It was a neat concert overall by C.S. Sajeev.
C.S. Sajeev – a light, interesting voice — it rings when he sings the upper notes, and at the lower ones, it comes out as though he is singing with a mouthful of pebbles.
With this asset, Sajeev was able to present a neat concert for Narada Gana Sabha, the principal elements of which were Arabhi, Pantuvarali and Madhyamavati. A common feature observed in all was the emphasis on aesthetics rather than on creativity. His alapana style is one of leisurely development of the raga, with fewer brigas than one sees these days.
Another aspect of the present concert was that it seemed to have a theme—familiar ragas, but not-frequently-sung compositions, with a mix of talas too. If that was by design, Sajeev deserves to be complimented over it. Indeed, the Rupaka tala ‘Nadasudha Rasa’ of Tyagaraja is a composition one yearns to listen to. Similarly, ‘Saarame Gaani’ in Pantuvarali was a wise choice because there are so few of Tyagaraja’s Misra Chapu tala compositions in that raga. Sivan’s Madhyamavati creation in Adi tala, ‘Saravana Bhava Guhane,’ is again a wonderful song that is not being much heard these days. All the three were delivered neatly, except that the Madhyamavati alapana seemed to run dangerously close to Manirangu most of the time.
Padma Krishnan on the violin seemed to be more creative, except in the Arabhi alapana and swaras, where she appeared to draw a lot from the Pancharatna masterpiece of Tyagaraja in that raga. A.M. Harinarayanan and Nanganallur Swaminathan provided percussive support.
Neat and enjoyable the concert was, but a rasika might be excused for expecting more creativity from Sajeev, who has received intensive training under Varkala C.S. Jayaraman. Come on, Sajeev—you can !