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The 116th Music Program of Sangeetha Rasika Sangam, Chennai 92 was held at Sri Varasiddhi Vinayagar Temple, Chinmayanagar (Central Chinmaya Mission Trust) on Saturday the 28th March 2009.

While Smt Seetha Narayanan, featured as vocalist, she was accompanied by Sri M Balakrishnan on the violin, Sri Mohanakrishnan on the Mrudangam and Ms Ranjani on the Thambura. The programme was well attended.

A veteran in classical Carnatic vocal music, Seetha Narayanan is also proficient in bhajans in several languages. Known for her high proficiency in ragam-tanam-pallavi she has twice won prestigious awards for this from the Chennai Music Academy. She is 'A' Top artiste of All India Radio.

Smt Seetha Narayan made a brisk beginning with a Varnam viz., 'Sarasuda' in the Raaga Saveri composed by Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer, followed by Sri Muthuswami Dheekshidhar's 'Ganapathi' in the Raaga Kalyani which was delivered in a crisp manner with vigorous treatment of its swara contents.

The song chosen next was 'Dhivakaram Thanujam' in the Raaga Yadukulakamboji composed by Dheekshidhar, and it was rendered with devotion and melody. It is one of the popular Navagraha Krithis.

The Raaga rendition with a brief alaapana of Raaga Ataana was truly a classical base, followed by the Krithi 'Anubhava Guna' of St Thiagaraja. This was well executed and attracted the audience.

She then took up a soul-stirring composition of St Thiagaraja, 'Nadopasana' in the Raaga 'begada' was well received by the rasikas.

'Andharanga Bakthi' by Kotiswara Iyer (who has composed Krithis for all the 72 Melakartha Raagas), in the raaga Shadvidamaargini, 46th Melam, was ably presented. She also explained to the audience briefly the significance of this Raaga.

'Ksheera Sagara Sayana' in the raaga Devagandhaari was well executed in a mellufuous voice with its ranjathvam factor in tact keeping the attention of the rasikas focussed fully to the musical event.

The main raaga taken up for elaboration was 'Simhendramadhyamam', 57th melam. Seetha Narayanan’s full throated articulation was absolutely immaculate. The finer characteristics of this raaga was skillfully displayed, with her strong base in expressing classical elements in tradition oriented style. The way in which she presented the raaga moved the hearts of the rasikas and took them to a different world of music - forgetting the surroundings. The Krithi chosen was 'Rama Rama Guna' by Swathi Thirunal. She displayed her skill and Manodharma through her neraval and swara prasthara.

The violinist Sri M Balakrishnan gave able support and used the strings on the violin to produce a sublime and serene atmosphere of listening and showed his ability with his skilful command of his bow.

Sri Mohanakrishnan gave percussion support and carried out his Thani with his laya beats co-ordinated and synchronised fully with the forward momentem of the concert.

The next one was a Sloka in the Raaga Amir Kalyani followed by a Bhajan by St Surdas. The melody and devotion filled the hall with fragrance of this raaga.

Her final one 'Palisamma' composed by Sri Purandhradas in the raaga Abheri flowed into the ears of the listeners like honey.

To summarise, Smt Seetha Narayanan, endowed with pliable voice, classical singing, kIrthana rendition with good diction, neraval without flashiness, swara prasthArAs with just enough kanakkus, without wastage of varieties, provided a rich musical experience.

The programme ended with Mangalam.

M Ganesan, [A Vocalist]

Sangeetha Rasika Sangam.