The flute, violin, tavil, ganjira and tabla joined to offer music.
Srutisagar’s flute concert for Valayapatti Nadalaya began with a Mallari. It was natural, as the tavil played a major part in the ensemble. The other artists were Karaikkal Venkatasubramanian on the violin, Sundar on the tabla and Papanasam Sethuraman on the ganjira. So predominant was the tavil’s sound that Malarvannan had to tone down the decibel level for the convenience of the rasikas in the Adyar Ananthapadmanabhaswami temple auditorium. (He could have dispensed with the mike and yet it would have impressed the rasikas.)
With a brief alapana of Sahana, Srutisagar played ‘Vandanamu Raghunandana’ of Tyagaraja. The Anandabhairavi alapana was shared by both the flautist and the violinist Karaikkal Venkatasubramanian. ‘Marivere Gati’ was the kriti that Srutisagar chose to play for the evening. The swaraprastharam was a dual between Sruti Sagar and Venkatasubramanian and was enjoyable for the competitive fare they offered. It looked as if there was no strict format as such. The highlight of the programme, however, was the alapana of raga Dwijawanti by Srutisagar and Venkatasubramanian, both vying with each other in portraying the alluring raga in all its glorious glides and shades, in their respective turns.
The tanam handled by Venkatasubramanian on the violin added lustre and charm, as the raga lent a lot of scope for such embellishments.
Dikshitar’s kriti ‘Akhilandeswari’ was truly a musical splendour that evoked an atmosphere of tranquility. The artists then embarked on a lengthy chain of kalpanaswara and the garland included Bowli, Bilahari, Behag and Kapi.
The short thani by Malarvannan (thavil), Sundar (tabla) and Sethuraman (ganjira) livened up the evening’s proceedings. If the sound of the tavil was naturally high, the ganjira by Papanasam Sethuraman was truly admirable, while Sundar’s tabla was crisp.
This was followed by the valediction ceremony. What baffled one, however, was scrambling for seats and reservation of seats with cellphone, kerchieves, keychains and towels by the eager rasikas for the next programme of Vishaka Hari. There was an outdoor screen for those seated outside, as the hall was overflowing. Cops in large numbers cordoned of the street for any kind of vehicle movement in and around the temple complex. Surely, the lady with the nine yard sari had mesmerized the audience by her unique way of story telling, blended with more music in her mellifluous voice!