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Ilayaraja's 'How To Name It?' - Revival of acoustic music era

IndiaGlitz [Monday, April 30, 2012]

In 1986, Maestro Ilayaraja came out with his first ever non-film music album - 'How to name it?' The instrumental album paid respects to Johann Sebastian Bach and Thyagaraja. Now, 25 years later, celebrating the silver jubilee of the album, a concert was organized at the Anna Centenary Library Auditorium by Sabari Raja of Absolute management. was the official online media partner of the event. & IndiaGlitz conducted an online contest for the event and gave away free tickets for all the winners who were all visibly excited for getting a chance to see such a historical event that brought together musical legends.

Anil Srinivasan, the classical pianist was the host for the show. The concert began with Bhavatharani rendering 'Janani Janani...' from the film 'Sri Raghavendhra', which was dedicated to her late mother Jeeva Ilayaraja. It sparked off what was going to be a scintillating concert that included some of the best acoustic live music heard in Chennai in the last few decades.

The concert was conducted by Prabakhar, Ilayaraja's close associate, who has collaborated with him for 25 years and was performed by the maestro's own 40-man orchestra that included a full string section featuring 20 violinists. Playing the tunes of all the tracks from the album, the crew set the standards for future instrumental concerts at the auditorium. Before each song, Anil Srinivasan took his time to explain unique aspects of the track in detail and enlightened the crowd with information about counterpoints, trios, fugues, paritas and polyphony to name a few.

Ambi Subramaniam, the 19 year old violinist and the son of the legendary L. Subramaniam played the lead and got standing a ovation for the title track. Just when you begin to wonder how a 19-year old boy can create so much magic, the audience was surprised by another youngster, Aadithya Ganesh, a 15 year old who joined Ambi and also played a few solos. Rajesh Vaidhya, Veena Vidwan and Kalaimamani recipient also graced the stage and played along with the rest of the members.

Once the first section came to an end, the guests of honors of the event, Maestro Ilayaraja and legendary violinist L Subramaniam took stage and gave speeches. Ilayaraja spilled the beans on how the entire album was composed and recorded in 3 days back in 1986. Upon the frantic request of the crowd, he also sang a song of his choice in "Sadda Sadda Unnai" about ramanar and was backed by Rajesh Vaidhya without any prior rehearsals or practice.

The second part of the concert comprised of Ilayaraja's hit numbers and they were performed by top singers including Sriram Parthasarathy, Haricharan, Sathyan, Bhavatharani and Pop Shalini. The song 'Megam...' from the movie 'Enakkul Oruvan' were by the brothers in Ilayaraja's family - Karthik Raja, Venkat Prabhu, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Premji Amaren.

Watch: Anil On Ilayaraja & 'How To Name It'

Watch: Haricharan On Ilayaraja & 'How To Name It?'

Watch: Prabhakaran On Ilayaraja & 'How To Name It?

Watch: Rajesh Vaidya On Ilayaraja & 'How To Name It?'

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