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T N Seshagopalan @ Mysuru Vasudevacharya Sangeetha Sabha, Sanjay Nagar 19th Apr 2015

Vocal : Madurai T N Seshagopalan

Vocal Support : T N S Krishna & Anil Murthy

Violin : C N Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam : T A S Mani

Ghatam : Ranganatha Chakravarthy

List:

01. shLOkam ( krSNAya vAsudEvAya dEvaki) – kalyANi

vAsudEvayani – kalyANi – Thyagaraja ( S )

02.  sAdhincanE manasA – Arabhi – Thyagaraja

03.  AlApana – mOhanakalyANi

shLOkam ( ugram vIram mahAvishNum ) – mOhanakalyANi

bhajarE bhajamAnasa shrI narasimham – mOhanakalyANi – Mysore Vasudevachar

04.  bhuvini dAsuDanE – shrI ranjani – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

niraval & svara  @ ‘padamulE gati  tyAgarAjanuta ‘

05.  kancadalAyadAkSi – kamalA manOhari – Dikshitar

06.  RTP – kIravANi – khaNDa triputa x 2 kaLai +3.5 ( 14 aksharam) eduppu

pallavi line ‘sangIta shAstra kalAnidhi, mysUru vAsudEva guNanidhi ‘

svaras in kIravAni. No rAgamalika svaras

tani Avartanam

07.  shLOkam ( jagati vichita manthram) – jOnpuri

rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

08. ugabhOga ( krSNA enabAradE )

narajanma bandAga – madhuvanti ? -Purandara Dasa

09. thillAna ( dhIm tAre nAre tarana diranA ) – hamsAnandi – Muthaiah Bhagavathar

10. tirupugazh ( Erumayil Eri ) – surutti

11.  mangaLam ( nI nAma rUpamulaku) – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

shLOkam (shrIyay kAnthAya) – madhyamAvati

It’s nearly two years since I attended a concert of sri TNS. For one, his appearance in Bangalore seems to have reduced and also with the surge of the new breed of many upcoming young artists in the carnatic performance arena, we seldom get to see him featuring in the mega annual festivals of the leading organisations. Irrespective of his physical limitations of voice off late, his concert always give me something which I don’t usually get in the new stars. That made my decision to brave the distance across the city through the ‘IPL rush’ of the MG Road. Moreover, the outstanding feedback about his concert last week at the Jayarama Seva Mandali, helped me out of the guilt of skipping the Palghat Ramprasad’s concert at my own neighborhood.

In the end, the decision was right. He presented a beautiful concert at Sanjay Nagar. Concert started half an hour behind schedule after the Sabha had honoured him with ‘Vasudevacharya Sangeetha Samrat’ award for this year. He was giving his acceptance speech when we entered the hall. Congratulations to him !

Concert started with a kalyANi shLOkam followed with ‘vAsudEvayani’. I dont remember if he has sung this kriti before, or at least I’ve not heard it from him. It was interesting to observe him referring to the notes while rendering this kriti. Probably another first time sighting of this. The kalpana svaras he sung at the end of the kriti was the curtain raiser for the rest of the evening. In his unique style, mesmerising the audience with some outstanding svara prasthana, amidst some thunderous applause. An ordinary ‘sAdhincane’ came and went without much impact. A short alapana of mOhanakalyAni was also just ok. He did sing some nice phrases, but probably due to some not so appealing violin ‘play along’ some of the subtle nuances of the alapana wasn’t heard properly. As expected the shlokam ‘ugram vIram mahAvishnum’ came in before the predictable bhajare bhajamanasa, a master piece of Vasudevachar was sung. It did rekindle the memories of an outstanding rendition of this from him at M A Narasimhachar Foundation in 2007. Well, this wasn’t anywhere near that experience.

Sriranjani alapana that followed was far better, with C N Chandrasekharan exercising much restraint. He attempted a few traverse to the higher octaves, fairly well executed. C N Chandrasekharan was equally good in his turn. Bhuvini Dasudane was again predictable. He sang an amazing niraval at ‘padamule gati’. The concluding rounds was sung with such a variety of ‘laya variations’ , very impressive. Kalpana svara had more to come. a few round of ‘svarAkshara’ at ‘pa da mulegati’ was later extended as ‘sa da ni pa da mulegati’ to a great effect. Soon, he asked his son to join and the rally between the duo, occasionally joined by the violinist was a treat to watch and hear as the son matching the master fabulously. Overall, awesome treat.

After a quick kamalamanohari piece came in a two phase keeravani alapana. Again, attempting across the octaves albeit with some strain, he presented a refreshing keeravani alapana. C N Chandrasekharan was impressive too with some nice phrases during his turn. TNS continued from his second phase alapana into tAnam. Brilliant. Systematically increasing the tempo, varying the octaves and the style it was done very well. Pallavi line was a tribute to Mysore Vasudevachar, set in khanda triputa started , I think, at 14 aksharam. There was no ragamalika svaras, but as in the case of sriranjini, svara was alternated between the father and the son to a similar impact. Later, he indicated to his son to do the trikalam which was one of the high points of the pallavi. Outstanding effort by the junior with some classy support from veteran percussionist. TAS Mani, with nimble fingers played pretty well through out. The percussion duo later played a structurally intrinsic, rhythmically appealing tani avartanam.

Two devarnama came in post main before the VOT break. The organiser took a little longer than the patience level. Concert continued with a thillana in hamsanandi, which took TNS into some playful best, who nudged his son also to join in. Muthiah Bhagavathar’s thillana was pretty long with all those playful repeats and improvisations. A quick tirupugazh followed with mangalam concluded the concer. Very good concert, indeed.

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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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T N Seshagopalan, Gokulashtami Concert, Unnati Centre 13 Aug, 2013

Vocal: T N Seshagopalan

Violin : V V Ravi

Mrudangam : Trichur Narendran

Ghatam : Ranganatha Chakravarthy

Songlist:

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.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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Madurai T N seshagopalan , Gokulashtami Series Concert, Unnati Centre 5th Aug 2012

Vocal : Madurai T N Seshagopalan

Violin : M R Gopinath

Mrudangam : Mannargudi Easwaran

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

Songlist :

01  everi bOdhana ( varNam)  – AbhOgi – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( S )

02  mahA gaNapatim – nAttai – Dikshitar

03  sAdhinchanE – Arabhi – Thyagaraja ( A )

04  aparAma bhakti – pantuvarALi – Thyagaraja  ( A,N,S )

neraval & swara @ ‘ tripaTalanu..’

05  nA ninna dhyAna  – kAnaDa – Purandara Dasa

06  ranganAyakam – nAyaki – Dikshitar ( A )

07  gOvardhana girISam smarAmi – hindOLam – Dikshitar

08  EtAvunara – kalyANi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘ sItA gaurI vAgISwari’

09  SlOkam ( sAyamkAlE vanAnthE ) – vasanta, mOhanam, khamAs followed by a chain of rAgas ending with madhuvanti

narajanma bandAga – madhuvanti – Purandara Dasa

10 nanda tanaya gOvindana – bhImpLAs – Purandara Dasa

11 thillAna ( nAdru dhIm tanana tOm )  – sindhubhairavi –  ?

12 vijaya gOpAlaka mangaLam – surutti – Narayana Theerthar

SLOkam  ( srIyay kAnthAya) – SrI

Wonderful concert by the Maestro yesterday at the unnati centre. He came in as a substitute. Sudha Raghunathan was supposed to perform originally, but the organisers did send a communication regarding the change few days ago. Despite the rains, the hall was packed. Some one joked that large number of thm actually came in to listen to Sudha Raghunathan, by the demographical nature of the crowd. But for the serious listeners, the evening paid more that what they would have hoped for.

I had all the trouble getting there, with my car broke down and I had to roll it back home with a burst tyre. The call for listening to TNS was far greater , and i managed to reach the venue during the varNam. Abhogi varnam was concluded after a few rounds of swaram before a quick mahaganapatim in Nattai. First alapana of the day was for Arabhi. A short and measured arabhi alap was accompanied by Thyagaraja pancharatna kriti.

Pantuvarali was the submain. Alapana was good with nothing spectacular. However, aparama bhakti came in full vigour, with a faster paced neraval at ‘tripatalanu’ with some fascinating sequences. The kalpana swara startd at the ‘madhyamakala’ and he went on to some blistering singing of swara towards the end to a thunderous applause from the audience. The violin return had to stop for a while until the excitement and the ripple effect to die down. A short and beautiful devarnama in kAnaDa came in before a fabulous nAyaki alapana. An unexpected power failure could not stop him from giving us a delightful nayaki alapana. Ranganayakam was stupendous with each of the sangati came out majestically well.

It had to be kalyani again. Unlike his usual way, the alapana was rather short ( still 10-12 mins). M R Gopinath stared well but sort of dwindled as it progressed. I expected ‘pankaja lochana’ to follow. But it was ‘etavunara’ as main. Again neraval was fantastic so was the intrinsic kalpana swaras. He reservd those trade mark kalpana swaras to the main and the team did a fantascit job to support the vocalist, especially Mannargudi Easwaran.  Tani avartanam was something people will speak for a while. Mannargudi Easwaran usually do a poised , controlled tani which is well within the expected time lines. Yesterday was different, as he seems to have carried away by the inspirational kalpana swaras. Tani avartanam was stupendous with brilliant support by Guruprasanna.It was long, it was exqusite and continued on the same patterns that TNS sang in his kalpana swaras. Not surprisingly, the audience was in full support of the effort.

Post main came the slokam sayankale vananthe, ina flurry of ragas. After the initial vasanta, mohanam and khamas avartanams, he went on a blitskrieg at ‘navarasa’ switching from one raga to the other. I have seen him doing the same many a times, hence no surprice here, and I liked it every time. iruttam followed by two devarnama and a thilana in Sindhu bhairavi. He ended the concert with a Narayana theerthar mangalam.

He was singing effortlessly yesterday. There were a  few glitches in his voice but largley it was cooperative. The excitement was visible. M R Gopinath gave ample support, but who lifted theconcert to a better experiece was Mannargudi Easwaran. Opting to stay silent at times, to get the beauty of the lyrics and his singing is heard with no other interventions, anticipating his swara patterns , adding on with right emphasis, encouraging the fellow percussionist and to sum it up perform a gand tani avartanam.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Concert songlist

 

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T N Seshagopalan at Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple, Sanjay Nagar 18 Feb 2012

Vocal : T N Seshagopalan

Violin : C N Chandrasekharan

Mrudangam : B S Prashanth

Ganjira : Vyasa Vittala

List:

01 vanajAkshirO (varNam) – kalyANi – Ramanathapuram Sreenivasa Iyengar ( S )

02  srI mahAgaNapati ravatu mAm- gauLa – Dikshitar ( A,N,S)

        neraval & swara @ ‘ prakAshakarO bhavajaladhinAvO’

03  manasulOni – hindOLam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S )

        neraval & swara @ ‘kani karambutO nIvELa nA karamu baTTu tyAgarAja vinuta ‘

04  sLOkam ( nIlanjana samAbhAsam) – yadukula kAmbOji

        divAkara tanujam – yadukula kAmbOji – Dikshitar 

05   nA ninna dhyAna doLiralu – kAnaDa – Purandara Dasa

06  nInE doddavanO hariyE – thODi – Purandara Dasa

07  tirupati venkaTa ramaNa – SAma – Purandara Dasa

08  RTP  –  pUrvikalyANi – khaNDa triputa , 2 kaLai        

        pallavi line ‘ vINA gAna daSagamakakriyE SrI rAjamAtangi’

       swaras in pUrvikalyAni , no rAgamalika swaras

       tani Avartanam

09  SLOkam ( shankha chakra gadA pANi..)  – rAgamAlika ( 15+ ragams)

10  SLOkam ( jagati vijati manthram ) – jOnpuri

        rAma manthrava japisO – jOnpuri – Purandara Dasa

11  nI nAma rUpamulaku ( mangaLam) – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

12  srIyAy kAnthAya – Sri

The location was pretty far and wasnt all that well advertised. The setting is within the varasiddhi vinayaka temple, in a small ‘caged’ hall looks more like a bhajan hall. However, there was enough place outside ( you have to look through the grilled walls of the hall) under the tree in open environment in front o f the diety. Very serene and beutiful settings to have a concert.  While the board outside said concert timing is 6:00pm, the mail I received had 6:30 in it. However, TNS arrived only by 7:00 and concert started within 5 mins after the customery ‘darshan’ to the temple after a ‘pUrnakumbha’ reception.

Starting with the vanram, he made his intentions clear with some nice rounds of swaras. He started the gowla alapana soon, and I was thinking of pranamAmyaham, as it was the ‘Mysore Vasudevacharya Sangeetha Sabha’ organising this event. It was the the Dikshitar kriti that came ( may be being the varasiddhi temple premise. Neraval was very good and he slowly moved into the special rounds of swaras while the rest of the participants where trying to cop up with this style and imagination. TNS on his part was brilliant, but the rest were far too short to match him.  Hindolam alapana was much better than gowla. I think it was hindolam and not varamu ( sudha hindOlam). CN Chandrasekharan also did a good job with his return play. ManasulOni ( hence the doubt on varamu) was good with another round of neraval and swara, this time a much better accompanying support.

Few short kritis followed , three among them being Dasar padams, each done very well , especially the thOdi and the sAma pieces. A grand alapana in purvikalyani began , obvious as the main. After a slow start , he launched into a brilliant alapana with all the vigour, fighting the difficulties to reach the higher octaves. Despite that I thought he did a brilliant job with the alapana. Thanam was equally brilliant, received by an enthusiastic crowd with lot more applause. Pallavi with swaras added to the overall effect. To me this was the turning point in the concert. Prashant and his guru, gave a good tani avartanam.

By this time, I guess, he was really in good form. He continued from where he left with a brilliant and long slokam in rAgamalika. HE acknowledging the presence of a gentleman in the crowd, before singing the rAma Manthrava, as one who recorded his first album at HMV. Mangalam and the slokam took as long as 10 mins.  In al, it was a good concert, especially from the pUrvikalyani onwards. 

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Concert songlist

 

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T N Seshagopalan @ Academy of Music Concert, Chowdiah Memorial Hall

Vocal : T N Seshagopalan

Violin : V V Ravi

Mrudangam : Trichur C Narendran

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List:

01 Alapana –  pUrvikalyANi

       SLOkam ( srI vidyAm shiva vAmabhAga nilayAM ) – pUrvikalyANi

       mInAkshi mE mudam dEhi – pUrvikalyANi ( gamakakriya) – Adi x 2 – Dikshitar ( A,N,S )

        neraval & swara @’vINa gAna daSa gamakakriyE’

02  amba vANi – kIravAni – Adi-  Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( S @varavINa pANi)

03  RTP – bhairavi & sindhu bhairavi  – khanDa triputa, 2 kaLai

        pallavi line ‘ kapAlini trishUlini Ezhil sindhu bhairavi pAhimAm’

       no Ragamalika swaras

       tani Avartanam

04  SLOkam ( jagati vijita manthram) – jAunpuri

        rAma manthrava japisO – jAunpuri – Purandara Dasa

05  thillAna ( dhim tadana tani nadru dru dru dhIm ) – bilahari – Poochi  Srinivasa Iyengar ?

06  mangaLam – saurAshtram – thyagaraja

        SLOkam (srIyAy kAnthaya ) – madhyamAvati

The concluding concert of the 5 day Academy of Music Festival at Chowdiah hall. The concert was shortened due to the extended falicitation ceremory, to a mere One and half hour affair, and that was a bit disappointing. He seems to have warmd up but the constant glance at the watch indicated a shorter concert with greater disappointment. On his part, he did not fill in the available time with lot many kritis. Upto the tanam of the pallavi, it was grand. The time pressure seems to have taken off with the tanam and the rest of the concert was not worth mentioning.

Earlier the evening , he received the covetted K K Murthy memorial Chowdiah Award from Suttur Guruji, along with Rudrapatnam Brothers.  The speeches and garlands went on for a while , despite the function starting on time. It was 8 ‘O clock, before the concert to kick start. Guruji, bagan his speech mentioning that the audience are here to listen to the concert, and went on to speak for another 20-25 mins.

TNS started off with a brilliant alapana in pUrvikalyani, and some how it reflected as he removed the first couple of pieces from his original list. The alap was detailed and long. Continuing with a slokam before the Dikshtar’s master piece ‘mInAkshi mE mudam’. He chose to do neraval at ‘vIna gAna dasa gamaka kriyE’ with a lot of emphasise on ‘dasa gamakakriyE’ . Kalpana swara was done in two speeds,  taking around 35 mins on this composition.

A fast paced AmbavAni followed along with a quickfire rounds of swaras. though it was of high octane and bit rashy, I liked it ( personaly I prefer slower version of Keeravani). Bhairavi alapana ,which followed had all the ingredient of a main. The slow build up, the deliberate and unhurried phrases , the high octave sancharas, the dhruta prayogas that followed and the landing. Including the mrudangist, everyone was ready for a bhairavi heavy weight to follow, but came sindhu bhairavi. Equally eloquent in his typcial fashion, the alapana was fabulous. There was the ‘crowd puller’ grahabhedam ( to what I cant recollect). Alapana concluded with the alternating phrases between the two chosen ragas.  Tanam was fast and somewhat hurried. There was no pause as he was clearly trying to catchup on speed. From here the rest of the concert was pretty quick and not very great. Tanam was done in a coupleof avartanam, pallavi was short, there was no trikalam, swara singing was also shortened with no attempt for ragamalika swaras. Tani Avartanam was also short. Trichur Narendran and Guruprasanna was very supportive through out the concert.

Despite the short duration, there was another break with the speech and flowers. Concert was wound up in next 5 mins with a dasar nama and a thillana. On the whole, it was not satisfying, as I did not come for a one and half hour concert. But, it is my experience , that any concert followed by a felicitation function will eventually be truncated by the extention of speeches and the associated delays.

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Concert songlist

 

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