TNS was a picture of poise and his singing enhanced the classical flavour.
There was a sense of ease in the way Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan used his deep voice to bring out the interplay of refinement and tenderness in interpretative scholarship. This capacity -- both in rendering kirtanas and essaying ragas -- served as a vehicle to showcase his manodharma across the octaves.
Free of vocal extravagance, the singer’s raga alapana of Hamirkalyani (‘Venkata Saila Vihara’), Arabhi (‘Saadinchanae’) and Yadukulakhambodi (‘Ninnu Sevinchina’) progressed with great restraint. His achievement sprang from the fact that he has incredible control over the flow of sancharas in the higher octaves.
Seshagopalan’s Yadukulakhambodi was marked by precision. He explored the intrinsic shades of the raga, revealing his imaginative capacity. This was more of a creative process rather than intellectual display.
Though Yadukulakhambodi was pensive, Arabhi moved at a lilting pace. The grandeur of the composition helped Seshagopalan present the kriti with intensity and vigour, classical in style and stately in effect. The alapana revealed his insight into the aesthetics of what raga had to be dealt with in what format. Though Arabhi was swift-paced, harmony and balance were well stressed.
In presenting Hamirkalyani, Seshagopalan dwelt upon the twists and turns in designing the vinyasa.
The arresting aspect while rendering ‘Ninnu Sevinchina’ and ‘Venkata Saila Vihara’ was the way he dwelt on the evocative subtleties. A rasika could discern how Seshagopalan imparted contemplative poise with lyrical softness. His rendering of both the kirtanas emphasised tranquillity – not aggression.
Violinist M. Chandrasekharan, in his solo session, brought out the resonances of Arabhi and Yadukulakhambodi to the fullest. He is not one who is satisfied with the surface beauty of a raga, but always delves deep into its intricacies. T.K. Murthy on the mridangam, with his disciple as second support, brought to the performance old-world charm in the technique of embellishing kirtanas. His tani with B.S. Purushothaman (ganjira) created a punching environment of laya erudition.