/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": A Deepavali Special : Sangeeta Kalanidhi Vidwan Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Deepavali Special : Sangeeta Kalanidhi Vidwan Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan

One of the prodigiously talented Carnatic musicians performing actively for the past four decades at always the top level is Vidwan T. N. Seshagopalan. Apart from being a brilliantly creative vocalist, he is also a talented vainika and plays even the key-board. He also performs musical Harikathas which showcase his musical as well as narrative skills and sense of humour. He comes from the lineage of Harikeshanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, being a disciple of Vidwan Ramanathapuram C. S. Sankarasivan, himself a direct disciple of the great composer.

(Gratefully acknowledged: "Photography by Kartik Pashupati" )

Being a versatile artiste. Vidwan Seshagopalan attracted the best accompaniment as well as critical acclaim early in his career. He started performing in early '70s and the concert featured here is from 1973. The concert features an absolutely brilliant Shanmukhapriya, with excellent alapana, manodharma-filled rendering of Patnam's “Marivere dikkevaraiya Rama?”.

The violin and mridangam support make the concert even more memorable.

Listening to his wonderful Mohana and “Rara Rajeevalochana Rama”, we may be excused for remembering that the delightful raga Mohana Kalyani was conceived and the Kannada kriti Bhuvaneshwariya was composed by his lineage guru Sri Muthiah Bhagavathar, while under the Mysore royal patronage.

His Kabir bhajan is very evocative, and the words have been intoned with much feeling.

Vidwan Seshagopalan has been conferred the titles of Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 2006 and the Padma Bhushan in 2004. He can be described as a connoisseur's musician, as he approaches each item in the concert with a spontaneity that stems from mastery over the idiom as well as a creative exuberance. His exuberance is shorn of egoism, which is rare. When we listen to musicians like Vidwan Seshagopalan, we are intrigued and wonder what must be going on in their minds, as their musical output seems to be always daring and fresh, and never a canned fare, all rehearsed and perfected with concert effects. This chronicler heard Vidwan Umayalpuram Sivaraman mention once that Vidwan Seshagopalan's repertoire is so vast that he knows 300 kritis in Thodi alone!

We found a very charming description from the vidwan of his early musical training in an interview in Carnatica.net:

"At that period it was music, music and only music. I used to get up at 5.30, bathe, do sandhyavandanam, visit the temple and then my guru's house. I did not even have the idea of going to the movies. No recreations, only music, spiritual discourses, temple, books and literature. That was the prevailing situation. Always bhajans, namasankeerthanams, Kamban vizha, sloka competitions, etc. If you turned to one side, there was Anantharama Dikshitar's house and on the other Variyar's... There used to be political conferences and I have attended the speeches of Anna and EVR to see how they talk. If we used to hear the news it was to know about the cricket scores. We would buy Sportstar and Illustrated Weekly to know how Barrington played and how wickets were kept. Radio was switched on only for commentary."

The Concert

Madurai T.N.Seshagopalan-----Vocal
Chalakudy Narayanaswamy ----Violin
Tanjore Upendran ------ Mridangam
Sosale Sheshagiri Das ---- Khanjira
at Parvathi on April 13, 1973

01. Chalamela varna – Darbar – Tiruvottriyur Thyagayyer*** 02.Sri Raghukula -Hamsadhvani – Thyagaraja*** 03. Ninnunera nammi naanu -Pantuvarali – Thyagaraja*** 04.Vandanamu - Shahana – Thyagaraja*** 05. Marivere -Shanmugapriya – Patnam Subramanya Iyer *** 06. Ra ra raajeevalochana -Mohana – M. Vasudevachar*** 07.Harinaama bhajare – Bhairav – Kabir*** 08.Rama mantrava japiso -Jaunpuri – Purandara Dasa*** 09. Kanden kanden Seetheyai – Bageshri – Arunachala Kavi***