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Famous Carnatic Composers - GNB


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G.N. Baalasubramaniam - (1910-1965) It was a festival in the Kapaleeswarar temple, Mylapore, Madras. The top artiste to give the concert of the day did not turn up and the temple authorities were in a quandry. They decided upon the substitute and proceeded to meet G.V.Narayanaswamy Ayyar, Head Master, Hindu High School, Triplicane to depute his young son, Balasubramaniam to take the concert. Narayanaswamy Ayyar could not comprehend the request and was as confounded as Dasaratha was when sage Viswamitra wanted him to depute his son Rama. The authorities pointed out that Ariyakudi Ramanuja Ayyangar shot into fame only in similar circumstances by ascending the dias when the senior Vidwan Madurai Pushpavanam failed to turn up and had never an occassion to look back.

The parallel thrilled the ear of the father. He acceded and the son gave the concert, a memorable debut in which his guru Madurai Subramaniam and Pudukottai Vakil K.Rajamani accompanied on violin and mridangam. Fame and glory crowned G.N.Balasubramaniam quite soon even as the eastern sun in summer shoots into the sky and spreads its floodlight with dynamic speed and no twilight. Balasubramaniam was born on January 6, 1910 at Gudalur in Mayiladuthurai taluk. He studied in the Wesley College while learning music under his father, a disciple of Karur Chinnaswamy Ayyar and under Madurai Subramania Ayyar. He obtained his B.A. (Hons.) in 1929.

GNB, as he was popularly known, was a top vocalist of repute in a period which had seen fairly a large number of top-ranking musicians. His bracing, resonant and impressive voice and his special style rich with brisk brikas and pleasing delivery of kritis was a satisfying and thrilling experience to the vast concourse of admirers. His unique style, regulated tempo and masterly delivery were the delights of the audience. His melifluous voice would traverse the three octaves and the three 'kalas' with ease. His brikas were infectious and he kept his ears and mind open to receive what was best in other musicians. He had high respect for Ariyakudi Ramanuja Ayyangar, the senior artiste of eminence. He had a partiality for Todi, Kalyani and Kamboji and for Andolika, Nalinakanti, Vasantabairavi, Jothiswarupini, etc. His disciple, Trichur V.Ramachandran states that his master's style was essentially of a madhyamakala which sustained the interest of the audience. His command of ragalakshanas was amazing revealing the quintessence of the ragas at the very outset. His singing was crisp and 'sangatis' measured.

GNB was one of the prominent composers of recent decades. Out of his 250 compositions in sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil in traditional and his own invented ragas like Chandrahasita, Sivasakti, Amrita Behag, etc., sixty had been published. A gentleman with humility as he was, he would not sing his own compositions in concerts. His respect for values was prodigious. He would return the nominal honoraria he got from the Music Academy as donation. A further feature of his concerts was that he would review the performances of his accompanists and his own. His joy would be immense at the excellence of others. He had a soft heart for rising artistes. His anxiety to satisfy the susceptibilities of the audience was immense.

Even as a boy, he had taken part in musical and dramatic activities in the Hindu High School which he joined in the sixth standard. Later he took the lead role of Dushyant in the famous Tamil film 'Sakuntala' in which another great musician, M.S.Subbulakshmi was the heroine. He had played the role of 'Narada' in the films Bhama Vijayam and Sathi Anasuya. Udayanan, Vasavadatha is another film in which he had acted. He was also pleased with the rendition of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan that he became an ardent devotee of Khan.

Mudra:

Compositions:

  1. ambOruha paadamE (varNam) - ranjani
  2. ambOruha pAdamE (varNa) - ranjani
  3. bhaaramaa ee baaluni - hamsanaadam
  4. bhuvanatraya sammOhanakara - mOhanam
  5. en manattaamarai - reeti gowLa
  6. entO moraliDa lEdaa - kannaDa
  7. gati vErevarammaa - bhairavi
  8. inta paraaku neevE - bhairavi
  9. kaaraNamEmi kaananE - aandOLikaa
  10. kamala caraNE - amrita behaag
  11. kamalaasini sundari - kalyaaNi
  12. kanavilum kamala - shree ranjani
  13. karimukha varadaa - naaTTai
  14. karuNa jooDa raadaa - sahaanaa
  15. kavalai ellAm - saraswati
  16. kuvalayaakshhi kushalam (varNam) - katanakutoohalam
  17. kuvalayAkSi kushalam (varNa) - kadanakutUhala
  18. maarakOTi sundari - bahudaari
  19. madhuraapuri kalyaaNi - poorvi kalyaaNi
  20. mama kulEshvaram - tODi
  21. mama kulEshwaram - tODi
  22. manasaarakanE nammaka - aabhOgi
  23. maravanu nE ninnu - aarabi
  24. marivErE gati - mALavi
  25. marivErE gati naakevaru - maaLavi
  26. mOhana krSNA - katanakutoohalam
  27. naa moralanu - naaraayaNi
  28. naakabhaya varamosagi - naaTTai kurinji
  29. nannu brOva nee - shencukaambhOji
  30. nee allaal ini - kaanaDaa
  31. nee caraNambujamunu - keeravaaNi
  32. nee daya galgunO - shhanmugapriyaa
  33. nee dayaraadaa (varNam) - aandOLikaa
  34. nee paadamE gati - naLinakaanti
  35. nee samaanamevaru - shubhapantuvaraaLi
  36. nI dayarAdA (varNa) - AndOLikA
  37. nI pAdamE gati nalLinakAntimati - naLinakAnti
  38. ninnu pogaDa - kuntala varaaLi
  39. ninnu pogaDa taramA - kuntalavarALi
  40. ninnu vinaa vErevaru - maaLavi
  41. niratamugaa ninnE - udhaya ravi candrikaa
  42. niravadhi sukha daayaki - malayamaarutam
  43. paada bhajana - kamaas
  44. pada malariNaiyE - bEgaDa
  45. paraamukhamEla namma - kaanaDaa
  46. paramakrupaa saagaree - yadukula kaambhOji
  47. paritaapamulEka - shhanmugapriyaa
  48. porumaiyai izhaindEn - simhEndra madhyamam
  49. raadhaa samEta krishNa (bhajan) -
  50. ranjani niranjani - ranjani
  51. saamagaana lOlE - hindOLam
  52. sadaa paalaya - mOhanam
  53. samaana rahitE - saaranga taarangini
  54. santatamu ninnE - valaci
  55. sarasvati namOstutE - sarasvati
  56. saraswati namOstutE - saraswati
  57. shankara mahaadEva - dEvamanOhari
  58. shivaananda kaamavardhani - kaamavardhani
  59. shree cakraraaja nilayE - shivashakti
  60. taamasamika taaLanu - aabhOgi
  61. unnaDiyE gati - bahudaari
  62. vadarEramma nee paada - saavEri
  63. vara vallabha - hamsadwani
  64. vara vallabha ramaNa - hamsadhvani
  65. varada nipuNa - poorNacandrikaa


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updated on 02/19/2016