Madurai Somasundaram

somu

A great musician with a very emotive way of singing and reverence for his Guru Chitoor Subramanya Pillai. There is debate on whether he got the due respect that he deserved as a great musician, but going by the number of his fans and followers, I would say that he is one of the greats of the 20th century even if the establishment did not do justice to his accomplishments.

In listening to him you get the impression that he is lost in his own world with total abandon, but a careful look at the make up of the concert, you can see that he is closely in connection with the audience taking them thru everything one is looking for in a concert – music, improvisation/manodharmam, devotion, humor and total involvement. His constant bantering and encouragement of the accompanying artists is delightful and after listening to his concert, listening to anyone makes you feel that you have walked into a serious class room!!

He is recognized for being the one to bring about the ‘Full Bench concert’ – filling up the stage with performing artists rather than chelas of sort; by that i mean he had at least 3 percussion artists in his concerts making the tani avartanam part a total blast.

If one thought that Kalyanaraman almost always throws a vivadi ragam sending you into a frenzy of trying to figure out what it is, Somu not only includes a whole lot of compositions never heard of but also in not so familiar and rare ragams.

Radio was the only source for Somu while I was growing up and my exposure to him was rather limited. Then there were a few film songs – again on the radio. It was in the early 80’s when a friend of mine gave me a recording of a concert which was literally eye popping; unfortunately the recording was not complete with the kambhOji piece abruptly cut off.

Added on Apr 3, 2021

Later, I came into possession a whole bunch of recordings. I spent the last two months listening to the concerts, cleaning them up to the extent I could, documenting them and prepping them for sharing on my blog. I hope you enjoy these recordings as much as I did in the last one month.

One thing that emerged in this month of listening solely to Somu, it is clear that he had his list of favorites and it is almost certain that his fans/listeners wanted him to sing his and their favorites. So, in the concerts you have here, you will find numerous repeats of compositions and ragams. And you also get to listen to his own compositions and compositions of people unknown to me. In some of the compositions that are probably his, he includes the name of the ragam and sings those lines with emphasis too; and this is particularly helpful in the ragams that are not common and many perhaps created by him.

I am quite sure that there are mistakes in my documentation of the ragams – please let me know and I will correct them.

Also note that the recording quality of some concerts are sub-par, but the quality of music makes that irrelevant.

Another observation is that Lalgudi Jayaraman and M Chandrasekaran are perhaps his favorite accompaniments and given the number of concerts with these two, I have create independent pages for the two of them.

Concerts with Lalgudi Jayaraman

Concerts with M Chandrasekaran

The rest of concerts starting with M S Gopalakrishnan as the accompaniment.

with M S Gopalakrishnan and Tiruchi Sankaran

  • varNam – AbhOgi
  • pAhi pAhi gajAnana – nATa
  • nannu brOvu – sunAdavinOdini
  • rAmA neepai – kEdAram
  • upachAramu – bhairavi
  • kadalE vADu – nArAyaNagowLa
  • O rAma neenAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • EtArO – mOhanam
  • brOva bArama – bahudAri
  • banTuriti kOlu – hamsanAdam
  • rAmA rAmA – sanakarAbaraNam
  • sankara paramEswari – rAgamAlika
  • manohari tAyE – rAgamAlika
  • nEnendu vedakudurA – karAnataka behAg
  • mariyAda gAdayyA – bhairavam
  • various

M S Gopalakrishnan – violin
Vellore Ramabhadran – mridangam
K M Vaidyanathan – ghatam
Pudukotai Mahadevan – morsing

Shanmukananda hall, Mumbai

  • varNam – dEvamanOhari
  • vallabha mahAgaNapatE – gOmedakapriya or gOmethakapriya
  • dEvAdi dEva – sindhunAmakriyA
  • abhayamu – Ahiri
  • manavinala – naliNakAnti
  • sri rAjarAjeswari – kAmbhOji
  • banTureeti kolu – hamsanAdam
  • evarani – dEvAmrutavarshiNi
  • rAgasudhArasa – AndOlika
  • RTP – shanmukapriyA
  • ninaikAda nEram illai
  • nAmpADum pATTellAm
  • enna kavi pAdinAlum
  • madurai arasALum – rAgamAlika
  • various

with M Chandrsekaran

  • mahAganEsam – hamsavinOdini
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • various

M S Gopalakrishnan – violin

From Vinyl

  • kalaimagaLum – kalyANi
  • ninaikkum podellAm – karaharapriyA
  • oru murai – hindOLam

M S Gopalakrishnan – violin
Vellore Ramabhadran – mridangam

Shanmukananda Hall, Mumbai

  • varNam – suddha dhanyAsi
  • mahA gaNEsam – hamsavinOdini
  • manasulOni – suddha hindOlam
  • sundarEswara – madhulikA
  • ninnu nera namminAnu – pantuvarALi
  • shivE pAhimAm – kalyANi
  • varAlandukoni – gurjari

Tiruvellore Subramanian – violin
T K Murthy – Mridangam
T H Vinayakaram – Ghatam
Mayuram ?? – Morsing

At Vadapazhani Murugan Koil – Concert incomplete

  • kaitala niraikani – jaganmOhini
  • cokkanAtanE sundarEswara – vAchaspati
  • mAtangi manOnmaNi – sunAdhavinOdini
  • aruNagiri pADum – AbhOgi
  • pAdi madi nadi – shanmukapriyA
  • nambina pErkalai – bAgEsri
  • urugAdA – chakravAgam
  • RTP – sankarAbaraNam
  • enna kavi pAdinAlum
  • madurai arasALum meenAkshi – rAgamAlika
  • viruttam

Tiruvellore Subramanian – violin
Tanjavoor Upendran – Mridangam
C K Shyamsundar – Ghatam

  • vallabha mahA gaNapatE – brindAvani
  • dEvAdi dEva – sindhunAmakriyA
  • manasulOni – vAramu
  • neelakanTa mahAdEva – kuvalayAbharaNam
  • rAma nannu brOvara – harikAmbOji
  • shivE pAhiumAm – kalyANi
  • evarani – dEvAmrutavarshini
  • rAgasudhArasa – AndOlikA
  • maivEre dikkevarayya rAma – shanmukapriyA
  • rAma rAma enDru
  • various

L Subramanian – violin
C S Murugaboopathuy – Mridangam

Music Academy, 1979

  • varNam – tODi
  • praNava swaroopa – gowLa
  • sundarEswara – sivapriyA
  • meenAkshi mEmudam – poorvaikalyANi
  • paritApamu – manOhari
  • manasulOni – vAramu
  • sri subramanya – kAmbhOji
  • vinavE – vivardhani
  • sogasugA – sriranjani
  • RTP – shanmukapriyA
  • various

Kumbakonam Ravindran – Violin
Madurai Subramaniam – Mridangam

May be Rasikapriya, Ernakulam

Somu talks in English numerous times; in one place, he admonishes the violin accompaniment it seems by pointing out kalyANi is not yamunakalyANi !!

  • varNam – udaya ravichandrika
  • abheeshTa varada – hamsadwani
  • swAmiki nee(???) – OmkarapOshini
  • siva siva siva ena rAdA – pantuvarALi
  • mAdA neeyE – kalyANi
  • marugElara – jayantasree
  • prakkala nilapaDi – karaharapriyA
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • rAma nAmamu – aTANA
  • RTP – kAmbOji
  • enna kavi pADinAlum – neelamaNi
  • madurai arasALum – rAgamAlika

Kandadevi Alagirisami – violin
Palghat Krishnaswamy – Mridangam
Pudukkode Krishnamurthy- Morsing

Music Academy, 1964

  • varNam – darbAr
  • mahA gaNapatE – naTanArAyaNi
  • sankara pAhi – reetigowLa
  • eTulabrOtuvOvayyA – chakravAgam
  • pAlincu – kAmbhOji
  • varAlendu kummani – gurjari
  • enduku daya rAdurA – tODi (incomplete)
  • O rAma neenAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • RTP – bEgaDA
  • various

C S Murugaboopathuy – Mridangam

Devakottai

  • varNam – pantuvarALi
  • pakkaravichitra – mAyAmALavagowla
  • gajAnanm – hamsadwani
  • sankara pAhi – reetigowla
  • abhayam – Ahiri
  • enta vEDukOndu – saraswatimanOhari
  • singAravElanai – dhanyAsi
  • eesanai ?? – Arabhi
  • nija marmamulanu – umAbharaNam
  • evarani – dEvAmrutavarshini
  • sankara paramEswari – rAgamAlika
  • rAgasudhArasa – AndOlikA
  • vallagAtana – sankarAbaraNam
  • tAyE yasOda – tODi
  • seyyAda tozhil – shanmuykapriyA
  • muruganai – shanmuykapriyA
  • ADalai pADuvOm – rAgamAlika
  • enna kavi pADinAlum – neelamaNi
  • kavi pADum – sindhu bhairavi
  • azhagiya mayil
  • RTP – kAmbhOji
  • nambina pErkalai – bAgesri
  • ninaikAda nEramillai – ragEsree
  • mADu mEikkum – dEsh
  • various

Vishakapatnam

  • praNavaswaroopa – hEmavati
  • raghunAyaka – hamsadwani
  • neelakanTa – vasantabhairavi
  • ninnu nEra – pantuvarALi
  • vandE – nATakurunji
  • brOva bArama – bahudAri
  • koluvamaragadA – tODi
  • O rAma neenAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • rAma nAmamu – aTANA
  • RTP – keeravANi
  • various
  • mAmava meenAkshi – sunAda vinOdini
  • rAnidhi – maNirangu
  • various
  • varNam – tODi – Adi
  • sri gaNapati – saurAshtram
  • sankara abhirAmi – kamalAmanOhari
  • amma rAvamma – kalyANi
  • E rAmuni nammitinO – vakulAbaraNam
  • manasu ranjilla – Arabhi
  • koluvamaragada – tODi
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • evarani – dEvAmrutavarshini
  • rAma nAmamu – aTANA
  • RTP – shanmukapriyA
  • gAngEyam – shanmukapriyA
  • brOva samayamidirA – neelAmbari
  • mariyAda kAdayya – bhairavam – incomplete
  • varNam – dEvamanOhari
  • vallabha mahA gaNapatE – brindAvani
  • siva siva siva – pantuvrALi
  • paramEswaram – guhamanOhari
  • rAma neepai – kEdAram
  • kAnchi kAmAkshi – sunAdavinOdini
  • nEnendu vedakudurA – karnATaka behAg
  • kAmAkshi ammA – bhairavi
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • rAma nAmamu – aTANA
  • nannu brOvu amma – sivaranjani
  • varNam – hamsavinOdini
  • gajAnanam – hamsadwani
  • siva siva siva – pantuvarALi
  • mAmadurapuri meenAkshi – kAmbOji
  • banTureeti – hamsanAdam

AIR

  • sundari nee divya – kalyANi

AIR – Sep 23, 2004

  • mahA gaNapatim – gOpikatilakam
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • rAjarAjEswari – manOhari
  • murganai ninaindurugi
  • All tukkadas
  • vella vinAyakam bhajarE manasa – brindAvani
  • dEvAdi dEva sadAsiva – sunAdavinOdini
  • gnAnamosagaradA – poorvikalyANi
  • chalamElarA – mArgahindOlam
  • nagumOmu – AbhEri
  • enna kavi pAdinAlum
  • O rAma nee nAmam – poorvikalyANi
  • rAma nAmamanu – aTANA
  • krishnA nee bEganE – yamunAkalyANi
  • tirupugazh

AIR Tribute

  • Announcement
  • LambOdara – oormikA
  • sivE pAhimAm – kalyANi
  • kAmAkshamma – tODi
  • RTP – keeravANi
  • various

13 thoughts on “Madurai Somasundaram

  1. Very mentioning of Madurai Somu makes me emotional. Though I have no music knowledge, I was somehow attracted to his singing, and everytime I listen to him, tears flow. Enna kavi paadinalum…is ultimate. To me , Somu is right on top.

  2. My first live concert of Somu in Dec 1972 @ Tamil Isai Sangam and then onwards I had the opportunity to attend several concerts till May 1975. He is #1 on my list and always will be.

  3. There are some songs you associate with some singers/instrumentalists inseparably. ‘Enna kavi padinalum’ and Somu are synonymous by that yardstick.I can never listen to that song just once whenever I listen to it. Sometime it has been up to ten times at a stretch.

  4. I have many collection of this great artist.
    Pl email your postal address so that I can courier all the available recordings.

    • Good to know you have a collection and thanks for the offer.
      I live in the US, so sending could be tricky if you are outside US. Also, do you have them on cassettes or CD’s.

    • Dear TR RAmanathan
      I would love to have his recording. I, through my trust, would like to celebrate centernary of Somu. My email id is grsatrigal@gmail.com. Please send me a reference in my mail. I will send more details from my mail

      REgards
      ramakrishnan

  5. Every now and then Somus music is vibrating in my year. Today I remembered the fantastic PALLAVI “Maathangi, Maragatha mani, Manjulawasani in Shanmugapriya. If this can be projected in FB many lovers and professionals will be benefited. There is a very melodious song PALANI, PALANI….APPANEY PAZHAM NEE..

    • That pallavi you referring is in one of the concerts and so is the pazham nee.
      Hope you enjoy the recordings I have posted.
      I am not a fan of FB and in fact do not have an account either!

  6. Pingback: Updates to Madurai Somasundaram – Shankar Krish's Blog

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