G. Srikanth's recital was strong in its song base.

G. Srikanth's near three-hour concert had song base as its strength. The concert was part of the 8{+t}{+h} year celebrations of Thrimoorthi Sangeetha Sabha, Pozhichalur, and was held at Asthika Samajam. From Chengalvaraya Sastri's ‘Re Re Manasa' (Nattai) to Dasar's compositions, the songs reverberated with feeling. Srikanth's Rasali alapana (Tyagaraja's ‘Aparadhamula Norva') scored and soared over all else for this rasika. The pallavi was sung with immense bhava that was retained in full measure in all its rounds. Lalitha (‘Nannu Brovu', Syama Sastri) and Thodi (‘Kadhanuvariki', Tyagaraja) had glistening alapanas, all fitted with a deep aesthetic sense.

It seemed reasonable to expect a Thodi RTP, as the varnam was also in the same raga. Still it was thoughtful of Srikanth to have commenced the Thodi song from the anupallavi (‘Athambu Sekilla') with a one-line introduction to the song. The niraval at ‘Paddhu Thappaga Bajiyinche Bhaktha Paalanamu,' instead of the customary ‘Nidhura Niragarinchi' (charanam) saw its many layers neatly placed. ‘Banturithi Kolu' at the near-end, after a slokam in Hamsanandhi and Hamsanadham, took one by surprise. If there is a bit of a complaint, it is his tendency to move on continuously with alapana-kind of phrases even after the song gets duly completed. The lyric is expected to touch the heart, stirring the innermost chords, but the post-song ‘session' only serves to annul this. ‘Kanaka Sabapathikku' (Atana, Gopalakrishna Bharathi), Dikshitar's ‘Ananadamruthakarshini' and ‘Kaaguha' (Kosalam, Kotiswara Iyer) again reflected this artist's penchant for a rich repertoire. Anayampatti Venkatasubramaniam on the violin accompanied with an approach that enhanced the performance and his Thodi alapana showed competence, refined taste and clarity. Nellai Balaji (mridangam) and Nergunam Shankar (ganjira) gave quality laya support and presented a thani that bore each one's share perfectly.

The premises has a simple roof made of coconut palm - possibly a challenge in contrast to the ultra-modern concert hall. Also, the audio system was soothing on the ear (read mind) and its management, exemplary.

(sivakumar2004@gmail.com)

Keywords: G. Srikanth