Trivandrum Venkataraman @ Naada Inbam, Chennai

Venue: Raga Sudha Hall, 85/2, Luz Avenue, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 15 Apr 2007

Organizer: Naada Inbam (SVK Birthday Concerts)

Veena: Vid. Trivandrum R. Venkataraman

Mrudangam: Vid. Kamalakara Rao


List of songs:

1) viribONi (varnam) – bhairavi – kanDa aTa – pachimiriyam Adiappa

2) praNamAmyaham srI – gowLa – Adi – mysore vAsudEvAchAr (OS)

3) mAmava sadA janani – kAnaDA – rUpakam – swAti tiruNAL (S)

4) sAmaja vara gamanA – hindOLam – Adi – thyAgarAja (AS)

5) pankaja lOchana – kalyANi – misra chApu – swAti tiruNAL (AN)

6) Emi jEsitE – tODi – misra chApu – thyAgarAja (AtNST)

7) sAramaina (jAvaLi) – behAg – rUpakam – swAti tiruNAL (A)

8 ) aligitE (?) – husEni – misra chApu – kshEtragna

9) visvEshwar – sindhu bhairavi – rUpakam – swAti tiruNAL (A)

10) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – sowrAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja

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

Veteran vainika Sri Trivandrum Venkataraman delighted the small group of people assembled at Raga Sudha Hall with this beautiful concert. Accompanying him was veteran mrudangam vidwan Sri Kamalakara Rao. It was a great experience watching them play together. They made it appear as though they have been playing together for ages (they may have actually been doing that).

The concert started on a great note with Sri Venkataraman playing the bhairavi aTa tALa varnam to some beautiful accompaniment by Sri Kamalakara Rao. Some of the sollus he played for the varnam reminded me of Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman. He almost anticipated everything that was going to be played on the veena correctly.

All the alapanas were detailed and done well. I especially liked the behAg alapana that was done towards the end of the concert. The tODi alapana was the longest of them all and lasted for about 17 minutes. It was followed by a 6 minute tAnam. Then came “Emi jEsitE” which, Sri Venkataraman announced, was Sri SVK’s favorite composition in tODi. Sri Venkataraman also announced that the veena he was playing was gifted to him by Sri SVK years back and that he had used it successfully in many of his concerts.

This is the first time I am visiting Raga Sudha Hall after SVK mama’s demise and I was feeling quite uncomfortable in the beginning, especially on seeing SVK mama’s garlanded photos on either side of the stage. This is probably the reason why I did not occupy my usual sitting place in the hall (the bench like structure on the sides) as I am quite used to seeing SVK mama walking around that area. There was also no “sabhayOrgaLE” to be heard. Guess I will get used to his absence in due course of time.

SVK mama’s daughter is continuing his legacy by organizing good concerts with almost the same frequency as done by him. Wishing her all the very best !!!!

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