While Ganesh and Kumaresh’s fusion pieces were excitingly classy, Dr. Vijayagopal’s expertise kept listeners enthralled.
Banyan Tree had organised ‘Swara-Music for Life,’ in Coimbatore featuring two concerts - the soft, impressive flute recital by Dr. B. Vijayagopal and a spellbinding fusion, ‘Carnatic Chills’ by Ganesh and Kumaresh (violin).
Kumaresh's soft rippling notes gave a totally different dimension to the familiar Hamsadhwani in ‘Adbhutha’. The raga reached greater aesthetic heights with Prasanna Patnaik’s distinct, melodious notes on the flute and Anantha R. Krishnan’s tabla.
With the vocal support of Ganesh and the folksy flavour lent by the flute, ‘Utsav’, in Dwimadhyama Sudha Dhanyasi became a quintessential celebration piece.
‘Fire and Water’ in Panthuvarali was deep and poignant at times and sprightly and pleasing at others.
‘Taj’ the eternal symbol of romance gave its name to a piece that brought out the tender and passionate aspects of romance in Nalinakanthi.
Spring appeared in Vasantha and Ganesh added colour to it with his powerful rendering of Patanjali’s Stothram on Nataraja. He proved his mastery in konnakkol too.
Anantha R. Krishna on the mridangam, and Arun Kumar on the drums brought in thunder and lightning with their hearty performance. While Anantha (grandson and disciple of Palghat Raghu) could play the mridangam and the tabla with equal felicity, Arun Kumar combined the techniques of Indian percussion patterns along with those of the west. The Carnatic bass guitar maestro Keith Peters and A.S. Ram on the keyboard added class to the whole performance.
Towards the end, there were simple and endearing tunes, including the ‘Magudi’ and ‘Swami Thandhanathom’. In this unique concert, lyrics, which are usually the mainstay of Carnatic music, were pushed to the background and swaras dominated bringing out the myriad emotions.
Earlier, Dr. Vijayagopal entertained the audience with his mesmerising flute recital. He proved beyond doubt that a perfectly traditional concert can be totally absorbing. His alapana of Mohanam was a shining example of his expertise. The duration was short and he concluded with the eternal favourite, ‘Chinnanjiru Kiliye.’ Mysore K. Srikanth’s prowess on the violin was well-matched. R. Ramesh on the mridangam and Trichy Krishna on the ghatam were very supportive. The thani was interesting with a scintillating kuraippu.
The Hindu was the media partner for the event.