Balamuralikrishna

Carnatic Musicians

#1  Postby coolkarni » 26 Oct 2005 10:52

I have been rummaging through a huge colection of AIR Recordings - SRKris's- obtained
through a common friend and I discovered a very unusual AIR Broadcast.
Balmurali has transalted Tyagaraja Kritis to tamil and sung it.If I remember right , about a year ago
Neyveli Santhanagopalan did something similar in a concert , but I have not heard about such experiments any more.

Anyway here is this track

http://rapidshare.de/files/6770105/Balm ... _Tamil.mp3

One must give it to this artist.Though he brings out extreme reactions from fans and foes alike , I think we should discuss his
renderings, contributions in more depth.

CML and any others ,, were you around in the audience when he first exploded on the scene .Going by his vintage recordings
especially with MSG-TVG , they must have been fantastic concerts !!!
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#2  Postby srkris » 26 Oct 2005 11:35

Not only has he sung them in Tamil, but also does a fair job of it, not translation for the sake of translation. When I listened to it, I thought he deserves some credit for the work.
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#3  Postby param » 10 Nov 2005 15:17

Coolkarni,

I agree with you. The rendition of Tyagaraja kritis in translated tamil is really mind blowing. My father and I feel this has to be the work of Dr.BMK's wifie Smt. Abhayambika - who is a master on Tamil literature and language.

Definitely worth an applaud.

We are writing to Dr. BMK under a separate letter expressing our greetings on this approach and mentioning that we look forth to many more......
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#4  Postby Guest » 12 Dec 2005 14:21

When it comes to kritis in Telugu there is no one to match Dr.BalaMurali krishna although he is more into 'shringara' mode than 'Bhakthi' mode while singing.

K.R.NagaSundaram
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#5  Postby venkmal » 13 Dec 2005 11:10

Really very nice. thx for this treat. venkmal
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#6  Postby coolkarni » 21 Jan 2006 13:37

Just when i started to think that I have seen all of BMK's tricks, here comes another.
HE HAS SUNG A DASAR PADA AFTER TRANSLATING IT TO TELUGU.
Boy.We must give it to him.

http://rapidshare.de/files/11475319/10_ ... u.mp3.html

and the original is here.
http://rapidshare.de/files/11475510/166 ... 5.mp3.html
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#7  Postby Sivaraman » 18 Feb 2006 01:19

I think that this forum has some bias against the Musical Genius that BMK is!
I,for one, has been an ardent admirer of his music for the last four decades, ever since I first heard him in Chembur Fine Arts,Mumbai, way back in 1964.Our whole family,my dad and four brothers were simply blown away by the mesmerising music of BMK.We found him to be highly innovative and creative in his manodharma singing.Added to his magnetic and melodious voice,capable of traversing all the three octaves effortlessly,his clear diction of the krithis, his precise mathematical permutations of the swara prastharams, and bhava filled rendering of the krithis,made us all enter a new dimension in the realm of CM.
Then we ,my brother Ananth and I, who were running a music sabha in Chembur called "Rasikapriya", had the honour of hosting his concert in our small sabha at a small token fee, and were really touched by his generosity.In this concert at our sabha, he sang an elaborate "Rasikapriya", the 72nd and last melakarta and his own composition ,"pavana thanaya palayamam", an invocation to Lord Hanuman.Our saba was also named Rasikapriya after the last melakarta.Ever since then, we have been huge fans of DR.BMK's music and hold him on a very high pedestal, much above his contemporaries.Then when I delved deep into his biography, I came to understand that he was also a "Vaggeyakara", who was one of the handful of composers who had composed krithis in all 72 melakartas.To my knowledge only a handful of composers have attempted this extraordinary feat, including the late Koteeswaraiyer.Our admiration for BMK's genius grew by leaps and bounds at all his innovations in CM.He also exploded on the CM scene at the young age of 7 when he started giving concerts.As he grew and exhibited his musical genius, the entire traditional world of CM was swept by a storm of creativity and innovation and BMK has definitely carved a niche for himself in the Hall of Fame of Carnatic Greats.
And though he was involved in many controversies, like creation ragas with four and five notes, which could not be digested by his contemporaries, he still went ahead with his innovations and swept away the cobwebs of stagnation in CM.
His talents could not be ignored by the die-hard coterie holding sway over the Tamilnadu CM scene and they were forced to pay obeisance to his musical genius.Awards and Titles followed in profusion including Padmavibhusan,Sangeeta Kalanidhi, and the latest French Govt.Chevalier Title,which, to my knowledge,only the Late Sivaji Ganesan,was bestowed in India.
Another dimension of his musical genius was revealed some years back, when BMK ventured on the science of "MUsical Therapy",to ensure good health and cure of diseases through Carnatic Ragas.Indeed there seems to be no limit to his talent and genius.He even had a shot at film singing, and who can forget his great "Oru Naal Podhuma" from "Thiruvilayadal" which swept the whole nation by it's magical quality.
An even lesser known facet of his talent is the fact that in addition to his mesmerising singing, he can also play with authority many musical instruments: violin,viola and the mridhangam.In fact, he gave a full Viola Concert in our sabha Rasikapriya, way back in the 1970's.
Over the years, he has built a legion of fans who swear by his music and consider him to be the God of Music.
Even the Tamilnadu Chief Minister, Jayalalitha, an ardent fan of his music, praised his contribution to CM, and awarded the title of "Sangeeta Samrat" at last year's felicitation function to honour him on his 75th birthday, and she appropriately told the audience that her regret was that she could not learn CM from the Maestro BMK, and expressed the desire that if she were to be reborn, in her next birth, she could become his disciple.She ended her encomium of BMK's genius by posing the question to the audience, "ORU NAAL PODHUMA" for listening to his enthralling Music.
Long Live Balamurali and His Music.

Sivaraman.
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#8  Postby vasanthakokilam » 18 Feb 2006 11:11

I think that this forum has some bias against the Musical Genius that BMK is!

Sivaramanji, I am sure you will find lot of people in this forum who love BMK. So, it may not be a forum wide bias. As for me, I am with you about your descriptions on his contributions to CM, his longevity on the concert platform. And I love his Oru nAL poduma and Chinna kannan AzaikkirAn etc. I am sure over the years I have enjoyed a few of his other songs as well. Beyond that, as I wrote in another thread, I can hear all his greatness in individual elements but when put together as a whole, it does not do much for me. As a prototypical case, consider the renditions of Brahma Kadikina by Nedunoori and BMK. As an ardent fan of Mukhari, Nedunoori's touches right stuff inside me whereas BMK's just glides over.

This doesn't diminish BMK's greatness or vidwath, individual tastes of course vary and that is where this kind of opinion belongs.
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#9  Postby kaumaaram » 18 Feb 2006 13:12

Namaskar Sivaraman

BMK is an intellectual - his knowledge of Sanskrit itself has given him an edge over other artists to render difficult items with ease. The Sivanandalahari that he has rendered in Virutham format is so divine that his prounounciation, enunciation and voice are crystal clear with great emphasis on the raag as well. Listen to the Navavarana Kritis that he has sung. What a mastery! He is an excellent composer too - he has composed on all the 72 melakarta ragas.

I was upset however on one occasion, though even now I am his admirer. While BMK accepted the encomiums poured on him by J Jayalalitha, he refused to accept some title conferred on him by a wing of Kanchi Mutt in Mumbai (see this link):

http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/dec/06murali.htm

This could be his personal choice; but then he belittled a great institution whose traditions run over 2,500 years. The controversy at that time was the arrest of Kanchi Sankaracharya and the Junior. This has nothing to do with the acceptance of the title or the Mutt's reputation. It still enjoys a great following.

[Talking about the Mutt, though out of context, when Child's Trust Hospital in Chennai was taken over by the Mutt, people were wondering what would happen to the fate of the Hospital. Today it is well run. Recently a Christian colleague from office had her child admitted in that Hospital at the behest of the specialist. She was extremely happy at the way her child was taken care so well by the Hospital staff and doctors. She wondered whether she would have got the same comfort at any other commercial hospital.]

The point is we should look long-term. Political parties crave recognition by honouring different artists. But the artists should not get swayed by that.

I do not want to compare BMK with any other artist. Each artist has his own style. I whole-heartedly accept BMK's music.

Kaumaaram
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#10  Postby Sivaraman » 18 Feb 2006 17:20

VK,
You have every right to your opinion on the greatness of BMK.But, I am sorry to say that comparing him to NK is doing great injustice to both these eminent artistes, who have their own distinct style of music.I am also an admirer of NK's music for your information, but I will never do the mistake of comparing him and deriding the Great BMK.All I said was that BMK's music moves me to the depths of my soul and I do not agree with you views that his mukhari is superficial.
The point I am trying to make is that BMK has had to struggle quite a lot to achieve the eminence he now commands in Tamilnadu, and I have been upset with the treatment meted out to him by Tamilnadu sabhas and musicians in his early years, just because he hails from Andhra.But since his extraordinary talent could not be suppressed , Tamilnadu had to grudgingly accept his genius and talent.
My point about this forum's bias against BMK is borne out by your snide remarks about his ability to sing Mukhari.Also the fact that, inspite of his greatness,his legion of fans, his contribution to CM and the awards and titles he has got, this forum has largely tried to ignore him and his music.I have seen very few samples of his music posted here, unlike those of many of his contemporaries. Nor has there been any objective discussion about his musical genius and his contribution to CM.This clearly reveals that most of these forum members suffer from an Andhra bias, which makes them wear coloured glasses while ignoting the great BMK.
Oh for the day when we do not go by narrow sectarian and language barriers and learn to respect a musician for his true worth.
Btw, I am a tamilian, quite impressed with the talent of andhra artistes, whom tamilnadu has largely ignored.
Sivaraman.
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#11  Postby Sivaraman » 18 Feb 2006 17:28

kaumaaram,
Thank you for acknowledging BMK's greatness.At least I am glad that I have one objective CM fan on my side, who can, dispassionately analyze the genius of BMK and give him credit for his immense contribution to CM.
But, I think you are mistaken regarding BMK's refusal to accept the Kanchi Mutt award.I know for a fact that BMK is a great devotee of the Acharya and would never show him disrespect in this way.The true reason for his refusal to accept the award was that he was distraught by the seer's arrest and wanted to wait for the cases against him to be quashed and his innocence proved .He wanted to await this judgement day when he will be honoured to accept the award from the blessed hands of the Paramacharya himself.
Why don't you write to BMK and get this fact clarified,instead of harbouring a suspicion regarding his intentions, while refusing the award?
Sivaraman.
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#12  Postby Sivaraman » 18 Feb 2006 18:08

Padmavibhushan Dr. M. Balamurli Krishna
This article is an admixture of an article from The Hindu and few articles appeared on rec.music.indian.classical. ``Music resembles poetry; in each are numerous graces which no methods can teach and which a mastermind alone reach''.

Balamurali Krishna , the celebrated Carnatic musician and vaaggEyakaara of this century is one such musical genius. He has an appeal of his own in the international arena and both the commoner as well as the connoisseur are swayed by the variety of his music and his melodious voice.

Born on July 6, 1930 at Sankaraguptam (a small hamlet in Rajolu Taluk, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh) to Mangalampalli Pattabhiramayya and Suryakanthamma, Murali Krishna inherited the musical traits of his parents. Pattabhiramayya was a famous flutist and a music teacher and Suryakanthama a notable veena artiste. Suryakanthamma died when Balamurali was a 15 day old baby. From then on he was brought up by his maternal aunt Subbamma. When he was just two years old, Pattabhiramayya brought him to Vijayawada. At this very young age, he imbibed the nuances of music when his father taught his disciples.

Encouraged by this Pattabhiramayya entrusted him to `Gayaka Sarvabhauma' Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu under whose competent tuteleage Murali Krishna reached the pinnacle of fame in the field of music. In the order of Guru Parampara, the musician is directly the fifth in the line of disciples of saint Tyagaraja. Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, Susarla Dakshinamoorthy Sastry, Akumadugula Manambuchavadi Venkata Subbayya and Saint Tyagaraja.

At the age of eight during the Sadguru Arandhanotsavas (felicitation to Parupalli Ramakrishnayya's guru Susarla Dakshinamoorthy) at Vijayawada, in 1938 where he gave his first full-fledged performance. Balamurali's talent came to the fore. Captivated by his pleasant disposition, it was Musunuri Satyanarayana a distinguished Hari katha performer who gave the prefix ``Bala'' to the young Murali Krishna. Due to his continuous concerts, Pattabhiramayya was persuaded by his friends to let Balamurali dedicate himself completely to music and he stopped attending school when he was in class VI. From then Balamurali Krishna took the world by storm with his mellifluous voice and did not whither away like many other child prodigies. Very soon he proved his versatility by playing kanjira, mridangam, viola and violin and the public flocked to hear his concerts.

Balamurali Krishna wrote a detailed work on the 72 Janakaraga or Melakarta (basic scales of music) scheme at he the tender age of 14. These compositions were accepted by the music circles also because they were more elaborate than that of the earlier writer Venkatamakhin, a versatile genius of the Nayak regime.

Balamurali Krishna served as a music Producer at Vijayawada, Hyderabad and the Madras All India Radio Stations. In this capacity, he pioneered the early hour devotional renderings in India under the title `Bhakthi Ranjani'. He also acted as the first Principal of the Government Music College at Vijayawada. After his transfer to Madras All India Radio he settled in Madras in order to devote his attention to innovation and creative compositions.

Balamurali Krishna has been invited to give concerts by countries U.S., Canada, U.K., Italy, France, Russia, Srilanka, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.K., Middle East etc. He has given more than 18,000 performance throughout the world and has created a world record by 250 audio cassettes brought out by the Sangeetha Recording Company.

Balamurali Krishna has also proved his talent as a playback singer, music director and actor in several languages. He received National Awards as the best playback singer for `Hamsageethe' (Kannada feature film), best music director for `Madhvacharya', and left an indelible imprint in the hearts of the people with his portrayal as a hero in the Malayalam film in ``Sandhya Kendina Sindooram''.

He has bagged many titles and awards ``Gana Sudhakara'', ``Sur Singar'', ``Geeta Kala Bharati'', Sangita Nataka Akademi Award Padmashri and Padma Vibushan are some of them.

He was also conferred the Ph.D., D.Sc and D.Litt by the Andhra University, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Sri Venkateswara University and the University of Hyderabad respectively.

He founded "Academy of Performing Arts and Research" in Switzerland and is also working on music therapy.

Though on one side he was showered with innumerable laurels, on the other he was declared as a stormy petrel of the music world by a few due to his creations of new ragas such as Mahati, Sumukham, Sarvashri, Omkari, Janasamodini, Manorama, Rohini, Vallabhi, Lavangi, Hamsavinodini, Pratimadhyamavathi, Sushama etc.

He is often criticized as idiosyncretic. He is different, who has embarked on a new enterprise - a rediscovery of the classical music of the past and its recreation through the embracing of a neo-classical style. He is not necessarily for or against,contribute or confirm, sustain or destroy a tradition.He seem to be least perturbed with the criticisms. He has a strong conviction, right or wrong, that he is there to replace unending melody with discrete order, syncretic and synthetic forms with self-contained ones and emotional self expression with strictly musical statements. It is paradox packed, self imposed music.

He has said (though not in these words), for me, as a creative musician, composition is a daily function that I feel compelled to discharge. I compose because, I am made for that and cannot do otherwise. I stumble upon something unexpected. This unexpected element strikes me. I make a note of it. At the proper time, I put it to profitable use.

He does not believe in the pristine principles of the past, but has supreme confidence in the practical purview of the present. He is a paradox for the puritan, a bore for the conservative and an avathara for the neoclassicist.

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#13  Postby vasanthakokilam » 18 Feb 2006 22:36

I am also an admirer of NK's music for your information, but I will never do the mistake of comparing him and deriding the Great BMK.

Sivaramanji, my apologies if my remarks came across that way("deriding the great BMK"). I thought I provided the disclaimer to the opposite.

I would not call my bringing NK into the mix a mistake at all, since it is all about illustrating what the two renditions do to me. It is not about comparing those two eminent artists but I do not know how else to talk about this. Mukhari and a few other ragas touch something primal in me which is hard to explain and so I am prone to notice when it glides over.

'superficial' is how you interpreted what I said which is fine but it may not be 'superficial' at the source but it is received as such at the receiver. You can say 'why blame BKM for that?". That I have to accept. Music is a funny business in that respect. Another time, another mood & another song, the reception may be completely different.

All I said was that BMK's music moves me to the depths of my soul and I do not agree with you views that his mukhari is superficial.

I hundred percent respect that and I wish I can feel what you feel.

I had a similar discussion a while back with a KJY fan ( not comparing KJY and BMK here ). KJY does not do it for me either, even though there are so many great individual elements he excels in. It is that Gestalt thing again.

It is funny in one sense that it is all selfishness on my part. I want their music to do stuff for me... I greatly love the individual skills they have ( great and smooth voice, swara suddham for the most part etc. ) but when it does not do it at the level I can feel, I even get upset at them, 'Hey, come on, what are you doing, you can do so much better'. But that kind of reaction, chiding if you will, comes from a respectful place in me knowing fully well that it is me who 'does not get it'.

Balamurali Krishna served as a music Producer at Vijayawada, Hyderabad and the Madras All India Radio Stations. In this capacity, he pioneered the early hour devotional renderings in India under the title `Bhakthi Ranjani'.

Thanks for this info, I did not know that. So BMK had a hand in introducing me to music since those morning programs on AIR were my first introductions to classical music. That is the power of mass communications and I am glad that a person of BMK's calibre and influence was there at the right place and right time to make that happen.
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#14  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 00:41

VK,
I think it is futile to discuss this any further.I can only quote the latin phrase:
"De gustibus non est disputandum"
(There is no disputing about tastes).What you consider to be music for the soul may not move me and vice versa.
As long as you realise that the limitation to appreciate a great musician like BMK lies with you and not with his music, it is fine.
For the record,after my retirement from an active service career, I have been able to do much more research into the great BMK's music, and everyday I am privileged to find new dimensions to his musical genius and today I live and breathe his music everyday as a form or meditation and relaxation and also as a form of sangeetha aradhana.When I hear his "Brihadeeswara Mahadeva" in Kanada, I am transported spiritually to the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Shiva in Tanjavur Temple.I also understand that BMK was inspired to compose this krithi spontaneously when he visited the Tanjore temple. So much did this enthralling composition inspire another Carnatic Great Maharajapuram Santhanam, that he composed another carbon copy of Brihadeeswara, which runs thus:
"Thirukedeeswara, Mahalinga" also in Kanada,
which is identical in every sangathi to the original, " Brihadeewara" by the great BMK.
I think this suffices to give a glimpse into BMK's musical genius and in my view he has reserved for himself an immortal place in the Hall of Fame of the Greats of CM.
Sivaraman.
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#15  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 01:30

Here is BMK's "Brihadeeswara",that inspired Kanada composition, which moved me spiritually:

http://rapidshare.de/files/13570708/BMK ... a.mp3.html

Sivaraman.
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#16  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 02:00

Here is a scintillating RTP in Abhogi by the Maestro BMK:

http://rapidshare.de/files/13572935/BMK ... i.mp3.html
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#17  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 02:25

And here's the Santhanam "Thirukedeeswara Mahalinga", an adaptation of BMK's "Brihadeeswara".

http://rapidshare.de/files/13574603/Mah ... K.mp3.html
This also is a brilliant and soul stirring effort.
Enjoy.
Sivaraman.
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#18  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 02:57

And here is a zip file of BMK's first 10 melakarta own compositions, which I got courtesy Sri Kranthi Kiran of the sruthi-laya group:
http://rapidshare.de/files/13576445/72_ ... 0.zip.html

Sivaraman.
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#19  Postby cmlover » 19 Feb 2006 11:21

Thanks Sivaraman for that 72 mela bit of BMK! Any chance of getting the rest of it?
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#20  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 20:03

I have requested the original donor,Krantikiran of sruthi-laya group for the rest of the melakarta gems of BMK.Will post it here when I recieve it.
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#21  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 20:31

Coolkarni,
Your words on the great BMK:


"Just when i started to think that I have seen all of BMK's tricks, here comes another.
HE HAS SUNG A DASAR PADA AFTER TRANSLATING IT TO TELUGU.
Boy.We must give it to him."

It is regrettable that you have adopted a condescending attitude towards one of the alltime greats of CM.Do you think you are that qualified that you have to "give it to him", condescendingly?
You also say that you have seen "all of BMK's tricks".This again is in very bad taste towards a great maestro.What tricks are you referring to that you have seen in the great maestro's music?
Please do not hurt the feelings of the legion of BMK fans by such crude words.
My own attitude while listening to all CM musicians is to keep an open mind and appreciate some aspect of every musician, even though I consider BMK as my idol.I have never in my life tried to hurt the feeling of fellow rasikas who may have different favourite musicians, by castigating their idols with personal bias.I think one cannot call himself a great CM rasika unless one develops this catholic attitude of enjoying all musicians, besides your own favourite artiste by keeping an open mind receptive to good music from every artiste.
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#22  Postby venkatpv » 19 Feb 2006 22:38

sivaraman,
please do not mistake coolkarni's intentions!!! he was not making fun of BMK... no sir, indeed no!!!
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#23  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 22:45

I wish I am able to hear this from Coolkarni to clear the air and show proper respect to the great BMK.
Sivaraman.
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#24  Postby cmlover » 19 Feb 2006 22:51

Now I am afraid of exclaiming:
"Oh Boy! what performance BMK has given in the 72 mela clip!"
Lest Sivarman would chide me for calling BMK a boy ;-)

Dear Sivarman!

Coolkarni has given actually the highest compliment to the skills of BMK!
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#25  Postby Sivaraman » 19 Feb 2006 22:59

Well, the way he used the English language, it appears more as a left handed compliment.
Please let Mr.Coolkarni clear the air on this issue, instead of others defending him.
I have been an ardent carnatic music lover for over 50 years and hail from a music family of high lineage which includes the likes of the Late Flute Mali,Dr.N.Ramani and the current sensation Bombay Jayashree and also have had the experience of running a music sabha and interacting with all great musicians. I think I can distinguish what is a genuine appreciation of an artiste and what amounts to snide remarks, meant to deride a great musician.
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