T.N.Seshagopalan @ Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Chennai

Venue: Vidya Bharati, Bheemasena Garden St., Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 24 Dec 2006

Organizer: Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha

Vocal: Sri T.N. Seshagopalan

Vocal Support: Sri T.N.S. Krishna

Violin: Sri V.V. Ravi

Mridangam: Sri Vellore Ramabhadran

Ghatam: Sri Madippakkam Murali

I landed up about an hour late after attending the Malladi Brothers concert in T.Nagar. The following list of songs is thus not a complete one:

* srI rAjagOpAla – sAvEri – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (A?)

* marivErE – shanmugapriyA – Adi – paTTaNam subramaNya iyer (S)

* vAnchatOnu nA – karnaranjani – Adi (tisra gati) – harikEsanallUr muthiAh bhAgavatar (O)

* rAga AlApana – kAmbOji

sachitta sAi – viruttam – kAmbOji

O ranga sAyi – kAmbOji – Adi – thyAgarAja (AST)

* sadA enna hrudayadalli – behAg – rUpakam – vijaya viTTala dAsa (O)

* gOvinda lAl (viruttam) – kOsalam

dUdh piyO rE – kOsalam – Adi – nAmdEv

* dIm tatara tAni (thillAnA) – bilahari – Adi – ariyakkuDi rAmAnuja iyengAr

* vachana miga vetri (tiruppugazh) – suruTTi – chatusra jampa – aruNagirinAthar

* madhava bhavatutE (mangaLam) – pantuvarALi – Adi – vijayagOpala

* sriya kAntAya (slOkam) – srI
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

I think I heard God sing today. He sang so majestically that he took me to a totally different world. Its an experience which I am sure I won’t be able to capture in words. Here is an attempt though.

After attending the Malladi Brothers concert, I was in two minds – whether to go to TNS concert or not. It was already an hour since the concert would have begun and I generally do not like to barge into a concert halfway through. However, the TNS-Parthasarathy Swami Sabha combo is something I had found to be very satisfying twice in the past and I just couldn’t stop myself from rushing to TNS’ concert.

TNS was singing “srI rAjagOpala” with a lot of involvement when I entered. This was followed by the shanmukhapriyA composition “marivErE dikkevarayya” in which the father-son duo of TNS and TNSK set the stage on fire with their racy kalpana swarams. But the highlight of the day for me was certainly kAmbOji. The alapana, kriti rendition, kalpana swaram and taniavartanam put together lasted for 1.5 hours. TNS himself did a detailed raga alapana for close to 30 min which, when it ended, brought me very close to tears. For the first 10 minutes, TNS was operating only in the lower octave and the lower half of the normal octave. He built up the alapana step-by-step, gradually progressing to the notes higher up. The way he held his breath for a long time during the alapana, yet simultaneously releasing rapid fire patterns of notes one after the other was simply amazing. I was so amazed at his involvement and dedication. Here was a guy supposed to present his Sangita Kalanidhi concert the next day at the Academy and instead of just relaxing or giving an ordinary concert, he was straining himself to give to the audience the best of what he could. “O ranga sAyi” was itself rendered so well. Elaborate kalpana swaram was put at the pallavi line itself involving a lot of mathematical patterns towards the end. His kAmbOji is still ringing in my ears.

Sri V.V. Ravi’ kAmbOji alapana was short and sweet. He also played very well for the songs. He however struggled a lot with the mathematics part in the kalpana swarams which is kind of natural considering that it is really not possible to immediately understand some of the calculations used by TNS and play the same on the violin.

If the present form of TNS continues on Christmas day, the rasikas are in for a cracker of a Sangitha Kalanidhi concert.

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