Concerts of Madurai TNSeshagopalan 21, 22 , 23 Dec. 2009
Madhura svara bhramara gunjanam
The concert started with sreeraga varnam which was followed by ‘vandanamu’ of Thyagaraja in sahana. TNS was accompanied by VVRavi on the violin and Trichur Narendran on mridhangam, both seasoned artists who have accompanied TNS in several concerts.
TNS added kalpana svara to the varnam and also at the end of the sahana krthi. Then he started the raga poorvikalyani, gamakakriya in Dhikshithar school and TNS justified its name by his singing. It was ‘oorvee oormikaa poorvikalyani,’ the great waves of the raga poorvikalyani. VVRavi also gave excellent supportive playing of the raga.
The krthi was ‘Meenakshi me mudham,’ of Dhikshithar preceded by a sloka from Meenakshi pancharathnam. In his singing of the line ‘meenalochani paasamochani,’ an inspired rasika would have visualized Dhikshithar asking for the infinite bliss (mudham dhehi) and getting the bliss of mukthi.
The neraval svara was at madhurapuri nilaye, and it was madhura svara bhramara gunjanam, like the sweet sound of the bees flitting from flower to flower. On the whole the rendering of the raga , svara and krthi was oorvee, extensive and great, oormikaa, in waves, like the humming of the bees, (oormikaa means both) filling the hearts of the rasikas with joy, ‘modhitha hradhaya.’
The next was the ramanataka krthi, ‘eppadi manam thuNindhadho,’ in Huseni, in which Seetha, asks Rama how could he say to her that he was going to the forest leaving her behind. The words of the song is rich with the depth of meaning, and a reflection of the words of Kamban and the way TNS sang it is something that could not be described in words! Vaachaamagocharam! The bhava, which was fittingly set in huseni, would have brought tears to anyone who listened with a receptive mind.
Then, as usually experienced in the concerts of TNS the mood changed abruptly as he started the janaranjani krthi of Thyagaraja ‘vidajaaladhuraa,’ and this was followed by another Thygaraja krthi ‘naadhupai’ in madhyamavathi. The neraval svara was at ‘vedhasannutha,’ with the svara delectably rendered as to make it sound sa ma vedha sannutha. It is always a joy to hear this krthi from TNS.
Next came the Thiruppavai of the day, ‘keezvaanam,’ in dhanyasi. When TNS sang the thaniyans, the usual verses that he sings before thiruppavai, as if influenced by the ‘vedhasannutha,’ in the previous krthi, he sang the words ‘vedhamanaitthukkum vitthaagum kodhai thamiz,’ giving inflexion to the word vedham to make it sound like the chanting of veda. It was beautiful though lasted only for few seconds only. Moreover he added the charm by singing the verse in the manner of kondukootti, joining the qualifying phrases with kodhai thamiz by turns.
The main piece of the day was ‘devibrova,’ of Shyamasastri in raga chinthamani. TNS started the raga chinthamani which is a rare raga and used only by Shyamasastri and that too this was the only krthi in that raga. To think that he could sing the raga alapana of Chinthmani which is scarcely done by anyone nowadays, that too making it distinctly different from shanmukhapriya, its janakaraga, as the svaras are the same, is mind boggling. It could be done only by TNS. The neraval was elaborate and was applauded by the rasikas. TNS demonstrated very clearly the svarupa of the raga both in his alapana and the svaras. Hats off to the master musician of the era.
After the experti thani by Trichur Narendran TNS started a sloka and a Tamil verse on Guru in ragamalika and sang ‘sadhguru vaan choni,’ a abhang by Thukaram. He used to demonstrate how to sing an abhang in his harikatha and the abhang was an illustration of what he had said. With this and the sloka ‘sriyaH kanthaaya,’ the concert ended.
22.12.2009 Parthasarathy swami sabha
aamihira aahiri lahari suruttiya tsunami
Parthasarathyswami sabha is one of the venues where the audience are most receptive. When this happens there is an interaction of vibrations which makes the whole experience most enjoyable.
TNS was accompanied by Bangalore H.K.Venkatesh on the violin, Mannargudi Esvaran on mridhangam and BSPurushotthaman on kanjira. With the trio playing remarkably well the concert assumed tremendous proportions.
TNS started the concert with the ada tala varnam in kanada, to which he added marvelous svaras of his own. The next was ‘krpajoochudaku’ of Thyagaraja in the raga chaaya tharangini.
The next was the ecstatic raga panthuvarali and TNS sang the ashtapadhi ‘chandhana charchitha.’ The neraval svara was sung at ‘gopavadhoo anugayathi kaapi udhanchitha panchamaragam,’ The word udhanchitha, exalted, rightly describes the svaraprasthara. Hearing the svara pattern the picture presented to the mind was that which Leelasuka describes as ‘anganaa anganaa anthare maadhavam, maadhavo maadhavo anthare anganaa,’ the whole rasakreeda was there for all to see.
Then TNS started the Thiruppavai of the day, ‘keechu keechenrengum,’ in bhairavi with the usual thaniyans preceding it in the kondukootti style on the verse ‘paatdhakangaL theerkkum.’
‘ramanaikkaNNaarakandaanE, followed next a compositon of Arunachala kavi in mohanam. In singing ‘kodhandaraamanai,’ we could visualize the kodhanda being lifted high and then strung by the sangathis on the word.
Luxuriant saveri was what came next and the krthi was ‘sreerajgopala,’ of Dhikshithar, a regal one, the sovereignty of which was enhanced by the mode of rendering the krthi and the svaraprasthara. The svara singing was ‘salaya, sukhalaya,’ from the beginning till the end. Sreerajagopala was paraded in purple robes with all royal ornaments and with the accompaniment of Esvaran and Purushotthaman who were having a field day, it was a grand panorama of laya.
The thani of the percussionists was spectacular and then TNS sprang a surprise. It was nearing 9pm and the hall was nearly full and TNS after a brief interlude of yadhukula kambhodhi, ‘niinusevinchina,’ which is a composition of Subbaraya sastri, started the alapana of Ahiri auguring a RTP. The Ahiri was heavenly, a boon from heaven to the rasikas who missed his RTP of the same, last year. aamihira aahiri lahari, the waves of aahiri reaching the Moon
After complimenting the rasikas for staying beyond 9pm to hear the Ahiri, TNS switched to Suruti and it was a double raga pallavi , aahiri-suruti. The ragas and the thanam were alternatively sung in short phrases which was really amazing and the pallavi was worded as ‘undhanmEl enakku kaadhal aagittro kaNNaa un suruttiyakuzal kandu,’ The svara prasthra was a ragamalika and the whole effect was a tsunami, which rolled up the heart of the rasikas and carried it away,
‘aamihira aahiri lahari suruttiya tsunami.’
The concert ended with the kabeer bajan, hari bolo hari bolo, and when he finished it with a gusto with the words hari bolo hari bolo, one could half expect the audience to sing along.
Veena concert on 21.12.2009 at Nungambaakkam culturals
TNS was assisted on the mrdhangam by Guruvayur Dorai.
The concert started with the varnam in reethigoula. This was followed by the raga panthuvarali and the krthi was sarasaksha of Swatithirunal. Panthuvarali has always been magnificent with TNS on the veena. Neraval svara was at ‘bhamini samudhayaa jaya.’
The next TNS played anandha bhairavi another raga which is usually beautiful on his veena. The krthi was ‘kamalaambaa samrakshathu maam,’ of Dhikshithar. Then TNS started brindavanasaranga and played ‘rangapuravihara,’ of dhikshithar, very melodious and peaceful.
When he started the raga varali one might have expected him to play kanakana ruchira but he surprised us by playing ‘kaa vaa vaa.’ The bhava depicted in this krthi of papanasam Sivan was well brought out in the veena especially in the words, ‘appanE aNNale,’ which was like calling Lord Muruga.
Next TNS palyed the raga kalyani and the krthi was vasudevayani of Thyagaraja.
The main piece of the day was karaharapriya ragam and thanam was in ragamalika. The krthi was ‘chakkani raja,’ best suited for veena. The svara which was laya prdhana was well met by Guruvayur Dorai and the concert ended with a kavadi chindhu and then the javali nirupamana in behag.