Saturday, June 9, 2012

One of MDR's best concerts - MDR-LGJ-VR-VN

One of my favorite MDR concerts with Lalgudi Jayaraman, Vellore Ramabhadran and V. Nagarajan


Each song is a lesson in itself. It's clear from the outset that he was going to be in great form in this concert.


He starts off with Viriboni in a medium tempo which is a departure from his usual slow tempo for Ata tala varnams. This is one of my favorite renditions of Viriboni by MDR and by any artist in general though he doesn't repeat phrases as much as he does usually. For the mukthayi swarams, instead of finishing off with 'Sa Ni da pa, pa ma ga ri, Sa Ri Ni Da', he finishes with 'Sa,,, Pa,,, Sa' allowing VR and Lalgudi to fill in the gaps. MDR uses this technique often maybe because he believed that the listener sings in the mind. VR and Lalgudi are in great form in this concert as well. Lalgudi's glides in the background should be paid close attention to and he's ever alert in filling the gaps.

Just when you think he's done, he surprisingly starts off with swaras at Chirrunavvu. He completely reveals Bhairavi in those few minutes of swarams. Lalgudi's replies are crisp and shining. The last round where MDR starts off with 'Ri Ri Ri Ri' will probably remain in my mind forever.


To be contd..


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why MDR?

It's a well-known fact that I'm a huge MDR fan. My wife on the other hand has never understood my penchant for MDR's music. She prefers artists like Kalyanaraman, Sanjay, Balamurali, etc. She has often asked me to explain why I like MDR so much. Being a náive rasika, I have always found it hard to explain the X factor that MDR's music has. I'm going to try and explain through this blog along with a few recordings.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Genius of Balamurali

Balamurali sings swaras for Sri Ramana Vibho which is a very catchy song in Arabhi by Swati Tirunal. The title of this post is explained at 3:38. He sings regular BMK-style swaras till that point and then produces something out of this world. Some people might argue that it's not Arabhi but who cares.

Sri Ramana Vibho

Here's one more version by Prof. Venkataramanan. He sings swaras at Rama Sodara Durita Samuha which is equally catchy.

Teratheeyaga Gowlipantu

MDR left his stamp so hard on some krithis that it's really difficult to listen to other renditions no matter how hard you try. This is one such example. Each and every syllable and swara oozes with bhavam. This is stripping music to its bare bones and presenting it in all its beauty.

Abhishek Raghuram

I don't know how I chanced upon Abhishek Raghuram. Probably heard people talking about in I've been hooked ever since I started listening to him. I think he's an extremely intelligent musician who probably works really hard to make his voice do the things his mind wants to do. He seems to have borrowed the best of S.Kalyanaraman, Balamurali, TNS and others. His ideas seem to keep gushing out and I guess he has a hard time coming to a stop sometimes. There's a pretty good collection of his music on Sangeethapriya. I especially recommend his Sri Valli Devasenapathe, Needayaradha in Vasantabhairavi (the alapana is one of its kind), Seethamma Mayamma. Of course, there's his magnum opus Thodi at the Music Academy in 2010.

Here's a link to his Needayaradha