the evening's concert, briefly spoke on the mutual respect and admiration Sri Sheik Chinnamoulana Sahib and Tavil maestro Valangaiman Shanmukhasundaram pillai had. They had performed numerous concerts together for more than three decades. Their chemistry worked out so well that they knew how to make every concert a great experience for the rasikas. On one occasion, Sri Sahib embarked upon a Todi alapana and somehow it failed to take off in the first few phrases. Sensing the predicament, Pillaivaal played a brief interlude with some exquisite pharans and sollus uplifting the mood to great heights. What followed was a torrent of Todi that stayed memorable for ever for the artists as well as the rasikas.

The name Valangaiman brings to my memory a grand wedding recital of Sheik Chinnamoulana at Trivandrum during the early seventies. Valangaiman vaal was heading the Tavil team (of 3 members)and it was at this performance that I witnessed the expert application of the kole (stick) on the main playing side during the Tani at the kurraippu segment. Sometimes the maestro- a right hander- performed on the 'main side' for several cycles at a stretch without touching the thoppi. As a boy I decided for myself that 'Valangaiman' was a title bestowed on him for his control of and magic with the right hand (ValamKai)!! It was only later that I came to know that it is the name of his hometown in Nagapattinam district.

It was at this occasion that I also saw a very big wooden sruti box (may be of 3' x 2' size)which produced a super-reverberating drone that gave a solid sruti support for the melam. One person was exclusively needed to bellow it without break!I have never come across such a manual 'sruthipotti' like that since.

Well, during the above Parivadini concert under review, Sri Kasim and Babu used an electronic Sruti box (not an electronic Tambura) which best suited the melam. I suggest Nagaswara vidwans to follow suit considering the compatibilitry of the drone of the sruthi box with Nagaswaram strains compared to the electronic tambura.

Before the concert started, the vidwans presented Nagaswaram and Tavil instruments on behalf of Parivadini, to two students -Thirumazhapadi Sanjay and Yamachandiran Arapedu, respectively.

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