Mysore A. Chandankumar’s flute concert in Thrissur was a melodious experience for the audience.
A flute recital in Thrissur was long overdue. Mysore A. Chandankumar filled this void quite commendably with his soulful recital that lasted for more than two hours. The great-grandson of the legendary violin supremo Mysore T. Chowdiah proved that the genetic trait had a bearing on his artistry. Graceful and soft touches of the fingers and a gentle but powerful blowing appeared to be his hallmark. Also the style was ‘gayaki’.
The much sought-after Navaragamalika pada varnam ‘Valachi Vachi’ of Patnam Subramania Iyer was noted for the intrinsic emotions that the nine ragas – Kedaram, Sankarabharanam, Kalyani, Begada, Kamboji, Yadukulakamboji, Bilahari, Mohanam and Sree – embraced. Tyagaraja seemed the favourite composer of Chandankumar as he ventured into three of the vaggeyakara’s compositions in quick succession. Beginning with ‘Sree Ganapathi nee sevimparare’ in Sourashtram and Adi, he went on to , ‘Marukelara oh Raghava’, in raga Jayanthisree and Adi, which was captivating. It was not until he entered into a prolonged dissection of Nasikabhushani that one could realise his ability to delve deep into the melodic niceties of the Janaka raga (Melam 70). The number was ‘Maravairi ramani manjubhashini’ in Roopakam. The stress on key swaras and phrases was absolutely in place while he progressed into its rendition. Admittedly, some of the phrases were extremely fast. This, to some extent, was counter productive as the gamakas of the notes got lost as they coalesced into each other, especially for an instrument like the flute that can sustain each swara longer. Still, his dexterity in blowing out the swaras was remarkable.
Patnam Subramania Iyer’s ‘Raghuvamsa sudhaambudhichou’ in Kathanakuthoohalam and Adi with its speedy appeal was a breather for the main raga Madhyamavathy that was to follow in all its elegance. That he could paint varied colours to the swaras during the elaboration of the raga was a laudable feature of his artistry. Tyagaraja’s ‘Ramakatha sudharasa panamo’ in Adi was the kriti selected for the raga. While the rendition itself was vigorous, the tani tagged to this piece by Poongad Sanoj (mridangam) and G. Manoharan (ghatam) was equally luscious.
True, the rasikas stand to enjoy more of the musician’s creativity while he strives to elaborate two ragas in the same concert. But it spoils the intrinsic aesthetic format of a concert that should have only one main raga with its concomitant embellishments. Taking this into consideration, the Nasikabhushani could have been a little shorter.
Avaneeswaram S.R. Vinu (violin) had a decisive role in making the concert memorable for the unmatched clarity of the notes that he bowed out of the strings of his violin. Not only was his avartana in the right proportion, the bhava he could impute to each note was praiseworthy.
Bansuri was employed in the bhajan that followed. ‘Jagadodharana’ (Purandaradasa, Kapi) and ‘Alaipayuthe’ ( Oothukadu Venkata Subramania Iyer, Kanada) were the concluding pieces. Sree Thyagabrahma Sangeetha Sabha presented the flautist with the cooperation of the Chinmaya Mission at Neeranjali Hall.