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When tradition rules ...
CHENNAI, December 17: There was method in his unhurried approach. And, the effect was sobering. Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan, on this chilly Margazhi evening, began the concert with a Navaragamalika varnam "Valachi Valachi"(comprising ragas such as Kedaram, Mohanam, Sri etc)of Patnam Subramania Iyer. It was a classy start, and a traditional one at that.

The Kanada alap suited the evening, and had a soothing effect. Thyagaraja’s “Sukhi Evarro…” revealed the intense devotion of the artiste.

Unalloyed music
The audience was limited. It was an appreciative one, though. Santhanagopalan was aware of his vocal chord constraints. Within the defined boundary, however, he treated his rasikas by serving some unalloyed music. With Sangita Kalanidhi Trichy Sankaran playing the Mridangam, the duo combined to lend a classical touch to the concert on the evening of December 17, 2012 for Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. "Mayathitha Swaroopini ...'', a Pooniah Pillai piece in Ragam Mayamalagowla, was impressive for the way it was articulated, elaborated, and delivered. `Mayamalagowla' shone in all it’s splendor, as he did a neraval using the raga name.

A surprise number
The Thiruppavai Pasuram " Koodarai vellum ....'' in Purvikalyani was a surprise prayogam (choice). And, Santhanagopalan stretched it with an elaborate neraval at “Koodiyerundu Kulirdelo Renmpavai". "Sara Sama Dana Beda Danda Chatura …’’, a Thyagaraja composition in Kapi Narayani was lively. Another Thyagaraja master piece “Palukavemi Na” (Poornachandrika) served variety to the concert. The Behag number "Irakkam varamal ponathen ...'' was impressive for the melody. “Kamala Nayana Vasudeva Kalivarada” (Chenjurutti) of Badrachala Ramadaas was absorbing. An MDR (M.D. Ramanathan) thillana in Navroj, and Tirupugazh in Madhyamavathy perked up the concert.

During the taniavarthanam session, Sankaran showed the master in him, and seize the space to excel in a manner of speaking. Violinist Delhi Sundarrajan measured up to knowledgeable Neyveli Santhanagopalan, and played with a sense of controlled caution.

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