Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Counterpoint with Flute

Raja has done several mini flute sonatas (inspired by Bach) very quietly in his film interludes and we have to separate these gems to appreciate it. Here are some that I am aware of: Poovile Medai Naan Podava from Pagal Nilavu (1986) – listen to the prelude and the interludes with flute with the keyboard/guitar counterpoint - this is vintage Raja paying homage to Bach. You can use this great composition as your phone ring tone! You can feel proud that a musician of our times could do something like this. Hear the track....





Pacha Mala Poovu from Kizhakku Vaasal (1990)- pay attention to the first and second interlude – I will challenge anyone who thinks this is some folk fluke. The flute and the guitar are on co-opetition to create a wonderful listening experience. Another great counterpoint. I will cover this song more when I cover Raja's folk based compositions. Hear the track...





Etho Mogum from Kozhi Koovuthu (1982). I am yet to hear a prelude that is better than this song. Raja played this prelude to Paul Mauriat, the French classical music composer, when he traveled to Europe. The guitar, violin and flute play in this song deserves an award for just the prelude. Amazing composition. The prelude is so enchanting that the track below has it 3 times! Hear the track...





Another Raja flute counterpoint based masterpiece – Chinna Chinna from Mouna Ragam (1986) – I will cover this song more when I uncover Raja’s use of bass guitar.Pay attention to the flute, the synthesizer and the guitar in the first and second interlude. Hear the track...





Putham Pudhu Kaalai from Alaigal Oiyvathillai (1981) – there is no discussion on flute that is complete without this song. The counterpoint play is between violins, flute and voice in this song - another masterpiece. The conversations that take place between the violins, the flutes and the guitar in this composition, clearly shows the master mind behind the work. We have every reason to be proud that this was a creation during our lifetime and can easily stand up with some of the best orchestration work anywhere in the world. Hear the track...




How about a counterpoint with flute and flute? Oru Kili urangudhu from Ananda Kummi (1982). Hear the track... 





Another masterpiece that it is impossible to ignore is the track from the album called Nothing But Wind (1985) titled Mozart – I love you. Raja takes on a WCM composition that is Mozart’s style, brings in Hariprasad Chaurasia in his native format (Hindustani), merges him slowly with Mozart and gets him to play a counterpoint piece with the grand violins in the background.


Now let’s look at a sample of his hundreds of flute and violin based counterpoints. Most of the ones that I have mentioned in the violin section qualify for this section as well. The trouble with Raja’s music is it is hard to categorize – you never know which one technique he uses in a song. Naan Padum Mouna Ragam from Idhaya Koil (1985) features both flute and violin based counterpoints. The solo violin brings out the pathos when the string section continues in the background. Hear the track...




Nee Padhi Naan Padhi from Keladi Kanmani (1990) uses flute in counterpoint mode with violins in the first interlude in an enchanting way. Siru Ponmani from KallukkuL Eeram (1980), second interlude of Vanakuyile from Priyanka (1994). Hear the track... 




Ithazhil Kadhai Ezhthum from Unnal Mudiyum Thambhi (1988), Thaalaatum Poongatru from Gopura Vasalile (1991). Amazing flute work that is hard to ignore. Pay attention to the 1st interlude between the flute and the bells in counterpoint. Hear the track...




Observe the first interlude of Sempoove from Siraichaalai (1996) – please listen to the cellos and the string section when you hear only the flutes – mind blowing! Raja's techniques only get better with time. Hear the track... 




The first interlude of Un Kuthamma En Kuthamma from Azhagi (2002) – interesting counterpoint between the string section and flutes. Raja uses counterpoints for all moods - this is a track that is very pensive (similar to Naan Paadum Mouna Raagam). Hear the track..



The list is endless as one of Raja's primary instruments is flute and his flautist (Arunmozhi alias Napolean) sings for him too.

8 comments:

Mahesh said...

Sir,

I'm afraid u missed Composers breath from the album Nothing But Wind...Amazing flute with Flute counterpoints.Pure Masterpiece Composition.

Also am looking forward ur views on the latest Raja's Naan Kadavul..Please come up with ASAP

ravinat said...

Hi Mahesh

Not just Composer's breath, I have missed out many and I am fully aware of it. It takes a lifetime to write about everything this man does in a year!

I will stay away from writing album reviews as I am not qualified enough and there are others who do a better job.

If you might have noticed, the objective of this blog is stay on the objective - present facts/arguments on why this man is a genius and not get into digressions or any emotional bursts.

Thanks

Ravi

TN Arunagiri said...

Oru Kili...not just flute over flute counterpoints...but closefy following that are vocal counterpoints with the syllable 'cuckoo, cuckoo...'! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

ilayarajavin rasigargalum isaignanigalaga irukkirargal

abimoni said...

ILAYARAJAVIN RASIGARGALUM ISAIGNANIGALAGA IRUKKIRARGAL

ravinat said...

Really? Please do not dilute the genius with bloggers!

Lenin Lenin said...

Dear Sir,

First time I entered in to your blog..
Seems I have been mesmerized by Raja's bgms and counterpoints...
Hope I am going to tag this blog in my facebook..