Neela Ramgopal for Neelakantasivan Cultural Academy

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#1 Neela Ramgopal for Neelakantasivan Cultural Academy

Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

4.15 to 6.30 pm

Sri S P Ananthapadmanabha- Violin
Sri Palakkad Sajeev - Mridangam

Y G Srilatha-vocal support
Sruti (Pitch): 4 (F)

Neelakanta Sivan School of Art and Culture, an initiative by Neelakanta Sivan Cultural Academy under their monthly series (named 'Swaraadhi' - Aippasi Maadham) organised a concert of veteran Vidushi Neela Ramgopal at Sholinganallur in the outskirts of Chennai on 20th Oct. The venue was the residence of one of the functionaries in the Elcot Avenue Road.

Noted vocalist and Guru C S Sajiv who is closely associated with the academy has been training many students young and old and periodic concerts are conducted to provide opportunity for quality music exposure to aspirants to enrich their knowledge.
Students are given 'mini' slots to perform before the start of the main event.

It was my good friend and Mridanga vidwan Palakkad Sajeev who let me know of the event in which he was participating and I was more than happy to attend as I never had the opportunity to listen to a full time concert of the octogenarian Vidushi. And it was a highly rewarding experience.

Compositions rendered:

1 Sivatraya Mahaganapatim - Naata - Swarnavenkateswara Dikshitar
2 Nandagopala -Yamuna kalyani - Dikshitar
3 Sogasujuda - Kannadagoula - Tyagaraja
4 Jagadiwswari- Mohanam - Tiruvarur Ramaswamy Pillai (followed by Tani)
5 Bhogindrasaayinam-Kuntalavarali-Swati Tirunal
6 Mamavaraghurama - Saranga - Tyagaraja
7 Ennavandaalum naan unai marapathillai-kamboji -Neelakanta sivan
8 Aparadhangala kshamiso- Purandara dasa(?)-kapi
9 Tillana - Darbari Kaanada.

Sivatraya Mahaganapatim offered a scholarly start for the concert. A few rounds of swaraprastaras set the right mood for the recital. Nandagopala - the not frequently heard kriti of Dikshitar in Yamunakalyani came in next, breezy and authentic.
Many seemed to listen to the kriti for the first time and Maami was prompt to announce the details after the rendition. Sogasu juda taramaa preceded a beautiful Alaapana of Mohanam for the time tested Jagadiswari kripai which was the central item of the recital. The neraval @ Gatiyendru nambinorai was full of bhava and the swaraprastara was succint.

Mamava Raghurama and Bhogeendrasaayinam that followed were perfect renditions of kritis in contrasting ragas.

Ennavandaalum naan unai marapathillai in Kamboji best fitted as a tribute to the great composer Neelakanta sivan. This rare kriti in Misra chapu was preceded by a solid alapana of the Raga. It was sheer competence and voice modulation of the singer that enabled her to easily traverse sancharas in the upper gandhara much to the delight of seasoned rasikas in the audience.

The concluding pieces were new to me but superb.

While Ananthapadmanabha gave committed, fine accompaniment on violin, Palakkad Sajeev on Mridangam played amicably to suit the atmosphere - never obtrusive nor lacking in aesthetics. His Tani for Mukkaal edam @ Gatiyendru nambinorai of the Mohanam kriti was sober. Y G Srilatha, a disciple of Smt Neela, supported on vocals.

After the Mangalam, Smt Neela interacted heartily with the audience most of them young students of music but the session turned to be very valuable and interesting. Some of the points she emphasised were:
* rigorous and regular practice
* learning directly from the teacher
* not trying to strain the vocal chords
* attending concerts at the venues itself
* no harm in listening more to a vidwan or vidushi you like most.
* learning kritis of a wide spectrum covering many languages
* endeavouring to improve the reach of music far and wide
The Vidushi also expressed appreciation of the efforts taken by CS Sajiv and the Academy for propagation of music in a distant yet growing suburb like Sholiganallur.

The organisers and the accompanists spoke in high regard of Smt Neela and how one must emulate the standards set by the Vidushi who had learnt under stalwarts like T K Rangachari. And she had come all the way from Bangalore where she is settled now.

It was an enriching evening.
The organisers ensured that the rasikas relished a high-tea after the concert.
Last edited by Sivaramakrishnan on 23 Oct 2019, 09:58, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Re: Neela Ramgopal for Neelakantasivan Cultural Academy

Post by arasi »

I am glad that you made it to the Neelakanta Sivan Cultural Academy. Thank you for your descriptive and detailed review. I am happy you got to listen to Vidushi Neela in person, She certainly is the embodiment of many endowments in musicianship. She's a favorite of mine, on and off stage. She sang such rare kritis and also sogasu jUDa taramA, a favored song (and rAgA) of mine. That special kambhodi too.
Hoping to catch a concert or more of hers when I come to India...

Nick H
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#3 Re: Neela Ramgopal for Neelakantasivan Cultural Academy

Post by Nick H »

Sivaramakrishnan wrote: 22 Oct 2019, 22:44 It was my good friend and Mridanga vidwan Palakkad Sajeev who let me know of the event in which he was participating ... ... ...
You were indeed lucky! I think she gave a concert in Bangalore not so long ago, but I have been waiting to see her again in Chennai. I hope that she is able to be with us in Chennai this December.

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