Vocal: T N Seshagopalan
Violin : V V Ravi
Mrudangam : Trichur Narendran
Ghatam : Ranganatha Chakravarthy
01. mahAgaNapatim – nAta – Dikshitar ( S )
02. telisirAma chintana – pUrNa chandrika – Thyagaraja ( S )
03. padmAvati ramaNam – pUrvikalyANi – Oothukadu Venkata Kavi ( A,N,S )
neraval & swara @ ‘ sundarAnga Sobhita vadanam’
04. rA rA vasudEva varakumAra – thODi – Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar
05. kshIra sAgara – dEvagAndhAri – Thyagaraja
06. kanna tanri nI nannu brOchutaku – kuntaLa varALi – Veena Kuppaiyer ( A,S )
07. ODODi vandEn kaNNA – dharmavathi – Ambujam Krishna
08. bAla gOpAla pAlayASumAm – bhairavi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @ nIla nIrada SarIrA
09. tU dayAlu dIn hO – rEvati – Tulsidas
10. SLOkam ( sAyankAlE vanAntE) – rAgamAlika ( chenchurutti, nAthanAmakriya, punnAga varALi + a flurry of raga at ‘navarasa pati’ and yamunA kalyANi)
krishNA nI bEganE bAro – yamunAkalyANi – Vyasaraya
11. tirupugazh ( prEma muga?) – rAgamAlika
12. mangaLam – sourAshtram – Thyagaraja
SLOkam ( srIyay kAnthAya) – madhyamAvathi
One thing I admire in his concert that the selection of kritis presented. They are always apt to the occasion and is to the right measure. Being Gokulashtami series concert, it was obvious that most of the kritis will be on Krishna. Even in such a theme, he brings in a large variety of composers and kritis in different tala. The look at the list above is testimony to his mastery. Yesterday’s concert was also noted for the kritis presented. It wasn’t one that sttod out, or one we are used to hear from him in not so long time. But this was pretty good concert in totality.
I reached the venue exactly at 6:00 pm. I was welcomed by the quickfire kalpana swara in Nata, in full flow. Its only 6:00 and are we already into the second kriti, almost ending. The concert might have stated a bit early. I later came to know that the concert started with ‘mahaganapatim’ and there was no varnam before this. So, I haven’t missed much. Purnachandrika also had some fantastic rounds of swaras and had finished with his usual flourish with long rounds of closing swaras.
Purvikalyani was the first alapana, which was fairly decent. Padmavathi ramanam was anticipated, and was very nice. NEraval and swara again was top class. This was followed by a not often heard( apart from TNS and his desciples, I guess) kriti of Walajpet Venkataramana Bhagavathar in Thodi. Very appealing kriti. The line was sung with many sangatis, and one can see the itching to extend this to a neraval, which V V Ravi tried during the interval, but TNS continued to sing one sangathi after other, with out a chance for a violin return as in a neraval. Thodi followed by ksheerasagara , which I thought was very ordinary and one could sense the intensity dropping. This was one of the low points of the concert.
Concert came back to life with an interesting alapana in Kuntalavarali. While there are many short alapana heard in concert, this one lasted nearly 10 min was very different. Interesting phrases, few references of the popular kriti phrases, the general leisurely with many ‘akara’ singing was done pretty well. The kriti of Veena Kuppaiyer was new to me. It was followed by few rounds of swara singing, again pretty nice.
An Ambujam Krishna composition in dharmavathi ( was it set to tune by TNS himself ?) came in before the main. As I was hoping for before the concert, it was bhairavi that had the honour of being the main raga of the evening. The alapana ( large part of it was missed by me due to an urgent call) was just ok, as he choose to play in the safe zone. However, the violin return alapana by V V Ravi was stupendous. Beautiful, mellifluous , soothing alapana from the viling more than compensating for the main artist. TNS, however, came back strongly with a classy neraval with a stylish finish, and fairly long and typical kalpana swara as expected from him. The percussion duo, very supportive through out the day gave a decent tani avartanam. I have only one thing to say about Trichur Narendran. I wish the other mrudangam artist, reproduce the same ‘nAdam’ as he was able to do from his instrument. So pleasing to the ears, so clear and clean.
Arguably, the best piece of the day was krishna nee begane towards the end. After an elaborate viruttam, where one line was elevated to glory through a flurry of ragas, his voice suddenly found the right form. The bhajan sung in revati was also brilliant. Concert wsa closed with a tirupugazh ( whose lines were unclear) before the mangalam. Good concert by the master, with some brilliant selection of kritis.