That was on Saturday (12-12-2009) I glanced through Mylapore times magazine. There were schedules of different music concert. But one name caught my eyes and it was T.M.Krishna.
I am going to hear a full fledged concert of that artiste for the first time. I was longing to hear him for the past years but unfortunately I could not make it. I had been hearing this artiste through radio or CD or TV. First time I am going to see him and hear his concert live!
With lot of enthusiasm I started for his evening concert 6:30 pm. Being a saturday the normal relaxed mood got imbibed into my mind. It was organised by Sruthi Laya kendra of Guru Karaikudi Mani (veteran mridangam player).
The first song was in the raga kalyani - rama nee vaadu kondo in rupaka talam. It was a composition of Saint Tyagaraja. I had never heard it before. This added more enthusiasm in me, looking forward for the kalpana swaras. The artiste sung niraval and then followed by kalpana swaras. TMK was at his peak in the very first song itself. I couldn't control my hand putting the tala when he sung the niraval and swaras.
Then was kuntala varali. He did a brief alapana of the raga. Many sitting beside me were not sure of the raga. I got it at the first line itself. This made me to be proud about myself (!). Just joking..
He sang unnai thudhikka - the first composition of Tamil Tyagaiah Papanasam sivan. Niraval was made in the first line of charanam "Ponnaattilum sirandha punniya kamalalayam". This was on Tiruvarur Tyagaraja swami. Following the niraval was the avalanche of swaras.
The third song was a quick vinaradana manavi in the raga devaganthari. This is one of the sri ranga pancharatnam that Saint Tyagaraja has composed on Srirangam Ranganathaswami. This is the raa patthu time of vaikunta Ekadesi and it remainded me of my days at trichy.
Fourth was the saveri ragam. Krishna did an innovative alapana for nearly 20 minutes. There is a ragamalika written by kadaloor subramanian "raga thil sirandha ragam yedhu". In that he would have mentioned - "kaveri pol odum saveriya". That was apt for the saveri sung by krishna. Amazing flow of swaras. The way krishna held for a long time in the uchcha sthayi swaras in the alapana was highly commendable. When he was trying the high pitched brihas it made me to think that he is arguing with the raga saveri. "Hey please come... Will you not come? Wait and see.. I will handle you..". Once the high pitched brihas were presented perfectly the next phrases made me to think that he was telling the raga devata, "see how I made you come? Good.. thanks..".
Then was the tanam which was also great. Krishna chose a pallavi set to khanda jaathi triputa taalam (2 kalai).
khanda jaathi - lagu has 5 counts (a beat followed by count using little, ring, middle and index fingers )and triputa talam (has a laghu + 2 dhrithams (dritham - beat + turn). So there are 5 + 2 + 2 = 9 counts and 2 kalai means tapping a count 2 times.
The pallavi he chose was "Sri rama para brahmma kripa paalam rama brahmma sutha sucharita". T.K.V.Ramanujacharyalu on the violin, B.Harikumar on the mridangam and B.S.Purushottaman on the kanjira offered a fantastic support to the singer. Singer was also enthusiastic in appreciating the accompanists wherever apt and encouraging them. This was the fantastic part of the concert. Not many concert will contain this portion where all are on the same page.
Ragamalika swaras were in the raga mohanam, malayamarutham, sindubhairavi. Of these sindubhairavi needs special appreciation.
Next was a bhimplas raga song on lord krishna - gokula... Then was my favourite muralidhara gopala in the raga maand. I heard MLV singing this song in the morning in my music player. Evening TMK sang. The last song was mangalam written by Bhadrachala ramadasa in the raga kurunji - Ramachandraya janaka raja jaa manoharaya..
It was a wonderful treat for the saturday evening by Krishna. Energy level never faded from the start to end.