Dr. L Subramaniam – Sree Rama Seva Mandali – April 16, 2016

It’s been really long since I attended a Violin concert and that too by Padma Bhushan Dr. L Subramaniam and hence decided to give TMK’s concert in another venue, a miss. While I am happy to have met the great man and he recollected that we met in Intel (June 2015), I must say I am not satisfied with this concert.

Dr. L Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam were accompanied by Vid. V V Ramanamurthy on Mridangam, Vid. T N Radhakrishnan on Ghatam and Vid. G Satyasai on Morsing.

First of all, the Mandali was doing honors to some personalities from various domains and LS was chief guest. It ate up all the time and patience of audience as it went on and on. The concert that was supposed to start at 6:30 PM finally started at 7:30 PM.

  1. Bhairavi Ata Tala varnam
  2. Vatapi Ganapatim – Hamsadhwani
  3. Teliyaleru Rama – Dhenuka
  4. Niravadi Sukhada – Ravi Chandrika
  5. Venkatachala Nilayam – Sindhu Bhairavi

The concert started with Bhairavi Ata Tala varnam in 5 speeds – the LS trademark style. He stopped for something after playing 5 speeds and the percussionists assumed he stopped composition and played ending tani phrases. To everyone’s surprise, LS picked up the charanam and swaras from nowhere and that was a good end to varnam, although I didn’t like the break (LS sometimes does stop in the middle of compositions, and I never understood why he does!)

Then came, a detailed aalapana of Hamsadhwani and I was already guessing the composition that they were going to play… I wasn’t wrong. Some sangathis in the song were too good and it ended with some nice swara exchanges between both of them.

Very short Dhenuka aalapana followed by one of my favorite songs, Teliyaleru Rama was rendered with so much feel that I wish it went on for some more time. Again, he abruptly stopped, signalling VVR to start Tani avarthanam. Perhaps, none in auditorium, not even the percussionists expected this! VVR was surprisingly very dull, but was covered up by Radhakrishnan and Satya Sai very well. Tani avarthanam finally picked up and ended well.

Niravadi Sukhada was a straightforward presentation but the ending Sindhu Bhairavi aalapana was so soulful! I guess, he actually went into his “zone” by then, but alas, it was already 9:00 PM and he had to end his concert with very delightful rendition of Venkatachala Nilayam, followed by exquisite swara exchanges on both Violins. What a pity that we could only see him entering into his “zone” in the last piece of the night!! I wish he had continued for a while but the organizers already indicated to him earlier that the programme was till 9 PM only!

The sound system was very bad. I was hardly able to hear LS’ Violin and voice (whenever he talked anything) and every other instrument other than his Violin were sounding louder. My favorite musician, Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh says, “sound, along with silence between two notes are very important in classical music” and I could only understand the importance of that statement, very well, in this concert!