Tag Archives: Live Concert review

Sudha Raghunathan Live

Sudha R 002Live concerts are a rare treat in my life as there aren’t many Carnatic musicians who venture into Switzerland. Though I spend quite a few months in Melbourne each year, the timing has never been right for the big concerts held by CMC here. This trip has been better timed; I was happy to attend Sudha Raghunathan’s concert on Sunday but am rather sad to be missing Bombay Jayashri who comes in May.

On Sunday evening, at 7pm, I walked into the nearly full concert hall with keen anticipation. These occasions are a happy mix of culture, socialising and people watching. A young lady I met confessed to having not much interest in the music; she just wanted to check out who was wearing what! I was myself curious about Sudha Raghunathan’s sari, her collection being quite famous. She looked very nice in a golden yellow sari, I am happy to report!

She was accompanied this evening by B.V.Raghavendra Rao on the violin and Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan on the Mridangam. The concert was a solid 3.5+ hours with no intermission. Her selections were :

  • Innam En Manam in Charukesi, composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman.
  • Pranamamyaham Gowri Sutam in Gowla, composed by Mysore Vasudevachar.
  • Govinda Rajena Rakshitoham in Mecha Bauli, composed by Muthuswami Dikshithar.
  • Endraikku Shiva Krupai in Mukhari, composed by Neelakantha Sivan.
  • Bantureeti in Hamsanaadam, composed by Tyagaraja.
  • Mani Noopura Dhari in Neelambari, composed by Oothukadu Venkata Subbaiyer.
  • Chesidanella in Todi, composed by Tyagaraja
  • Guruvayur Appane Appan in Ritigowla, composed by Ambujam Krishna.
  • RTP  in 5 ragas, pallavi : raghunAyakA (Hamsadhwani)  raghunandanA (Sahana) raghuvara (Pantuvarali)  ramAbhirAma (Darbar) nI samAna evaru rAmA (Kharaharapriya) raghunAykA
  • Bare Panduranga in Mand, an Abhang by Sant Tukaram.
  • Ayiram Ayiram Gopirgalodu in Charukesi, composed by Nila Ramamurthi.
  • Innudaya Barade in Kalyana Vasantam, composed by Purandaradasa.
  • Thillana in Behag, composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman.

My sister and brother-in-law did not like the concert at all. I don’t feel as negative but still, it didn’t leave me enthralled. Having limited technical knowledge, I can only judge a concert on how it makes me feel, how absorbed I get in the music and how it lingers in my mind.  Evidently, that depends as much on my mood as on the artist so it is all very subjective.

That said, I was disturbed by the choice of kritis and ragas. Bantureeti for example, I would have preferred 2 down or 3 down; after a peaceful Mukhari, I found the cheerful briskness of Hamsanaadam very disturbing. Neelambari that early in the concert felt equally disturbing – I prefer it in the post RTP spot, unless it is a varnam of course. Todi as the heavy piece was executed with ease and expertise; the post RTP choices were also good.

As to the RTP, though it is normally my favourite item in a concert, I did not take to it. RTPs are a vehicle for the artists to display their technical skills and this RTP definitely allowed them to show their vidvat. However, given my lack of knowledge, all I wish for is to drown myself in music. The 5-raga RTP actually never allowed me to get into the mood of any raga. The pallavi itself was clever, a mix of title-phrases from different Tyagaraja compositions, each sung in the raga of the source kriti. But I did not enjoy the mix. In fact, Hamsadhwani did not suit me this late in the concert at all. It all goes to show that I am a traditionalist, which rather surprises me!

I recorded some of the music in my handheld camera; there was no announcement to the contrary. Without a tripod to help, I am sad to say that the the results are too shaken to show you. The audio is not great either, there were children crying, people whispering etc. Still, its not too bad and if you wish, you can enjoy a listen below.

Pranamamyaham Gowri Sutam -10:18

Endraikku Shiva Krupai -9:38

RTP -46:51

Innudaya Barade -6:39

Thillana -4:15


Filed under Carnatic Music, Sudha Raghunathan