In full flow
SANKARABHARANAM IS a charming yet commonplace raga easily identifiable. But in the hands of Madurai T. N. Seshagopalan the raga reached a new dimension in style and scholarship.
Whether it was alapana, or neraval, or swara rendering, the innovative capabilities of the artiste were in full flow.
Dikshitar's "Akshyalingavibho" in Misrachapu is of special attraction to tala buffs and when Seshagopalan rendered the charanam, "Badarivanamula..." as a demanding neraval exercise it was quite anticipated.
The special band of swaras which kept the percussionists (T. K. Murthy and B. S. Purushottam) on tenterhooks received applause at the end of every round.
TNS was unsparing in his efforts to help the accompanists bring out their potential.
Violinist V.V. Ravi did his job most effectively without seeming to do so when the crescendo was reached the entire audience at the IIT auditorium almost got up to give a standing ovation.
Veena Kuppayyar's Ritigowla varnam, (Ata tala) "Vanajaksha" gave a rousing start to the concert.
Quickly followed "Manavyalakim" (Nalinikanti) and Dikshitar's "Tyagarajo Virajate" (Atana) and "Tyagarajah Tanavaritanamu" (Begada) before the artiste began an extensive alapana in Varali for Tyagaraja's pancharatnam, Kankana ruchira which proved a pacesetter for the feature.
A manji padam by Kavikunjara Bharathi and a Sindubhairavi tillana by Uttakadu gave a glorious finale to the inspiring concert.
With the inclusion of several rare compositions the status and stature of Samyukta's concert enhanced at Hamsadhwani. Now stationed in the U.S., she has obviously not forgotten her Carnatic music moorings. Gifted with a soft, sweet and resonant shariram she has a good patanthara and sings at an equi-pace throughout.
Starting with "Om Pranava" scripted by Krishnamurthy Pillay of Salem Modern Theatres, she rendered Tyagaraja's "Paraku Neekelu" (Kiranavalli) and "Kripajuchutaku" (Chayatarangani). Baluswamy Dikshitar's "Neeve Rasika Sikamani" in Rudrapriya, a not often heard composition followed.
It was indeed a brave bid on the part of Samyukta to have handled Dikshitar's "Purnachandrabimba Vijaya," a ragamalika (Purnachandrika, Narayani, Saraswathi Manohari, Suddha Vasantam Hamsadhwani and Nagadhwani) with chittaiswaras, with a fair degree of comfort and clarity. Gaurimanohari alapana expansively for Tyagaraja's popular "Gurulekha" and an overdose of swaras after neraval preceded another tidy Madhyamavati and for a welcome change, the artiste sang Syama Sastry's "Kamakshi Loka Sakshi," a Behag padam, "Saramaina" (Swati Tirunal) and a Tirupugazh brought down the curtain.
Charumathi (violin) and Lakshmana (mridangam) were the accompanists. KSR
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