T.N.Seshagopalan @ Nayaki, Chennai

Venue: Abhirami Chidambaram Community Hall, River View Road, Kottur, Chennai

Date: 27 Feb 2007

Organizer: Nayaki

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.

9 thoughts on “T.N.Seshagopalan @ Nayaki, Chennai

  1. a pallavi in nAyaki???
    i hope u have recorded it and i can take a copy sometime…

    please, dont tell me a ‘no’

    otherwise, i dont mind missing hEmavati and all.

  2. You seems to be following him everywhere. Let us see if you can make it a ” 7 days with the god ” theme.

    What was interesting was that every concert were different in terms of compositions, Ragas elaborated, the structure of concerts etc, there was no repetetion as I see this.

  3. Unfortunately TNS doesn’t seem to be singing anywhere today 😦

    Good for me in one sense as there is loads and loads of work at office and I wouldn’t have been able to make it anyway

    On the repetitions part … you are correct … no repetitions … as I said in the post, every concert was different in the choice of ragas and kritis

  4. Hello,
    I too was there yesterday.It was a great Alapana of Hemavathi.The Todi was presented with a wonderful Neraval and the Viruttham was also nice.In all,yes,it was a very nice kutcheri.

  5. Sathej,

    Where were you sitting? I am asking because there probably just 3-4 young people in the entire hall … trying to associate a face with your name. BTW, is your actual name Sathej?

  6. I was sitting in the sixth or seventh row from the stage on the extreme right with a yellow shirt.After the Kutcheri,I even went to see Shri Sundaresan(my Guru).I think I have seen you once at the concert at Thyagaraja Vidwath Samajam by Shri Manakkal Rangarajan.You sported a headband,there,didn’t you?

  7. Oh no … I was not sporting a headband in the Samajam … actually I thought you might confuse me with that guy who was sporting a red headband that day.

    I did see a guy in a yellow shirt yesterday … I think I will be able to recognize you the next time I see you … hope to meet you in some concert soon. I was sitting 2 rows in front of you wearing a blue full-sleeve shirt.

  8. hi da,
    Ur concert reviews are quite impressive.Most of it goes over my head.But now that i have been learning to play the violin for close to 8 months, am beginning to get a grasp of things. there was this festival of indiam nusic and dance organised by SIFAS here. i bought season tickets for 4 concerts, ganesh-kumaresh, unnikrishnan,ahuradha&sriram and dance by priyadarshini govind. Thought of making a blog post but couldn’t find the time but it would be quite shallow anyway.
    Would be coming to India for my brother’s wedding whnever that would be.

  9. Dei … learning violin …. coooooooool

    You are doing great work on your blog with the “pappi”s and the “pyge”s 😉 (Allow non-blogger users to comment too)

    Let me know whenever ur visit to homeland gets finalized.

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