Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

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jayaram
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#1 Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by jayaram » 10 May 2018, 19:50

Date: Sunday, 6th May 2018
Venue: Bhavan Centre, London
Pantula Rama (vocal)
HN Bhaskar (violin)
M Balachander (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
(approx. 2 hrs 45 mins)

1. sakala graha bala nInE - Atana - Khanda chapu - Purandara Dasa
2. anAthuDanu gAnu - Jingala - Adi - Thyagaraja
3. SrI guruNa pAlitOsmi - Padi - Rupakam - Dikshitar
4. E dAri sancarintura - Sruthiranjani - Adi - Thyagaraja (RS)
5. ADenamma haruDu - Paras - Adi (2 kalai) - Puliyur Doraiswamy Iyer
6. dorakuna iTuvanTi - Bilahari - Adi (2 kalai) - Thyagaraja (RS)
7. RTP in Kapi
“nanda bAla navanIta chOra Ananda leela / gOvinda mAm pAhi”
Khanda triputa talam
Swaras: Behag, Kuntalavarali
- tani Avartanam -
8. tamburu meeti dava - Sindhubhairavi - Adi - Purandara Dasa
9. tandanAna ahi (brahma okaTE) - Bowli - Adi - Annamacharya
Mangalam

Londoners were treated to music of the highest quality last Sunday, when vidushi Smt Pantula Rama gave a scintillating performance at Bhavan Centre. She started with an energetic Atana, and followed it with a rarely heard ragam, Jingala. Smt Rama is well-known for challenging audiences with rarely heard kritis and ragas, and she didn’t disappoint this time either! Jingala was followed by the serene Padi classic kriti of Dikshitar.
Next on was the challenge of the day! When she started her alapana, some of us in the front row were scratching our heads trying to identify the ragam. My friend Raja said it sounded like the 61st mela Kantamani. It turned out to be its nishadanta janya ragam Sruthiranjani, a request from Bhavan violin teacher Shri Balu Raghuraman. Smt Rama sang detailed alapana and kalpanaswaras in Sruthiranjani. There were also delectable flourishes from Shri HN Bhaskar.
After a brisk Paras (again, a relatively unknown composition by Puliyur Doraiswamy Iyer), she started on Bilahari, the main ragam of the evening. What a sweet Bilahari! Thyagaraja swami’s Dorakuna is really a gold standard for this ragam. With a detailed alapana and swaras, she brought out the beauty of the raga so well.
She next announced that she would be singing a brief RTP. But it was anything but brief! A superb Kapi, with her own composition for the pallavi. As my friend Shri Nagaraju (who is a leading violinist in London) told me, this was a pukka South Indian Kapi, with no traces of Hindustani kapi at all!
RTP was followed by thani and a couple of post-thani items.
Great support by Shri HN Bhaskar on violin, Shri M Balachander on mridangam and Shri RN Prakash on ghatam. Balachander is a percussion teacher at Bhavan Centre, and Prakash is a leading percussion teacher and performer in London.
Overall it was a great musical evening. This concert was part of the annual tribute series for the great mandolin maestro Shri U Shrinivas. It was jointly organised by Rasikalaya of London.

Image
Last edited by jayaram on 11 May 2018, 16:14, edited 1 time in total.
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rajeshnat
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#2 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by rajeshnat » 10 May 2018, 21:50

Jayaram
Good one , is rishi going to add to your lovely review as this is rasikalaya concert.
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jayaram
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#3 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by jayaram » 10 May 2018, 23:41

Rajesh, Rishi is away in Madras right now, back here next month.
Here are some additional comments on the concert by Shri Nagaraju, a leading violin vidwan based in London who attended the concert (and was sitting next to me, clarifying my doubts throughout the concert!)
==========================================================================================
After Pantula Rama gari excellent concert, Abhiram took her blessings.
In yesterday’s concert, Sruthi Ranjani Ragam & RTP in kapi were so special. The handling of kapi raga was so pure. Reminded us of Dwaram Venkata Swami Naidu gari kapi style & the Pallavi was very tricky in Khanda jathi Thriputa thalam. I have told many of my friends about Rama ji’s specialisation in RTP and singing very rare ragas and compositions.

The most brilliant thing to mention is her control on voice. She touched up to “mandra rishabham” very easily along with thara shadjam (sorry but I didn’t notice the topmost note she touched in the concert).

I guess London audience will be eagerly looking forward to her next Kutcheri.

HN Bhaskar’s violin accompaniment was superb. I’ve heard his playing 15 years back. After many years seeing him directly in a concert. Felt so happy. Remembered we both participating in Kum Kanyakumari madam’s orchestra concerts.
Of course, when Balachandar anna and Prakash anna are on the stage together, the concert will be very interesting due to their understanding of the feel of music.
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arasi
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#4 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by arasi » 11 May 2018, 03:22

What a delight of a concert it must have been!
Such rare pieces, a gambhIra Bilahari from RamA gAru! Degree kApi, a tamizh composer, but no tamizh song this time :)
So good to hear from you Jayaram about the concert you enjoyed so much. Like Rajesh, I expected a write up from the LAlguDiyAr too! Nagaraju, thanks for your input.
HN Bhaskar is really good. The Bhavan's teachers would have played with abandon. Now, it's Nick's turn to chime in...:)
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bhakthim dehi
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#5 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by bhakthim dehi » 13 May 2018, 12:46

Adenamma harudu - Pallavi Duraiswamy Iyer.
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Nick H
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#6 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by Nick H » 13 May 2018, 13:39

Happy to hear good news from London, and if it's good news that Rasikslaya is still functioning and that Jayaram is still here :)
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SrinathK
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#7 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by SrinathK » 15 May 2018, 14:29

As my friend Shri Nagaraju (who is a leading violinist in London) told me, this was a pukka South Indian Kapi, with no traces of Hindustani kapi at all
What is the difference between the two?
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vijay.siddharth
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#8 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by vijay.siddharth » 15 May 2018, 16:05

I think he refers to the RTP being in Karnataka Kapi (the ragam of MMI's Venkatachalapathe and BMK's Akhilandeswari Durusuga Brovumu) as opposed to 'Hindustani Kapi' (the ragam of Jagadhodharana) which in reality is not Kapi at all but Peelu and morphed into 'Kapi' because of its Ap-peelu :evil:
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harimau
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#9 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by harimau » 15 May 2018, 19:50

vijay.siddharth wrote:
15 May 2018, 16:05
I think he refers to the RTP being in Karnataka Kapi (the ragam of MMI's Venkatachalapathe and BMK's Akhilandeswari Durusuga Brovumu) as opposed to 'Hindustani Kapi' (the ragam of Jagadhodharana) which in reality is not Kapi at all but Peelu and morphed into 'Kapi' because of its Ap-peelu :evil:
In all probability, he meant that the Kapi that was sung was an upanga raga. Kapi, Kanada and Khamas were once upanga ragas. Carnatic musicians, having caught what I have earlier called the Mysore Disease, decided to use anya swara s, making them bhashanga ragas. Brochevar Evarura should have been labeled Misra Khamas or even Hindustani Khamas. But Mysore Vasudevachar called it Khamas, and we now have musicians sometimes employing that raga for compositions of Thyagaraja or Deekshithar whereas those composers never meant for the bhashanga raga to be employed for their Krithis. Yes, I know that padams and javalis employ the bhashanga version almost exclusively but that doesn't make it right to introduce sangathis for Seethapathe Na Manasuna that use bhashanga swaras.

I don't think anyone understands the real contours of the raga called Karnataka Kapi. Someone ought to compare the varnam Sumasayaka and the krithi Venkatachalapathe to see if they correspond well with each other. There is also a swarajathi in Karnataka Kapi that no one has heard or heard of by some Mysore composer that may or may not describe that raga correctly and differentiate it from other Kapis and Kanadas.

As to BMK, I will only say that any musician who renders Sri Neelothpala Nayike in Reethigowlai and not in Narireethigowlai as composed by the composer is not a reliable source.
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vijay.siddharth
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#10 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by vijay.siddharth » 15 May 2018, 20:18

Firstly, Harimau, Karnataka Kapi was defined most clearly by KV Srinivasa Ayyangar in his Adi Tyagaraja Hrudayam (volume 3), as SRGMRPMPDNS-SNDPMGRS under Kharaharapriya Mela. He called it a 'vakra sampurna' ragam and gave krithis we sung now in Peelu in that ragam, including Nityarupa and Intha Sowkhyamanine. The 'Mysore Bug' came not from Mysore but from our very own Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar, who called Peelu Kapi. The swarajathi is by Veene Seshanna, a very well known Mysore composer. I believe that people from the RK Srikantan school know the Swarajathi, and one of our own members, Keerthi, has posted about it as well.

About BMK's authenticity- yes, he did sing Sri Neelothpala Nayike in Reethigowla, but he is a repository of the Andhra school of Carnatic Music. So yes, he does sing Devi Brova Samayamide in Chintaramani and not Chintamani, but how are we to know that Syama Sastri did NOT compose it in Chintaramani? In any case, the current version of Akhilandeswari Durusuga in bhashanga Kapi is one propounded by the school of none other than Sangeetha Kala Acharya Suguna Purushotthaman as well as Sangeetha Kala Acharya Sulochana Pattabhiraman- yes, those who are the archetypes of 'traditional' music, and BMK was right all along! You may verify the same with the notations of the family of Syama Sastri, which tallies with BMK's versions! BMK's source was Rangaramanuja Iyengar's Krithimanimalai, and thus, there is a close tally between these versions. Go ahead and check out what Rangaramanuja Iyengar wrote. If he is not a 'reliable source', and if Syama Sastri's own descendants' handwritten notebooks are also not 'reliable sources', I do not know what is.

Please drop me a line if you want me to send attachments proving my case. I am not comfortable using the interface of the Board.
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harimau
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#11 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by harimau » 16 May 2018, 03:40

vijay.siddharth wrote:
15 May 2018, 20:18
Firstly, Harimau, Karnataka Kapi was defined most clearly by KV Srinivasa Ayyangar in his Adi Tyagaraja Hrudayam (volume 3), as SRGMRPMPDNS-SNDPMGRS under Kharaharapriya Mela. He called it a 'vakra sampurna' ragam and gave krithis we sung now in Peelu in that ragam, including Nityarupa and Intha Sowkhyamanine. The 'Mysore Bug' came not from Mysore but from our very own Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar, who called Peelu Kapi. The swarajathi is by Veene Seshanna, a very well known Mysore composer. I believe that people from the RK Srikantan school know the Swarajathi, and one of our own members, Keerthi, has posted about it as well.

About BMK's authenticity- yes, he did sing Sri Neelothpala Nayike in Reethigowla, but he is a repository of the Andhra school of Carnatic Music. So yes, he does sing Devi Brova Samayamide in Chintaramani and not Chintamani, but how are we to know that Syama Sastri did NOT compose it in Chintaramani? In any case, the current version of Akhilandeswari Durusuga in bhashanga Kapi is one propounded by the school of none other than Sangeetha Kala Acharya Suguna Purushotthaman as well as Sangeetha Kala Acharya Sulochana Pattabhiraman- yes, those who are the archetypes of 'traditional' music, and BMK was right all along! You may verify the same with the notations of the family of Syama Sastri, which tallies with BMK's versions! BMK's source was Rangaramanuja Iyengar's Krithimanimalai, and thus, there is a close tally between these versions. Go ahead and check out what Rangaramanuja Iyengar wrote. If he is not a 'reliable source', and if Syama Sastri's own descendants' handwritten notebooks are also not 'reliable sources', I do not know what is.

Please drop me a line if you want me to send attachments proving my case. I am not comfortable using the interface of the Board.
Well, every author and every book/manuscript describes various ragas in its own way. As I have said somewhere, raga lakshanas for Kapi are like anuses; everyone has one, slightly different from others'.

How are we to know Syama Sastri did not compose Devi Brova Samayamide in Chintaramani? Well, you could ask to see the original manuscripts in the possession of the family. Except that nobody gets to see them. I can give you the phone number of the gentleman who has them in safe custody; suffice it to say they are indeed "in custody" and not allowed out!

BMK himself used to say that he sang "Balamurali Sangeetham and not Karnataka Sangeetham". Yeah, I can agree with that.
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vijay.siddharth
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#12 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by vijay.siddharth » 16 May 2018, 07:37

harimau wrote:
16 May 2018, 03:40
Well, every author and every book/manuscript describes various ragas in its own way. As I have said somewhere, raga lakshanas for Kapi are like anuses; everyone has one, slightly different from others'.

How are we to know Syama Sastri did not compose Devi Brova Samayamide in Chintaramani? Well, you could ask to see the original manuscripts in the possession of the family. Except that nobody gets to see them. I can give you the phone number of the gentleman who has them in safe custody; suffice it to say they are indeed "in custody" and not allowed out!

BMK himself used to say that he sang "Balamurali Sangeetham and not Karnataka Sangeetham". Yeah, I can agree with that.
Well, yes, ragas may be described differently, but that doesn't change the raga itself at all, and K.Kapi is the example for that. I will take you up on the offer to share the number of the manuscripts; as a huge fan of Syama Sastri, I am tempted to 'inspect' the manuscripts. In any case, the manuscripts I refer to may be found here:
http://musicresearchlibrary.net/omeka/f ... 86bda1.pdf
Feel free to judge the authenticity of the notations in these manuscripts.
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bhakthim dehi
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#13 Re: Pantula Rama at London, 6th May 2018

Post by bhakthim dehi » 18 May 2018, 08:43

Kapi was considered as a bhasanga ragam by Subbarama Deekshithar. But, the krithis given there didn't use any Anya swaram. It was treated as an upanga ragam, not by a single composer but three. So using antara ga or kakali ni is not recommended.
Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar has explicitly mentioned Kapi was an upanga ragam during the times of Tyagaraja Svamy.
When considering raga lakshanam, we need to rely only on texts, whether you like it or not.
Regarding Akilandeswari of Syama Sastri, the notations are seen in the family mss of Syama Sastri and the link as provided by Vijay. I feel that notation suits much with the rendition of BMK, but should check again.
Kapi given in Valajapet versions, which are also available in YT suits very well with the Kapi version seen in Pradarshini, though the approach differs.
But the palm leaf mss are not kept open. They are in their custody even now. Once had an opportunity to look into those mss. Saw few varnam like vanajaksha in Reethigowla and another one in Shankarabharanam.

Kamach was considered as ara bhasanga ragam by Subbarama Deekshithar. But mention about the anya avaram to be employed is not given. So, use of kakali nishadam is to be avoided. As suggested by harimau, we can always have a different name like misra kapi, to identify this is a mutant from the original.

When I personally spoke with the descendant of Syama Sastri I was told Devi brova must be sung like Bhairavi, that is with suddha madhyamam.
But, who created the name Chintaramani? BMK himself?

Singing Sri neelothpala nayike is the present form of Reethigowla is not acceptable. Whether he belongs to Andhra school or otherwise, there was only one Muthuswamy Deekshithar.
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