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A delightful concert by Santhanagopalan
He is a traditionalists' delight. A rising star very many seasons ago, veteran Neyveli Santhanagopalan still carries the youthful enthusiasm. His concert for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha on the New Year eve (December 31, 2017) was marked for a fine amalgam of tradition and energy. His engagement with the accompanying artistes was a lesson in concert management. The concert was rich in content, and proved to be a quality experience for those who made it to the venue this evening.

His vidwath and musical prowess came to fore as he went into a felicitous singing mood. His tutelage under various maestros and musical experience all kept him in good stead as he delved into a number of rakthi ragas on this evening. His voice was soft, and pleasing to listen. A remarkable thing about him is that he sings to his strength. He was humility personified, as he appreciated the accompanying artistes after each raga or swara rendering. His message to the rasikas was quite clear: success of a concert rested also on the co-artistes! “Mahima Tagginchuko” of Thyagaraja in Rishabhapriya was a good rendering. Santanagopalan gave a lovely expression to the lyrics. He seems to internalize the kriti and enjoy himself more before presentation to the audience. "Janani Ninuvina" (Ritigaula) of Subbaraya Sastri was an absorbing presentation with the lilting lyrics and chittaiswaras." Naan Oru Vilayatu Bommayya" (Navarasa Kannada), Vaananai Madichudiya Tiruvannamalayanai (Kiravani) of Tirunavukkarasar and Saraguna Palimpa (Kedargaula) of Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar were classy. Devotion remained the hallmark of his concert that evening. Even as his vidwath was evident, it took the second place next to bhakthi. “Govardana Giridhari” of Narayana Tirtha was gripping. H.N. Bhaskar on the violin gave adequate support. Kanjira artiste B.S. Purushottam and mridangist Mannargudi Easwaran were understanding in their percussion support and excelled in tani avarthanam phase.

The young boy accompanying him on the stage (seated behind him) certainly was a refreshing sight. This boy was on a mission mode through out the concert - focused completely on counting tala and co-singing quietly with Santhanagopalan. When there are diversions aplenty for a modern youth, the presence of this serious boy on stage gives a comforting feeling.

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