A Tribute to M.S.Subbulakshmi; 1916 -2004

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This page is moving to a new location. In order to improve the blog an add more useful and interesting features we have created a new blog at : www.blog.msstribute.org.

You can also visit the new Facebook Page

Many thanks for following this blog. We hope to see you on our new pages.




Thursday, February 28, 2013

This page is moving to a new location.  In order to improve the blog and add more useful and interesting features we have created a new blog at  www.blog.msstribute.org.

You can also visit the new facebook Page at : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-to-MSSubbulakshmi/160104100800753?ref=hl

Many thanks for following this blog. We hope to see you on our new pages.



Saturday, January 19, 2013

MSS - Range of Repertoire - Part 1

Here is a link to a debate on MSS' music that occurred during the Chennai December 2012 Music Season.

Kaatrin Kural Episode 8

where you can listen to participant Sindhuja's verbal waterfall listing of composers whose songs  were part of MSS' vast and varied repertoire.

Inspired by Sindhuja,  we are enclosing below a sample of MSS' repertoire, starting with Pre-Trinity Composers  and also sharing a few examples of the songs of each composer.

The multiple sources for this information include Sindhuja's comprehensive list in the above video, MSS discography compiled by Navaneet Venkatesan(a student of Smt Radha Viswanathan),  song lists in  MSS concerts on Sangeethapriya.org  website,  wikipedia sites including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Carnatic_composers, the Compositions of  the Trinity and Svati Tirunaal books compiled and edited by Shri T.K. Govinda Rao ...

This is just a starter list that gives a glimpse into the range of  compositions that MSS has sung over multiple decades and does not come anywhere close to the complete repertoire of MSS.

Part 1

 Sanskrit Verses

Adi Shankara
Kara Charana (Slokam),
Bhaja Govindam (Ragamalika),
Ganesha Pancaksharam,
Siva pancaksharam,
Annapurnashtakam …
Tato yajne (Slokam) (Ragamalika)
Tamil Verses

Mudi Onri (Ragamalika)
Other Alwars
Vandina muralum colai (Pasuram – Todi),
Kulam tarum celvam (Pasuram – Mohanam)
Artha Piravi(Sankarabaranam),
Moyar tadam (TiruvempAvai – Purvikalyani)
Pre-Trinity Composers

First recording of Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi at the age of 8 years, 1924 -  Marakata vadivum (Senchurutti).
Adirum Kazhal(Kanada),
Iyal Esai(Huseni),
Nada Bindu Kaladi (Senchurutti), …
Sriman Narayana (Bhouli),
Bhavayami Gopalabalam (Yamuna Kalyani), Natanala (Lalitha), …
Arunachala Kavi
Sharanam Sharanam Raghuraama (Sourashtram)
 Yarendru Raghavanai (YadukulaKhambhoji)
Enaku Iru Padam (Ragamalika) …
Bhadrachala Ramadasar
Enna Ganu Rama Bhajana (Pantuvarali)
Vadasiyadi kinchidapi(Mukhari),
Dasavataram-Gita Govindam (Ragamalika),...

Krishna ni begane baro(Yamuna Kalyani)
Kshetragna Padams
Kuvalayakshiro (Gaulipantu),
Paiyyada (Nadanamakriya),
Moratopu calada(Sahana), …
Mari Mutthu Pillai
Kalai tookki (Yadukulakambhoji)
Teruvil Varano (Khamas),
Arar Asai Padar(Nadanamakriya)
Narayana Theerthar
Pahi Pahi Maam (Bhouli)
Sharanu Siddhi Vinayaka(Sourashtram), Jagadoddharana (Kapi),
Naneke Badavanu (Behag),
Kaliyugadalli (Senchurutti), ...

In  Part 2, we will share a list of the Age of Trinity Composers.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

MSS and Pandit Ravi Shankar

The MS I Knew

"M.S. Subbulakshmi was a simple woman with divinity in her voice" Pandit Ravi Shankar

In the foreword for the book MS & Radha by Gowri Ramnarayan,
Pandit Ravi Shankar wrote about meeting MS for the first time :
"met her for the first time after my first solo recital at the Madras Music Academy in end December 1949. It was  a most thrilling experience to see her sitting in the front row along with all the senior, great musicians. I heard her, during that same period and many more times in several parts of the world. I became an ardent fan of hers like millions of others."

MSS Tribute Gallery - A picture of MSS and Pandit Ravi Shankar - (Third Picture)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MSS at the UN - 1966


Link to the article in the Hindu  : Moment of pride for all Indians 

"The day was October 23. MS held the distinguished audience in thrall."

Link to Youtube video featuring a couple of songs -

MSS Tribute website -  Link to photos from the UN Tour

MSS Tribute website - Link to the brochure  prepared in conjunction with M.S.Subbulakshmi’s 1966 concert tour of      Europe and North America which included the concert for the United Nations General Assembly 

Friday, November 16, 2012

MSS - Kalyani - Festival of India

Here is  a link to a video of MSS singing Kalyani Ragam at the Festival of India in Moscow

From Gowri Ramnarayan's article in the Hindu Folio -  Transcending time and space 

"The year 1988, the place Rachmaninoff Hall, Moscow. M. S. Subbulakshmi sings a resonant Kalyani, with the nuanced depth that would move a diehard Mylapore connoisseur. But the packed hall of Russian listeners, some of them experts in western music as performers, scholars and students, are mesmerised by the vocal magic. To most of them, this is the first exposure to Indian, and certainly Carnatic music. During a pause, a woman comes up to the
stage to offer flowers, with tears spilling down her cheeks. There is rapt silence for the two hours of the recital. Then a roar of thunder. The standing ovation continues, the applauding listeners follow the artiste as she makes her way out of the hall, down the staircase, and into the car on the street..."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

MS - Sankarabaranam

From  the book MS & Radha by  Gowri Ramnarayan

" More than any other raga, MS was identified with Sankarabaranam. Her kritis were each a  gem - Akshaya linga vibho, Sarojadala netri, Shri Dakshinamurte, Sankaracharyam, Shri Chandrasekhara yatindram ...

He (Semmangudi) was to call her Gandaralakshmi .."

In her article the MS Phenomenon published in the Hindu Frontline,  Gowri Ramnarayan writes

"Precisely these aspects mark Subbulakshmi's singing. This is true of those portions without verbal elements, like the raga alapana. Just as the devotee individuates the deity through incantation and description - detailing every limb, look and ornamentation - the singer shapes the raga, always starting
with clear strokes to pedestal its identity and going on to breathe it to form and life. The enunciation of the antara gandhara (Sankarabharanam, Khambhoji, Pantuvarali, Kedaragowla) in the upper register -as a long-held note, as the end-point of embellishments, or the pivot of note clusters, mounts to fever pitch. Hands sculpt the air, face turns upwards, eyes gaze at the beyond, and suddenly there comes the madhyama/panchama climax and the rounded process of the conclusion, all accomplished with seemingly effortless grace. After plumbing the depths and soaring to the heights, the listener emerges into quietude."

Link - MS singing Sankarabaranam

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sep 16 - Birth Anniversary of MS

"All her life, Subbulakshmi was to be hypnotised by the sound of tambura strings. There was clinical absorption in her act of tuning the two tamburas, Lakshmi and Sarasvati, each with ivory vignettes of the goddesses on the stem. With multi-stringed Miraj tamburas, this became sheer obsession. (She rewarded daughter and vocal accompanist Radha with her warmest smile whenever she achieved perfect tuning in the twin tamburas). Time stood still as she played the strings and sang slow phrases, pausing on different notes to exult, “Can you hear the gandhara now? Madhyama? Nishada?” Then, reluctantly, she would place the tambura on the mat, touching the stem with her fingers and pressing them lightly on her eyes in a gesture of worship.

Even her childhood games revealed Kunja’s absorption in the art form. One of them started with tuning the tambura carefully until the plucked strings cast a spell with their resonance. Eyes closed, she was lost in another world. Then she stopped, sang without the tambura, and plucked the strings again to check if she had stayed true to sruti. Throughout the day, in between household jobs, she kept returning to the tambura to see if she could recall that pitch steadily and accurately."   

Link to the full excerpt from MS and Radha by Gowri Ramnarayan :