Raga sans bhava
Though Ariyakkudi's madhyamakala akaaraas, kaalapramanas and swara technique shaped his musical resources, T. N. Seshagopalan has developed his own robust bhani with his rich saareeram. But his vocal recital with son Krishna at the Ramar temple, Coimbatore, sponsored by Krishna sweets, was a lacklustre performance. Vocal stridency and expressive exhibitionism were very much in evidence. With his voice not very cooperative in the recital, Seshagopalan's delineation of the ragas of Asaaveri for "Epaniko" and Bhavapriya for "Sreekaanta" with abundant brighas and discount of sruti in several places effaced the bhava of the ragas and the compositions.
The fast-paced "Chalamela" at the beginning followed by "Sri Ganapathi" in Sowrashtram and "Sri Raghukula" in Hamsadhwani were merited expressions. "Evarikai" in Devamanohari was an inspiring rendition but the teeth-chattering swaras in the pallavi in high decibel by the father-son duo was flamboyant and the whole exercise made the rasikas only startle instead of being soothed. "Pavanajasruti" (Kurinji) and "Bhajanadhyuti" (Subha Panthuvarali) had some marginal aesthetic touches. His elaboration of Kanada laced with unexpected twists and turns kept the rasikas guessing of the identity of the raga. The succulent sweetness of the raga was marred by the vocal turbulence of the artiste and slippage of sruti. Sivakumar on the violin succumbed to the vocal pressure of the vocalist. Prakash (mridangam) and Palani Arumugham (morsing) proved their mettle with their laya patterns in tani avarthanam.
T. K. GANAPATHY
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