Carnatic Search Engine

Margazhi Music Season Exclusive 2013 - 14 Back

Day Planner

Margazhi Day Planner

With more than a hundred concerts happening in Chennai every day, it can be difficult to decide which ones to go to. In this column, we'll help you plan your day—from 9.00 am until 9.00 pm! We'll include a healthy mix of lecture demonstrations and concerts, up-and-coming artists and stars, sabhas and venues. So leave the planning to us, while you enjoy all the good music!


Start TimeEnd TimeArtistSabha and Venue
4:30 PM 6:00 PM G. Ramanathan (Saxophone) Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha
Tattvaloka, Eldams Road
6:15 PM 8:30 PM Gayathri Girish (Vocal) Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha
Tattvaloka, Eldams Road

Season Special - Reports

Sanjay S @ Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha 30th December 2013

Date/Time : December 30th, 6pm
Venue : Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha
Acoustics : Reasonable
Ambience : Electric
Crowd: 125% with extra chairs and standees behind closed doors

In cricket, you can score a century and then you can score a century.  Sanjay Subrahmanyan scored that third type of century. The rarely heard ‘Maguvaninne’ Ata ThalaVarnam in Narayana Gaulai gave a sober but shaky start to his innings. But Thyagarja’s ‘Brocheva’ in Sriranjanifound grip and style by charanam and the kalpanaswarams were a prelude for what was in store for the evening.

If the Begadaragam was brimming with phrases, ‘ThyagarjayaNamasthe’ was grounded with authority. MuthuswamiDikshitar would have been impressed with the many swaraksharams that Sanjay found in various eduppus in the pallavi. What was impressive was that Nagai Muralidharan, bent over his violin and an old off-sider for Sanjay, found an answer to each one of those. Papanasam Sivan’s ‘KadaiKanNokki’ in Thodi was like a splash of vibrant colour on a blank canvas.

Then came an elaborate Kedaragoulai with the expected ‘SaragunaPalimpa’ and swarams in pallavi. Well-done again, no surprises. Then came the Thani- a trifle loud perhaps, but brilliant. I don’t have the technical terms to truly appreciate it, but NeyvelliVenkatesh on Mridangam was bright and alert all evening. Even accompanying compositions-be it the Dikshitar or PoochiSrinivasaIyengar ones- some of his sollus were so telling. Venkatesh and AlathurRajaganesh on Khanjira, offered many captivating laya moments in the thani.

There was the usual exodus during thani. Having struggled to seatthemselves in a packed sabha,I could only feel for the masses who decided to pass up on the ‘other half’ starting with the thani. RTP in 5thMelakartaRagam, Manavathi was set to plain old MisraChapu with Ragamalikaswarams in Tandavam, Andolika and Pantuvarali. Sanjay named  the first ragam and sang the last with a Hindustani touch and different prayogams. He laughingly said it is still Pantuvarali. He transited straight from the swaram to a Tamil Composition ‘Niddhiraiyil’ That little ‘innovation’ sat well. He finished with a viruttam in Tamil ‘OndrumMarandariyen’ in Khamboji, Kalyani and Sindhubairavi before singing ‘VipperuVizhavam’.

Carnatic Music is seen by some as elitist, is steeped in centuries of tradition and as a result has like a bandwidth within which a practitioner is expected to operate. At the end of the day, it still falls in the broad realm of ‘Arts and Entertainment’ It is to Sanjay’s credit that he can tick all of those boxes and still keep his hand on the collective pulse of the audience. The best review for this concert is the elderly gentleman who sat on the ledge outside closed doors. He remained unmoved and lost in a trance even when the doors opened and  seats were vacated in the main hall.

Bombay Jaisri @ The Music Academy on 27th December 2013

Date/Time : December 27th, 4pm
Venue : Music Academy
Acoustics : Excellent
Ambience : Excellent
Crowd : 110% with sold out tickets and extra chairs in aisles.

Bombay Jaisri with her silken voice and her forays in films, even Hollywood is bound to be a star attraction. But her business yesterday was all Carnatic. She did have a hesitant start to the evening with ‘Sri MahaGanapathi’ in Gaulai with a smattering of kalpanaswarams in the end. As is her wont, she sang a rarishThyagarajakriti in Nattakurinji ‘KuvalayaDala’

She really settled down with her Arabhi essay for ‘JoothaMurare’ with neraval and kalpanaswarams at ‘Agama Sancharudata’ The whole piece captured ones imagination with all the trills, glides and jantaiprayogams which are the hallmark of Arabhi. A quick ‘Ganamurthe’ followed next.

Jaisri then proceeded to explore Kharaharapriya in detail. If her ragam was dripping with bhavam and prayogams, ‘Chakkani Raja’ was resplendent in lyrics and its presentation. Neraval at ‘Kantiki’ was filled with ‘soundaryam and the kalpanaswarams just flowed naturally from there. The thani by V.V. Ramamurthy on Mridangam and GiridharUdupa on Ghatam was appropriate and was perfect all evening.

RTP in SuddhaSarang set to AdhiThalam, KhandaNadai was blissful. HN Bhaskar who had quietly played ‘second fiddle’ all evening found some special notes to raise the bar even further. She ran through some ragams employed by her late Guru LalgudiJayaraman in the ragamalikaswarams like Bageshri and Desh fleeting in and out. She also fininshed with his Thillana in Yamuna Kalyani. Before she concluded, she found time to sing Narayana Theerthar’s ‘Aalokaye’ and a TulsidasBhajan.

Bombay Jaisri’sconcert are never high-powered, but she does steal her way into your heart and mind. Her perfect sruti alignment, her brighas cloaked as gentle glides, her adherence to classicism-all ensures that one has the feel of having had a sumptuous meal of good music.

K Gayathri @ Sri ParthasarathySwamy Sabha on 26th December 2013

Date/Time : December 26th, 10am
Venue : Sri ParthasarathySwamy Sabha
Acoustics : Reasonable
Ambience : Good
Crowd : 60%

GayatriKamakoti started off with Dayanide, a rarely heard AdhiTalaPadaVarnam by SyamaShastri. The combination of Begada and a varnam and a supple voice right at the beginning, gave promise of more to come. She followed it with PapanasamSivan’s  Karunakarane in Kiravani. The ragam, neraval at ‘BhaktharaiKakkum’ with kalapanaswarams were all well-executed. She exploited her strong voice by working the higher octaves to create a strong presence.

A soulful Hindolamalapanai for MuthuswamiDikshitar’s ‘Neerajakshi’ sung at medium pace was well done. A brisk Bhavapriya ‘Sri Kanthani’ by Thyagarajawas a good filler before the next heavy-weight. A confident Bhairavi exposition leading to the other ‘Upacharamu’ in 2-kalai Adhi with neravalat ‘KapataNataka’ ensued in all its grandeur. A speaking thani from B. Sivaraman on Mridangam and KV Gopalakrishnan on Kanjira added colour to the proceedings. Gayatri concluded her concert with an RTP in Dharmavati in MisraNadai.

NishantChandran on the violin had all the ‘pidis’ of a seasnoned musician. Either he needs  to play louder or his mic  needed more volume.In any case, he gave a good account of himself.  Gayatri is a confident youngster who is willing to take chances.  It will be interesting to see what a few more years will do to her maturity in voice and content. It was a very good concert.


Previous Reports

Talents for the Season

Talents for the Season

What is life without a bit of challenge? Similar to musical competitions that kids are exposed to on TV and even at school, Carnatic World has structured a 'talent of the month' feature, which will bestow the title on one student who showcases the best performance. Email us at to enroll into the monthly talent search.

Ashwath Narayan

Ashwath Narayan is a quickly rising star in Carnatic Music today. When asked what first sparked his interest in music, the artist credits his mother mother. During his childhood, the day always started with Bhajagovindam and the Annamacharya Kritis rendered by Smt. M S Subbulakshmi. "I used to know all the songs by heart and sing them along with the recording which was played daily." Taking note of his talent and joined him initially with Sri KV Narayanaswamy and later Smt. Padma Narayanaswamy. He gave his first concert in October 2003 when he was just 12 years old at Koothanoor Maha Saraswathi Temple near Mayavaram for their Navarathri Utsavam. "The most memorable thing about that concert was that I was very fortunate to be accompanied on the Violin and Mridangam by two leading musicians of today who were going to accompany my guru for her concert that evening and very kindly consented to play for me before their concert. Understanding my nervousness, they gave me full support to make my debut concert a success.", he says. When asked what is the greatest advice he has received, he says "To Keep my ears open to all forms of music, derive inspirations and assimilate all off them in order to improve my own capabilities" a lesson not taught directly but what he saw in his guru Sri KVN, who assimilated different styles of classical music to make a style of his own.

Tanjore Praveen Kumar

Up and coming vocalist, Vidya Kalyanaraman had her debut concert on April 5th 2001 at a temple near her house. "Well, actually the first concert that came to me was part of a prize that i won in a competition. but a few days before i could sing that one, this temple concert came up and i sentimentally started off there and the actual first concert came second!" A disciple of Padma Sandilyan and Suguna Varadhachari, decided early on that music would be her life. As a child, she had a deep interest and passion for music. "My mom often tells me that as an infant i'd cry if the music stopped even for a few seconds.. the love seems to have been there from that time and my parents helped me develop in it in the right track with eminent gurus." says Vidya. When asked what is the best advice given to her by her gurus, she says, "Never stop learning". When I ask her what advice she has for youngsters beginning to learn the artform, she smiles and says, "The same advice my gurus gave me!"


Brain Stimulators

View Answers:

1) How many kritis on Devi Meenakshi of Madurai have been rendered by Syama Sastri?
View Answer
2) Name the Srirangam Pancharatna Krithis of Muthuswami Dikshitar.
View Answer
3) Identify the four shrines, to which, Tyagaraja, Dikshitar and Syama Sastri all three have dedicated compositions.
View Answer


Quiz on Tyagaraja

1) Name Tyagaraja's first and last compositions.

View Answer

2) Which is Tyagaraja's composition in the Raga Supradeepam and what deity is it on?

View Answer

3) Which of Tyagaraja's compositions is reputed to have brought a dead body back to life?

View Answer

4) Which was the song composed by Gopalakrishna Bharati at the instance of Tyagaraja?

View Answer

5) Name the song Tyagaraja composed when he lost his beloved Rama idol and the song composed when the idol was retrieved.

View Answer

6) Name the three famous shishya paramparas (schools) instrumental in propagating the bard's works.

View Answer

7) Which of the nava vidha bhaktis (nine forms of worship) is described in the Mayamalavagaula kriti "Tulasidalamulache..."?

View Answer

8) In which composition does Tyagaraja ask, "If you condescend to give me darshan, would you be losing any of your valuable property, O Rama?"

View Answer

9) Which kriti reflects the following observation of Tyagaraja: "In association with the Paramatma, Sita Devi serves Rama and keeps him in prosperity despite all hardships" ?

View Answer

10) Which episode in the Ramayana is referred to in the kriti "Shri Rama Padama..." (Amritavahini)?

View Answer

11) In which kriti has Tyagaraja referred to Rama as "rasika shiromani"?

View Answer

12) Name the popular kriti sung during Anjaneya Utsavams and as the penultimate piece in congregational singing.

View Answer

13) Name two songs in which Tyagaraja describes the beauty of the lock of hair dangling on Rama's forehead.

View Answer

14) Name the famous kriti (and its ragam) in which Tyagaraja asks Rama how he should be worshipped - as Shiva, Vishnu or Brahma?

View Answer

15) In which kriti is there a reference to the Kakasura episode in the Ramayana?

View Answer