Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Review the latest concerts you have listened to.
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#1 Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by rajeshnat » 15 May 2019, 19:52

Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019
Vocal : Madurai Gold Standard Mani
Violin : V V Ravi
Mrudangam : Chennai Thyagarajan - disciple of rare combo CS Murugabhoopathi and Kanjira G Harishankar
Tambura : Usha prasad

Concert Type : Nirvana - No concert to follow , Non Ticketed concet
Day/Duration : Tuesday / 2 hours and 05 minutes inclusive of 5 mins of speech post main
sabha/Hall : Sri Thyagaraja Sangeetha Vidwath Samajam, Mylapore
Time : 6:35 to 08:40 pm

The age old samajam of Sadguru was started in 1929 by Tiger Varadachariar , Parur Sundaram Iyer , TL Venkatarama Iyer and Harikesanallur muthiah bhagavathar . These 4 stalwarts and many more were instrumental like say mannargudi sambhasiva bhagavathar to the latest R Vedavalli mami . They all worked hard to maintain that non modern continuity. The only modern thing that happened in this part of eastern mylapore is the presence of a train station by name mundakanniamman kovil station in the MRTS line next to thiru mayilai station. Access is bit more faster that too on a working day this station helps many like me .

This samajam is very very special , there is also a sadguru Thyagaraja bronze idol . incidentally when i went around the sadguru temple diety ,i also saw in three sides of the walls where shyamasastri , purandaradasa and muttuswami Dikshitar are engraved . There is surely a certain vibe here .Personally i think the two reasons of vibe are 1. the near 100 year legacy with sadguru idol 2.More importantly the pandal is still old with only fans , with so much of breezy air that comes in thru bay of bengal . The breeze comes from bay of bengal, santhome and then this place thyagarajapuram with the music aura with bhakthi is indeed there . As the carnatic breeze goes bit more west towards Luz and especially Alwarpet and Mambalam, there are lots of human elements who have gradually weakened the intense classical vibe :lol: .

I call GS mani as Gold Standard Mani. He is quite a remarkable musician . Personally when we conducted our rasikas concert way back in 2007 at nageswaran house with coolkarni being captain , he had a personality with two distinct faces . One face is his conviction and the other is shraddha (or devotion). Many musicians have only one of this and they artificially try to inflate the other, you can sense that if you watch bit more or start hearing their music. shri GS Mani gets both shraddha and conviction and he keeps a fine balance on both facets.

As a performing musician GSmani sings way too much of his own compositions which was a kind of mixed bag for me and I am not alone in having that feeling .But yesterday he was put up by a constraint of only sadguru krithis. The bard of thiruvayaru constraint turned out not as a limiting constraint .It turned out as a enabling liberation for GS mani sir's music. A small team of his devotees in the samajam did get a great feel of his devotion and convicton. Yesterday there was just one concert in chennai , you either take up GS mani @ Samajam or drown yourself for one more day with the one run loss of CSK in IPL wearing still the :?: shirt.

1.Raghuveera ranadheera (R) - husEni
2 mins alapana with no violin return
2. raghunandana rAjamohana - suddadesi

3. aNurAgamulE (R,S) - saraswati
3 mins alapana and 2 mins violin return
swaras for ?? mins
4.anAthuDanu gAnu - jingalA

5. dhyanamE varamaina (R,S?) - dhanyasi
7 mins alapana and 5 mins violin return
6. sarva bhowma saketharama - raagapancharamu

7. mokshamu galadA(R)(starting with sAksha) - saramati
3 mins alapana and 2 mins violin return
8. Oraju puchu - kannadagowlai

9. small explanation with a snippet of kanmaniye solladi

10A. ennAlu oorake (R,S,T) - subhapantuvarAli
10 mins alapana and 4 mins violin return
5 mins swaras
10B. tani
10C. speech break by sabha member Rajaram

11. kamalApta kula (R,S)- brindavana saranga
5 mins alapan and ?? violin return
5 mins swaras

12A. slokham .. vaidehi sahitam - sahana + rAmam bhajE- mohanam + rAmam bhajE - bhageshri
12B.sompaina (challarE) - Ahiri

13. nee nama roopamulaku - sowrashtram
Last edited by rajeshnat on 15 May 2019, 22:38, edited 2 times in total.
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#2 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by rajeshnat » 15 May 2019, 19:53

In the last 60 years of concerts musicians sometimes start with a bang and in order to save the time they go with say a start of vasudevayani etc . But i have not heard ever a start of huseni . GS Mani has always an inquisite mind , his inquisitiveness is clearly communicated with very minimal contextual words . He does not go around in circles and takes you in a Elllam vishnu or shiva mayam religious sermon . He just started with just a minute of speech saying he will cover significant unknown T krithis . He also said he will attempt few krithis which are sung quite differently when compared to the popular renditions that exists as of today.

Huseni alapana and a baritoned bass rich voice of raghuveera ranadheera was lovely , he got the power and restraint of voice right there . Huseni was intensely classical. A rare suddadesi came in next and it went past my ears as a bit faster beat cycle song . I am unable to recollect today as to how he sang suddadesi .

saraswati was clean from the start , i did not scramble my head to think may be it is vachaspathi, saraswati was right there in Mani Sir's nabhi. Swaras were short and crisp.Jingala raga was nice and I again failed to get in my head a distinct jingala raga swaroopam which was the case even before.

Dhanyasi alapana was one of a kind. GS Mani is not a gamaka specialist singer but he adequately uses a significant higher share of flat notes . But the beauty of his singing is that he suddenly brings certain exhilarating pockets of intense classicism. I thought I heard a slightly more bit rough sangathi of dhanyasi . GSM at thatpoint contextually says lot of musicians never sing this kind of gaandharam and retouched upon dhanyasi with a bit more gandharam typecast sangathis. Indeed the alapana was educative .GS Mani just told in one line as to what the context of dhanyasi krithi connecting dhyanam , ganga and he was crisp. He decided to go on with swaras but he immediately told v v ravi sorry vendam swaram ,vendam ithu voyunga varala. That was the only moment GS mani appeared 85 plus.

Saramathi and Sadguru are born for each other . What a joy to hear GS Mani taking up mokshamu with the anupallavi start . He told at the beginning this krithi mokshamu makes us visualize Lord rama . He also told when he was 10 his guru sesha bhagavathar based out of Madurai used to tell him that thyagaraja last krithi was manohari ,one before was this saramathi and the one before that was vagadeeshwari (paramathmudu). He said when he was 10 his guru sesha bhagavathar decided that his life only mission was to visit twice madurai meenakshi temple. He recollecting 75 years before at the age of 85 plus , O gosh see the power of music as one ages.

He then said when i learnt orajupuju it is different than what you hear today . He sang his learnt older version . I was glad that there is a Platinum standard ganakaladhara Madurai mani iyer who had taken kannadagowlai to amazing heights. Prior to main he sang a snippet of kanmaniyE solladi song and he said even very learnt and popular vidwans sang another way where the split appeared inappropriate. He jokingly said i am neither complaining nor finding fault , I am just stating as IT IS.

The main followed next . The baritoned bass heavy gsmani gave a superb soundscape of subhapantuvarali. With a lot of kaarvai i enjoyed his alapana and as expected he followed up with ennalu oorake . After a short tani and brief thankyou given by sabha patron Rajaram , GS Mani sir surprised with a nice long alapana . He sang a brilliant brindavana saranga with T's finest krithi kamalapta kula. I have written a long post on this krithi kamalapta kula , this T krithi was only sung by Manakkal Rangarajan , BMK and GS Mani sir in that era of musicians, none before vidwans like ariyakudi, MMI , SSI, Gnb have ever sung this kamalapta kula. Can some rasika like @RaviSri make a calculated guess as to how kamalapta kula came into concert platform skipping the era of 1920 to 1950 and entering 1960 to 1980 thru manakkal rangarajan,DR Bmk or GS mani sir.

The slokham Vaidehi sahitam was nice and he ended with an ahiri utsava sampradaya krithi. VV Ravi played very well with nice press of raga bhavam.i particularly liked VV ravi playing ragas like subhapantuvarali which reminded his accompaniment to this krithi and raga to mahavidwan tns .

The left right balance of chennai thyagarajan was supportive , that was the word that was used by GS Mani . Thyagarajan did not even put one anavsiya theermanam. GS mani sir was amazing with no vocal support, there was still enough rich classicism despite his 85 plus age .He provided right context(no rambling) to most songs without losing an iota of devotion and conviction.

I took some photos and i will share it soon . All said GS mani sir is capable of taking any rasika in the audience from any point. They could be a neophyte or another one could be a vidwan/vidushi who is singing in a 6pm slot .He will take all of them and drop safely in the land of raaaja margam . The theme and hall immensely helped. Personally for me the key takeaways were the huseni start , the combo of subhapantuvarali and brindavana saranga and that intense saramathi. Despite ahiri closure i got great dinner too which strengthens gsmani sir conviction of any dogmas that we associate with classical music like ahiri and food.

OVerall a very good to excellent concert for 2 hours and 5 mins
Last edited by rajeshnat on 16 May 2019, 16:15, edited 1 time in total.
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#3 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by thanjavooran » 15 May 2019, 20:20

Excellent and exhaustive write up on vidwat samajam.
Only In this venue a very rare combo of TR Mali , Chembai and Maharajapuram took place some 65 yrs ago.
Madurai GS Mani is also an encyclopedia in par with Music genius Prof SRJ avargal.
Thanks for the review.
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#4 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by hnbhagavan » 15 May 2019, 21:24

Madurai GS Mani concert reviews are very exhaustive and interesting.he is really a one of the kind Musician in today's list of performers.He commands respect of coarists as well as Rasikas.
He is a genius indeed!
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#5 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by arasi » 16 May 2019, 02:29

Your review was as delightful to read as GSM's concerts tend to be. I should perhaps say joyous, because every concert of his has been a happy experience for me. He is a complete musician in the sense his learning and his absorption in it and his imagination come out in every syllable of his singing. I have also seen him a couple of times with other stars, in a nAma sankIrtanam setting. He would shine in his most non-assuming way, dwarfing all others. I remember a couple of MA concerts where you saw folks from all walks of life--or should I say, genres of music, and if you looked around,you saw them all relishing his music in their own way. A charming, cultured individual he is, to top it all. I haven't heard him in a long while. Hope we get a snippet from this concert
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#6 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by Nick H » 16 May 2019, 03:44

At this time of year we all would think only of AC halls! It takes something of an effort of will to go to the Samajam, even on a day when it has no competition... but actually it is more comfortable than is to be expected. It was stuffy up to about 7pm, after which it was possible to even forget that one was out in the open on a Chennai May evening. Or maybe, and probably, I should thank Sri Mani for that! On one occasion, I told him that his singing a song I had heard many times was like the first time of hearing it. He replied, "That is the power of now." Frankly, I wouldn't take such a statement very seriously from many people, but from him: certainly, and I cannot forget the power of his conviction. Singing from the depths of his heart and his mind. And, as Arasi says, all that and charm too!

Only one regret of the evening. Somebody else departed wearing my shoes. It can only have been by mistake, for they were a cheap and scruffy pair. By coincidence, the very pair I bought from Bata in Mylapore having previously lost quite a decent pair from Arkay! I usually leave my shoes apart and not open to all. Usually is not good enough: it has to be always. Never mind, it is a small price to pay, and I made the barefoot walk back to the car unscathed.
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#7 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by rajeshnat » 17 May 2019, 12:18

rajeshnat wrote:
15 May 2019, 19:52
11. kamalApta kula (R,S)- brindavana saranga
5 mins alapan and ?? violin return
5 mins swaras
I made a mistake even knowing before . The raga is brindavani and not brindavana saranga for this extraordinary krithi kamalApta kula kalasAbdhi chandra created by the bard of thiruvayaru.
kamalApta kula (R,S)- brindavani
Gs mani sir took the song without violin return. Heard that lovely recording just now
Last edited by rajeshnat on 17 May 2019, 12:35, edited 1 time in total.
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#8 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by CRama » 17 May 2019, 12:23

Rajesh, Thanks for your erudite review of the concert.
BTW, what is the difference between Brindavani and Brindavanasaranga. I have seen in casette labels that this song is in Brindavanasaranga. Sugna Varadachary Mami also called it Brindavanasaranga in the recent lec dem.
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#9 Re: Madurai GS [email protected] on May 14th,2019

Post by rajeshnat » 17 May 2019, 12:35

CRama wrote:
17 May 2019, 12:23
BTW, what is the difference between Brindavani and Brindavanasaranga. I have seen in casette labels that this song is in Brindavanasaranga.
Check the below thread . we discussed bit exhaustively brindavanasArangA vs brindAvani.
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