Prema Rangarajan @ Saraswati Vaggeyakara Trust, Chennai

Venue: Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall, TTK Road, Alwarpet

Date: 23 Mar 2007

Organizer: Saraswati Vaggeyakara Trust

Theme: Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar Kritis

Vocal: Vid. Prema Rangarajan

Violin: Vid. Padma Shankar

Mrudangam: Vid. Melakkaveri Balaji

Ghatam: Vid. N. Guruprasad

List of songs:

1) vinAyaka vighnanAshaka – vEgavAhini – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (S)

2) paramEshwara jagadIshwara – nATTai – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (S)

3) bruhadambikAyai – vasantA – misra chApu – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (NS)

4) pAhimAm pArvati – mOhanam – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (ANS)

5) shringAra rasamanjarIm – rasikapriyA – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

6) chidambara naTarAjam – kEdAram – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (0)

7) shivakAmEshwarIm chintayEham – kalyANi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

8 ) santatam gOvindarAjam (nOTTuswaram) – shankarAbharaNam – tisra Ekam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

9) gangE mAm pAhi – chenchuruTTi – kanDa Ekam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

10) lalitA paramEshwari – suruTTi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (O)

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Vid. Prema Rangarajan presented a nice concert of Dikshitar compositions, ably assisted by the artists who accompanied her. The beauty of Sri Dikshitar’s kritis coupled with the nice way in which she rendered them made the concert very enjoyable. One look at the list of songs would reveal so many songs that are not usually sung in the concert circuit.

Though all the artists were good in their departments and performed well as a team, the star of the evening to me was Vid. Padma Shankar on the violin. This is the first time I am hearing her in a full concert and she was simply superb. Her alapanas of mOhanam and kalyANi was very melodious. Her replies during the neraval and kalpana swarams were very good. What an imagination she had whenever she improvised !!!!

Taniavartanam was played by Sri Balaji & Sri Guruprasad in Adi talam and comprised chatusra naDai, kuraippu, pharans, mOrA and kOrvai. At the beginning of the taniavartanam, Sri Balaji showed some good use gumukhis to create different sounds. The kOrvai he played for the chatusra naDai was also an interesting one. The pUrvAngam and the uttarAngam of the kOrvai comprised of three avartanams each – the first in chatusra naDai, the second in kanDa nadai and the third in tisra naDai.

There was a low turnout for the concert and the strength just waned with time as the starting time of the India-Sri Lanka match neared. The combination of strong air conditioning and sweet music was a potent one to which many seemed to succumb readily. A mami sitting in the row in front of me slept throughout the concert. Good amplification in the small hall however ensured that the sound from the speakers always overpowered the snores.

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2 thoughts on “Prema Rangarajan @ Saraswati Vaggeyakara Trust, Chennai

  1. Vignesh says:

    The pUrvAngam and the uttarAngam of the kOrvai comprised of three avartanams each – the first in chatusra naDai, the second in kanDa nadai and the third in tisra naDai.. can you please explain this?

  2. Ram says:

    Korvais usually comprise a pUrvAngam or the initial (first) portion and an uttarAngam or the end portion.

    For this particular case, lets take the pUrvAngam first. It had three Avartanams of Adi talam. Each Avartanam of Adi talam has 8 beats and 32 aksharAs (1 beat = 4 aksharAs) in the chatusra naDai. Some people call it as 8 aksharAs and 32 matrAs but for the purpose of this post, lets take one Avartanam to have 8 beats and 32 aksharAs. In kanDa naDai, each beat has 5 aksharAs and in tisra naDai, each beat has 6 aksharAs. So to have one Avartanam in chatusra naDai, the next in kanDa naDai and the next in tisra naDai, one has to play patterns totalling to 32 (8×4), 40 (8×5) and 48 (8×6) aksharAs in three consecutive Avartanas. This is what Sri Balaji did for both the pUrvAngam and the uttarAngam. This is not easy to do as one has to change the naDai suddenly after every Avartanam, preserve the gait correspoding to it, quickly get accustomed to the change and then play the patterns properly so that they fall at the designated places in the Avartanam.

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