Mandolin Shrinivas’s recital was a gratifying experience

Would Mandolin Shrinivas deliver today what he had achieved when he had announced his arrival to the music world? (He had almost “bent” the mandolin to meet the requirements of Carnatic music!)

That was the nagging question before this reviewer as he entered the hall to listen to him.

As Shrinivas went about re-interpreting the song, ‘Raghuvamsa Sudha,’ one construed that his mainstay was sublime music and nothing else.

The way in which he imparted poorna-bhava to the song, a favourite of instrumentalists, dating back to S. Balachandar and Chittibabu, gave one the gratification that Shrinivas was well within the Carnatic fold.

In the same context came the Begada phrases - that had pristine glory. The brigas were joined at many places with distinct notes.

Shrinivas simultaneously expressed his art in being able to sustain the sound of the mandolin till the last note and thereby provide an apparent continuity. This Begada flourish came as part of his pallavi ragamalika, which had Hamsanandi and Varunapriya as the other ragas. The pallavi had the lyrics ‘Thiruvengadamudayan Jaya Jaya Govinda’ in Shanmukhapriya.

S. D. Sridhar’s (violin) Shanmukhapriya alapana was marked by sincerity in its approach and a good assimilation of raga moorchanas with their design variations, all falling well within the raga-domain. His swara answers for Sri Ranjani (‘Marubalka,’ Tyagaraja) showed that he is capable of discharging his responsibility in this area with aplomb.

The laya team comprised of Tiruchi Harikumar (mridangam), E.M. Subramaniam (ghatam) and Selvaganesh (ganjira). Their quiet nadha erudition came to the fore in their accompaniment for the Kathanakuthuhalam song (Patnam Subramania Iyer). One could not, however, understand their philosophy in providing long arudhis at the end of each song considering the fact that the mandolin’s sound is placid. Tenderness should have been their watch-word.

(sivakumar2004 @gmail.com)