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Four People Win MITHAS Raffle

Haribabu Arthanari

Congratulations to the winners of the MITHAS raffle!
Yogesh Mishra, Deepika Madan, Chandan Kulkarni
and Rajesh Saluja.

(Check out Pandit Jasraj Concert on Oct 24.
He is a man who transcends the musical divides between Hindustani and Carnatic.)

MITHAS presents about 12 concerts every year - both Hindustani and Carnatic. In fact, just about a couple of weeks ago, MITHAS featured the great Carnatic musician, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, who wowed the audience in yet another FULL house concert. Here’s a review of that amazing concert.

Sanjay Lights-up Navaratri at MITHAS

Sanjay Subrahmanyan(vocal), Nagai Muralidharan(violin) and Neyveli Venkatesh(mridangam) gave a memorable concert on Navaratri eve at STATA auditorium at MIT. The concert started with a sparkling varnam "Sharanagatha Vatsale" a composition of his guru Calcutta Krishnamurthy in the ragam Kathanakuthuhalam. This was followed by a breezy Malayamarutham, Thyagaraja's "Manasa yetulo" with some brisk kalpanaswarams. Then Sanjay launched in to grand Anandhabhairavi giving full justice to the stature of the ragam and this was superbly followed by Nagai Muralidharan on the violin. The composition was Kavi Mathruboddaya's "Nee Mathi Salaka" with a haunting chittaswaram embedded in an intricate laya pattern. Historically, the addition of chittaswarams to kritis was pioneered by Ramaswamy Dikshitar and Kavi Mathruboddaya. Sanjay took the chittaswaram as the refrain for his kalpanaswara which was beautifully executed with some complex rhythmic patterns.

Sanjay's name is synonymous with vivadi ragams and of late he has been doing a phenomenal job of adding manodharmam (improvisation) to these ragams, but most of them do not have a lot of compositions in them leaving it to the artist to come up with the material.  This time it was ragam Gangeya Booshani, a homologue of Chalanattai with the suddha-daivatam. The composition was Thyagaraja's "Evvare Ramayya Ni Sari" with a beautiful swaraksharam at ni sa ri. Then, unfolded a grand Hamsanandi, a splendid effort by Sanjay with occasional transitions to the Nadaswaram dimension. Nagai Muralidharan's response was as though he was saying "Anything you can do, I can do better", absolutely brilliant. The composition was Swathi Tirunal's "Pahi Jagajjanani" which is said to be tuned/re-tuned by Muthiah Bhagavatar. Neyveli Venkatesh's tani-avarthanam was the icing on the cake. In addition to the astounding tani, his follow-up to calculations of Sanjay and Muralidharan was exceptional.

The main piece was followed by "Unn adiye gathi" a composition of G N Balasubramaniam (GNB) in the ragam Bahudari and "Jaya Jaya Gokula Bala" from the Krishna Leela Tarangini of Narayana Tirthar. The latter was a ragamalika in Bhairavi, Atana, Kamboji, Kalyani and Suruti with crisp cittaswarams in each ragam and the transition back to Bhairavi was exquisite.

Sanjay chose the ragam Dwijavanthi for RTP. Apparently this was the first time Sanjay sang an RTP in Dwijavanthi but ragam and tanam were rendered elegantly by Sanjay and Muralidharan. The Pallavi was "Senthil Nadhanai Sevipoom Vaareer Devadhi Devanai" in Khanda Jathi Triputa talam. The kalpanaswarams in Dwijavanthi was followed by Nagaswaravali and Ranjani and after the Ranjani swarams instead of returning to the pallavi he dived into GNB's Ranjani Niranjani and it is not a secret that Sanjay is smitten by GNB's style of music. After a brief Behag (Kandu Dhanya) Sanjay presented a medley of virutams. (ragams including Suddha dhanyasi, Shubha Panthuvarali, Yadukula Kambhoji) It was an evocative effort that affected every last person at STATA. The concert concluded with a piece in Mand and Mangalam.

It was a high energy event where the artists were in perfect unison with an outstanding chemistry between them. The improvisations were masterful and calculations in the rhythmic component were mind-boggling. We got to hear some classic, exotic and rare masterpieces from a wide array of composers. All this in spite of the fact that the artists were rushed directly from the Logan airport to the STATA center at 3.30pm.(thanks to a delayed flight) They hardly had time to change and check the sound system and proceeded to the concert without lunch!! 

True Professionals.

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