FLUTE Poise and softness marked Shantala Subramaniam's playing.

Steering clear of the common problem of shrill notes in the case of flute recitals, Shantala Subramaniam handled her programme with poise. Every item was announced with the details -- ragam, talam and composer.

It was good to hear Shantala's forays in raga vinyasa, and swara exchanges were mostly focussed on touching notes rather than opt for fast set, rolling, twisting or turning ones. The spiralling style was deployed only in the appropriate places where they added charm to the sangatis or swaras. Shantala's raga exposes were soft, steady and sober; especially so in the case of Saramati where her instrument exuded delicate motifs of the raga. B.U. Ganesh Prasad on the violin went a step ahead and made his response a treatise on melody and grace.

‘Mokshamu Galada' of Tyagaraja created a soothing effect. Earlier Chandrajyoti was offered with an excellent raga configuration and the song was Tyagaraja's ‘Bagayanayya'. The swara section developed by Shantala and Ganesh Prasad was fascinating.

The main piece of the concert was Khambodi Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi set in tisra triputa. The raga vinyasa of Khambodi was soaked in ‘sowkyam', without sacrificing the majesty of the raga. The tanam that followed was however, a trifle more dipped in ‘sowkyam' to the point of cloying. Nevertheless, Shantala's pallavi ‘Ananda Nadamadinar' was energetic, to suit the lyric of the pallavi. The trikalam and swaras were brisk.

Consistently right

On the rhythmic side, the contributions of Parupalli Phalgun on the mridangam and N. Guruprasad on the ghatam were consistently on the right track; the artists displayed musical wisdom in elevating the famous number ‘Ninnuvina' in Navarasakannada (Tyagaraja) with catchy sangatis.

Shanatala's swara sallies with Ganesh Prasad was enjoyable in ‘Sobillu Saptaswara' in Jaganmohini (Tyagaraja) that was preceded by the opening Kanada Ata tala varnam.

The programme was organised by Ananthaswami Centre for Carnatic Music at Raga Sudha Hall, Mylapore.

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