Venue: Abhirami Chidambaram Community Hall, River View Road, Kottur, Chennai
Date: 27 Feb 2007
Vocal: Sri T.N. Seshagopalan (TNS)
Violin: Sri M.A. Sundaresan
Mrudangam: Sri Vellore Ramabhadran
Tambura: Sri Vaidyanathan
List of songs:
1) mAyAtIta – mAyAmALavagowLai – rUpakam – tAnjOre ponnaiyA (OS)
2) mAtE malayadvaja (daru varnam) – kamAs – Adi – harikEsanallUr muthiAh bhAgavatar (A)
3) brOva bAramA – bahudAri – Adi – thyAgarAja
4) srI kAntImatim – hEmavati – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (A)
5 ) punnagai onrE pOdumE – hamsAnandi – Adi – ambujam krishnA (O)
6) rAmachandra nI daya – suruTTi – Adi – thyAgarAja (A)
7) taNigai vaLar – tODi – kanDa chApu – pApanAsam sivan (NS)
8 ) enta muddO – bindumAlini – Adi – thyAgarAja
9) rAgam tAnam pallavi – nAyaki – Adi (2 kaLai) (T)
pallavi wordings: “nI padamulE gatiyani nammiti, srI ranganAyaki”
kalpana swarams in nAyaki, rEvati, bEgaDA, Ahiri & behAg
10) krishnA ena bAradE (viruttam) – maduvanti
narajanma bandAga – maduvanti – Adi – purandaradAsa
11) alli vizhiyAlum – mAND – Adi – aruNagirinAtar
12) dhIm tadara tAni (tillAnA) – bilahari – Adi – ariyakkuDi rAmAnuja iyengAr
13) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – sowrAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja
14) sriya kAntAya (slOkam) – srI
(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)
In contrast to his fast paced start to yesterday’s concert at Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple, TNS started today’s concert with a slow paced “mAyatIta swarUpiNi” followed by a slow paced “mAtE malayadvaja“. This slow speed combined with TNS’ ability to bring out the raga bhava so beautifully resulted in a great listening experience right at the beginning of the concert.
The first major alapana was that of hEmavati. During the alapana, TNS introduced graha bhedam so very subtly right in the middle of a cascade of fast patterns that it was almost impossible to recognize where he exactly started it. He took rishabam as the base note and sang bouLi and then came back smoothly to reach hEmavati. Smt. Ambujam Krishna’s composition “punnagai onrE pOdumE” was sung beautifully and hamsAnandi was brought out so well both in the raga alapana and in the kriti.
TNS then quickly launched into an alapana of one of my favorite ragas suruTTi. Sri M.A. Sundaresan played a very impressive alapana in reply. TNS then started one of my favorite kritis in this raga “rAmachandra nI daya” and sang it in a pace that was neither fast nor slow. It seemed just the right pace to bring out the beauty of raga suruTTi. The sangatIs that TNS sang for this song with full involvement were very beautiful. The way he seemed to be pleading to the lord through this song, especially at places like “tallaDilla nyAyamA” (is it justifiable to make me suffer) was so very touching and moving.
The next song was “tanigai vaLar” in tODi. The best tODi I have ever heard is the one sung by TNS. Though he didn’t sing an alapana today, the way he brought out the raga in the song itself was so nice. He sang multiple sangatis for the charaNam line “tuLLi viLayADi varum tOgai mayil mElE” and sang “tuLLi viLayADi” in so many different ways as if actually depicting the many ways in which the words could be pictured in one’s mind.
The main song for the day, the RTP, came after the bindumAlini composition. TNS indicated nAyaki very clearly right at the very beginning of the alapana (I am referring to the difference from darbAr) by elongating the nishAdam and gAndhAram with gamakAs while coming down. He immediately went on to use “pa da pa sa” while going up to further confirm that it was indeed nAyaki. If one still had any doubts, he/she could take a look at the banner behind TNS which clearly spelt the sabha’s name “Nayaki” (which happened to be the day’s main raga’s name too). What a beautiful alapana it was !!!! It lasted for about 15 minutes and if that is something one doesn’t consider too difficult a duration to sing a nAyaki alapana for then he/she must note that not even a single extended pattern that TNS sang seemed to get repeated anywhere else in the alapana. Add to that the fact that rasikas were kept glued to their seats with interest for every second TNS sang the raga. The tanam was even more magnificent. Sri M.A. Sundaresan again proved his mastery with the violin here.
The structure of the pallavi line was as follows (B=beat; starts 0.5B before samam): nI (1.5B) pa (0.5B) da (0.5B) mu (0.5) lE (1.5B) ga (0.5B) ti (0.5B) ya (0.5B) ni (1B) nammi (1.5B) ti (+ gap = 2B), srI (1.5B) ran (1B) ga (0.5B) nA (1.5B) ya (0.5B) ki (0.5B). Total count = 16B = 1 avartanam of Adi talam (2 kaLai).
This is the fourth TNS concert I attended in 4 consecutive days. Every concert was different in the choice of ragas and kritis. TNS made each and every one of these concerts a great listening experience. I must confess though that today’s concert took the cake. It was probably the best of the four. The violin accompaniment today was also the best and of very high quality. Hope TNS gives concerts daily and hope I get to hear each and every concert ….. certainly too much to ask but then I see no harm in at least dreaming about something like that.