Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21 July

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Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21 July

#1  Postby srikant1987 » 03 Aug 2012 11:30

Smt Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran - Veene
Sri MR Sainath - Mrudanga
Sri Dayanand Mohite - Ghata

21 July 2012
BTM Cultural Academy
@ Ramana Maharshi Academy for the Blind, near East End, JP Nagar
Bangalore

sarasUDa - sAvEri - Adi - Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer (R)
vallabha nAyakasya - bEgaDe - rUpaka - MD (RS)
divAkara tanujam - yadukulakAmbhOji - Eka - MD (R)
nI vADa - sAranga - khaNDacApu - T (RS)
akhilANDEshvari - jujAvanti - Adi - MD (R)
sharAvati taTa vAsini - sharAvati - rUpaka - MD
? - sAramati - rUpaka - ?
RTP in nATTaikurinji
3 akShara tIta eDuppu in caturashra jhampatALa
ardhI on anudhrtam
rAgamAlika swarams in shivaranjani,
sgmdns-sndmgs in gamanAshrama scale,
rEvati, shiva pantuvarALi
Couple of weird-rAgam tukkaDas
A song in nAdanAmakriya
Another song
'shlOkam'
It being a Saturday evening and at JP Nagar, I expected to see some forum members there, but whatever ...
It was almost overwhelming to hear sAvEri, bEgaDe, yadukulakAmbhOji and sAranga in a row. Salutations to Bhagyalakshmi mami for such a pristine unbroken chain of classical rAgams -- played so classically too!.
The varNam, too, was prefaced with not an outline, but a proper AlApanai.
The version of divAkara tanujam rendered was rather different, and more on the caukam side than what I've heard so far.
Smt Bhagyalakshmi completely experiences her music
The jujAvanti AlApanai explicated what Smt Bhagyalakshmi has said in an interview about using fewer plucks. Lots of notes packed in a single pluck make a lot of listeners very excited, so Smt Bhagyalakshmi has much to offer for those listeners too.
The krti, however was rendered impeccably, such perfection in such caukakAlam ... Smt Bhagyalakshmi's playing especially shines in the caukakAlam, with all the detail played with so much bhAvam.

The sharAvati composition (and also, I think, the sAramati composition) were played straight off a book. It went very smoothly, though! With eyes closed, no one could tell.

The nATTaikurinji rAgam was very elaborate, but I would have liked snatches (or more!) of fast phrases every here and there. I think SSI sings the best nATTaikurinjis, and what makes that so is that he builds this madhyama/duritakAla flow, and the rAgam just gushes out of him! I think something similar applies to sAvEri also.

The tAnam was very good too, supplemented with the ghanapanca rAgams (nATTai, gauLai, Arabhi, varALi and shrI).

The rAgamAlika almost made up for any want of light or scalar rAgams left by the first more-than-a-hattrick. It is nice though, to hear light rAgams this way, they allow kaNakku to flow more (without letting rAga bhAvam get in the way :P).

Just after the pallavi and the tani, in the announcement they said, "We don't have many veena kucheries here, because many vainikas do various kinds of gimmicks ..." at this point, many, including Bhagyalakshmi mami, made a sudden movement, and the organizer suffixed, "on the veena itself!!" (The speech was in Kannada, I'm translating from my very limited ability.)

It seemed to me to be a case of exploring very little veena music and forming opinions from that.

I found the "shlOkam" which was actually a Vedic kind of chant played on the veena (I hear SB used to play such things too) a gimmick (and actually a not-so-good one at that :P) ... perhaps it was done to indicate that gimmicks are unavoidable, and it will be good for listeners to learn to discriminate the good gimmicks from the bad ones. This gimmick was not a bad one, seeing as the music was played in two sthAyis at once (something I don't think is very easy -- what with a bend-of-string used for the shuddha riShabham). Many vaiNikas use this in between krtis also (I drool at it myself :P ... like when Trivandrum R Venkataraman plays that in munduvenuka's pallavi ... I've also seen Prof TT Narendran use it for mOkShamu galada ... and Prof TNK do something like it a little bit for eppo varuvArO's anupallavi -- on the violin. I think it was done in a krti in this concert also.) In the end, she even played a sa-s'a-s''a kind of thing using 'light-touch fingering' for getting higher octave ... something done in an acoustic guitar exercise (I'll find out which composition it is and post it here later, perhaps I can find a youtube link.)

I don't remember much about the percussion support this long after the concert, but it was unobtrusive (which, for a veena concert, is commendable in itself). The tani gelled well with the swarams played by Smt Bhagyalakshmi, and led nicely into the pallavi itself.
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#2  Postby CRama » 03 Aug 2012 11:44

That was a lovely review which shows how much you enjoyed the concert. I have not heard the name of this vidushi earlier.
After listening to Veena utsavs in the last couple of years, I am amazed at their dedication. The sheer commitment to the art without bothering about concert opportunities or less crowd is something I always admire in many of the vainikas.
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#3  Postby keerthi » 03 Aug 2012 12:10

Thanks for the review Srikant,

Smt. Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekhar is one of the most talented, senior vainikAs of Bangalore. Her style defies classification, and employs the sliding technique used by the Emani-Chitti Babu school [tEcchu vAsippadu] as well as the Tanjore technique of pulling multiple notes on the same fret [yizhuttu vAsippadu] in an excellent, judicious combination to great effect.

Her choice of songs as well as expositions of the kalpita and kalpana sections as almost always classy. She traces her musical (as well as biological?) lineage to the Mudikondan family.
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#4  Postby srikant1987 » 03 Aug 2012 12:46

Keerthi, thanks for pointing out -- the Mudikondan connection (I think as Sri Venkatarama Iyer's student) was mentioned in the speech.

But there is a world of difference between her music and Sri Mudikondan Ramesh's. And Smt Vedavalli's music is different from both! :D
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#5  Postby ganeshkant » 03 Aug 2012 13:25

srikant1987 wrote:sgmdns-sndmgs in gamanAshrama scale,


Is it SunAda vinOdini !
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#6  Postby gardabha_gana » 03 Aug 2012 22:44

Hmm... missed a concert that is literally walking distance :( how was the turnout srikant? Don't know where my weekends go these days :(
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#7  Postby kssr » 04 Aug 2012 22:52

BTM is bringing very good concerts. Smt. Vedavalli in August, an RTP cocert by MS Sheela and so on. It is worth watching their schedules.
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#8  Postby srikant1987 » 06 Aug 2012 06:54

how was the turnout srikant?

It was respectable. :) I think at least 70% or so of the hall was full. I sat in the front-most non-member row, so didn't get to study it much. Nice that you asked -- I'd made a mental note to mention it, but forgot.

Of the concerts I've attended in Bangalore, only Sri A Shankar Raman's concert at SRLKM had a heartbreakingly small audience -- and this one by Ashwini Sathish: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=18999
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#9  Postby srikant1987 » 08 Aug 2012 09:44

keerthi wrote:employs the sliding technique used by the Emani-Chitti Babu school [tEcchu vAsippadu] as well as the Tanjore technique of pulling multiple notes on the same fret [yizhuttu vAsippadu] in an excellent, judicious combination to great effect.

I generally frown at sliding for gamakams (and seated a little away from the stage and couldn't observe that that day).

However, I have seen Trivandrum Venkataraman use that at times. I think Kerala, Mysore as well as Karaikudi styles use sliding once in a while. I have certainly seen Ashwin Anand use that.

Another thing I noticed is Bhagyalakshmi mami sometimes plays the final sa often with a bent string (from an earlier fret) too. I found that interesting too. (Oh well! AGAIN I have seen Trivandrum Venkataraman do this in a mukhAri AlApanai, where he nicely pulled it from the da.)

Even I sometimes can't believe I have attended only four concerts by Sri Venkataraman!
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Re: Bhagyalakshmi Chandrasekaran @ BTM Cultural Academy, 21

#10  Postby bilahari » 12 Aug 2012 03:49

srikant1987 wrote:Just after the pallavi and the tani, in the announcement they said, "We don't have many veena kucheries here, because many vainikas do various kinds of gimmicks ..." at this point, many, including Bhagyalakshmi mami, made a sudden movement, and the organizer suffixed, "on the veena itself!!" (The speech was in Kannada, I'm translating from my very limited ability.)

It seemed to me to be a case of exploring very little veena music and forming opinions from that.



True! There are several vainikas today who deliver pristine music (Kalyani Ganesan, R. Ramani, etc)! I think instruments like the flute, mandolin, and violin are more prone to gimmickry/unnecessary displays of virtuosity.

A beautiful review indeed.
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