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Recital T.N. Seshagopal's concert showcased the virtuoso's command over raga and rhythm. Sivaprasad

A concert with varied experiments and experiences; that was T.N. Seshagopal's Carnatic music recital at Bhakthameera Temple, Vyttila, Kochi.

Seshagopal began the concert with a less-popular-varnam – ‘Sri Rajamathangi,' composed by Muthaiah Bhagavathar in Sudhadhanyasi. This raga is also called as ‘Udayaravichandrika.' Next, Seshagopal took Dikshitar's ‘Sankhachakragadaapaanim' in Poornachandrika, in which he delivered a grand alaap.

His elaborate alaap in Panthuvarali demonstrated his expertise, as he sang the ‘marmaswaras' of the raga, in particular. It was followed by Swati Tirunal's popular kriti ‘Saarasaaksha paripaalaya.' Niraval and swaram was taken up at ‘Bhaaminee Samudayaasaya.' Various interpretations of swaraprasthara in a new style, that too in three octaves, were enriched by Bangalore Amrith on the ganjira and V. Suresh on the ghatam.

Soon after, the vocalist rendered a soft alaap of Nayaki, a janyaraga of the 22nd melakartha raga ‘Kharaharapriya,' which was elegantly followed on the violin by S. Varadarajan.

This was followed by a mellifluous rendering of Dikshitar's ‘Ranganayakam bhaavayeham Ranganayaki sametham.' ‘Bhavayeham' was soaked in bhava indeed. While singing pallavi, Seshagopal beautifully prefixed ‘Sree' while repeating ‘Ranganayakam' which showed his virtuosity.

Rare raga

Next was a rare one, popularised by Seshagopalan himself – ‘Santhaanamanjari Sankari santhatham paathumaam Brihadeeswari,' composed by Dikshitar in Santhanamanjari raga. Being a janya raga of the 67th melakartha, ‘Sucharithra,' this is also sung in Sucharithra, which has a slight variation in swaras, giving less importance to ‘nishada' in arohana and ‘gandhara' in avarohana.

Main raga of the day was Shanmukhapriya. A grand alaap of the raga enchanted the rasikas. The magnificent tanam in three speeds was well followed by Varadarajan. Although it was a pallavi, the lyrics were meaningful – ‘Paravasamike aakuthe, Kanna unnai ninaithu ninaithu nencham paravasamike aakuthe.' Swaraprasthara and niraval were excellent.

He gave emphasis on different swaras while ascending and descending the scales of the raga. Repeated niraval with ‘akaaram,' that too in three speeds, amazed the listeners. Tani, led by R. Ramesh (mridangam), with varied ‘korvais' were well supported by Amrith and Suresh.

To end, Seshagopal rendered a slokam, ‘Sankhachakragadaapaani dwarakaanilayaachyutha' in ragamalika. As he traversed through some 20 ragas in ragamalika, he cast a spell on the rasikas who filled the venue for the four-hour concert.

The recital was in connection with the consecration (prathishta) day, which falls on February 4 every year.


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