Concert season in Chennai

I decided to come back to Chennai for a span of about 48 hours, to finish some fee payment at IIT, as well as to listen to concerts, which occur at almost every available auditorium in Chennai between 25th December and 30th December.

My friend Prasanna, who is like my “Guide” and Encyclopedia for Carnatic Music had already planned the concert schedule for the day. So we met at about 3:45 PM opposite the Music Academy, under the flyover, and after a brief “lunch” at Woodlands Hotel, sat for Sri Sangeeta Kalanidhi M.S. Gopalakrishnan’s concert at the auditorium in Woodlands Hotel (Valayapatti Sabha)

For the Carnatic newbie who had never heard any of the “Gods” live before that I am, Sri MSG and Smt. Narmada (daughter) were simply stunning on the Violin. They started off with Nattiakurinji Varnam. It was simply stunning IMO. The main piece was in tODi, and somehow I wasn’t able to appreciate that, considering my n00bishness. They also performed a wonderful rAgamAlikai based on Hindustani Ragas (Desh, Darbari Kanada, Behag, Bhimpalasi). I really enjoyed this concert.

Then, after a brief snack at the Music Academy canteen, we went to Sri Sangeeta Kalanidhi T.N. Sheshagopalan’s concert. He was accompanied by Sri Guruvayoor Dorai on the Mrdangam and Sri Sangeeta Kalanidhi M. Chandrashekaran on the Violin, apart from Ghatam, Tambura and Vocal accompaniments. Sri TNS was simply amazing, except for his lack of hold of the swaras – which must be attributed to his old age. (He also went totally off-rAga once). For the first time, I heard and “understood” a “Shrutibhedam” or “Grahabhedam”. Sri TNS performed Chakkaniraja in Kharaharapriya and RTP in hamsAnandI. The RTP was simply stunning. Almost nobody understood the mathematics of his kOrvai – it was so complicated! Sri M. Chandrashekaran, Sri Guruvayoor Dorai and the Ghatam artist were amazing as well.

Enjoyed it thoroughly. Looking forward to a similar experience tomorrow, with N. Ramani on the flute and the Hyderabad Brothers.