Saketharaman – RT Nagar Cultural Academy – September 25, 2016

Saketharaman and team delivered a fine concert at RT Nagar Cultural Academy, as part of their annual music festival. I was pleasantly surprised to know the sabha has been doing programmes for 26 years now!

Sri Saketharaman was accompanied by Guru Sri H K Venkatram on Violin, Sri Mannargudi Easwaran on Mridangam and Sri B N Chandramouli on Khanjira.

  1. Saranu Siddhi Vinayaka – Sourashtram
  2. Paahi Parvathanandini – Aarabhi
  3. Mamava Meenakshi – Varali
  4. Ramanama payasakke – Ananda Bhairavi
  5. Evaritho Nenu – Manavathi
  6. Satatam tavaka pada sevanam – Kharaharapriya
  7. <Some Tamil Composition> – Ragamalika
  8. Dayamado ranga – Madhukauns
  9. Bhaja bhaja manasa raghavendram – Bhajan
  10. Thillana – Khamas
  11. Pavamana Suthudu – Sourashtram

I generally like concerts starting with a Varnam but this started with a krithi in Sourashtram and was good too. Aarabhi aalapana was lovely on both Vocals and Violin – although I never heard this krithi, it was very pleasing. Kalpana swaras at the end of it were free flowing and with so much of energy to set the stage for next 2 hours or so.

Saketh’s detailed Varali sounded a little different to me but I really liked the wonderful return on the Violin by my Guru. It was very soulful and no wonder I enjoyed it, because Varali is one of my favorite ragas. Niraval on “Shyame Shankari Digvijaya pratapini” was outstanding! When Varali started, I somehow felt like listening to Ananda Bhairavi and I was pleasantly surprised to hear the same as the next item. I have, in fact, asked Saketh, if he knows face/mind reading! 🙂

Ananda Bhairavi is again, one of my favorite ragas and it was a pure delight to hear the aalapana on both Vocal and Violin, followed by the composition. Some phrases are still ringing in my ears!

A very short aalapana of Manavati (first time for me) was intriguing and the composition was sung very fast. He tried to showcase some gamakas even at that speed, which was interesting.

A detailed Kharaharapriya aalapana was indeed very nicely presented. He probably did a Graha Bhedam to some ragam for a very brief while but I couldn’t identify it. I was expecting an RTP but it turned out to be yet another composition that I never heard before. The Niraval on the second line of last charanam was very special with Mannargudi showing his class. Kalpana swaras were again in multiple nadais and there were many special patterns around Rishabham. Tani Avarthanam by Mannargudi and Chandramouli was outstanding. I generally don’t understand most of the Tani patterns but I really liked every bit of it, especially on Mridangam.

The vote of thanks was really long and boring. I understand, it was the last day of the festival and they were perhaps obliged to do it the way they did. Sponsors are of course very very important, but I think, they should keep it short, quick and simple.

Some Tamil song in Ragamalika followed, which I could not figure out. Dayamado Ranga was the repeat from the last concert of Saketharaman that I attended. The concert ended with a nice Bhajan on Raghavendra Swamy, a Thillana in Khamas (by Lalgudi ?), followed by traditional Mangalam.

Overall, it was a nice concert with amazing team of musicians, with a bad sound system that created problems more often, with screeching sound!

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