Chamber Music Concert - 2nd February, 2003

Sri M.Subramanian former Vice President of Sangeetha Rasika Sangam, Chennai 92 gave a Veena Concert at his residence in Natesa Nagar on the 2nd Feb, 2003 before a small gathering of Vidwans (vocal and instrumental), music lovers and his friends and students. The concert was without a mike system except to amplify the contact mike used for the Veena. Master A.Sreekumar accompanied him on the Mridangam.

Sri Subramanian an ex-Postmaster General, is a musician and a versatile musicologist having applied computer techniques to generate and analyse carnatic music. Nevertheless he is a strict traditionalist and would not deviate by introducing modernity into carnatic classicals. He has great acumen to make music richer and livelier, by focussing on Sruthi and Layam which, according to him are two facets of the same coin. Having learnt veena under great vidwans Late Sri S.Ramanathan, Late Sri A.Muthia and Travandrum Sri R.Venkataraman, his skills on Veena have endeared many rasikas to him closer.

He opened the concert with Dheekshithar's Maha Ganapathim in Nattai. It was neatly executed with sweet swara renderings. Next to follow was Saveri.   Sankari Sankuru of Syama Sastri was presented with great refinement and poured melody into the ears of the listneers.

Ragam Hindolam was portrayed crisply, without losing its classical rigour. Samayamidhe of Thanjavur Sankara Iyer (which has a few unusual prayogams) was rendered with bhava and devotion to the deity of Samayapuram.

Sri Subramanian, while picturing Kalyani, proceeded with methodical steps in the swara scale. The creative elements of the raga were magnificently displayed with skillful fingering on the Veena. Sundari Nee Divya Roopamuna, one of the Tirvotriyur Pancharathna krithis of Thyagayyar had a melodious appeal and was like a gem bedecked in an ornament of gold adorning the Devi. The krithi and swaraprastharam explored the depth of the raga which is based completely on expression of Theevra swarams only.

Naanoru vilayattu bommaya in Navarasakannada of Papanasam Sivan excited the audience with its continously flowing melody

Yet another krithi if Sivan Kaa Vaa Vaa in Varali expressed in as many technically feasible phrases as could be thought of , was rendered with devotion after elaborating the raga fully.

Thyagayyar's Challare Sri Ramachandruni in Ahiri in Misra Chapu was a brilliant exposition in terms of its technical content and lucidity of expression.

Sri Subramanian cheered the listeners with songs in Yamuna Kalyani (Krishna nee begane) and Kalyanavasantham (Nadaloludai). Subramanian Bharathiar's Ragamalika Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai, in kandachapu executed in a fast tempo was both expressive in its melodic content and endearment to Lord Krishna. The ragas Sindubhairavi, Kamas, Shanmukhapriya and Mand were decorative and imparted an impulse of spontaneous appreciation by the audience. Apart from Krishna nee begane another krithi which was played in Madhyamasruthi was Kanakasaila in Punnagavarali by Syama Sastri.

Master Sreekumar (presently a desciple of the well known Mridanga Acharya Rajappayyar) performed as a responsible percussionist, subduing or increasing the volume of the beats, as demanded by the occasion. His 'Thani' was noteworthy.

Sri Subramanian conclued the recitel with 'Pathiki Haarathire' - the Surati uthsava sampradaya krithi of Thayagaraja for Mangala harathi.

An innovation in the concert was the distribution of printed copies of the lyrics of the lesser known pieces, which enabled the listeners to hear the words of the songs although it was an instrumental concert.

Review by

Joint Secretary,
Sangeetha Rasika Sangam,
Chennai - 92