FELICITY It was music sublime, at the concert of flautists Sikkil Neela and Mala Chandrasekar. S. SIVAKUMAR

V eteran Sikkil Neela, and Mala Chandrasekar presented a flute duet on the concluding day of the 10th Margazhi Mahotsavam at Kshirasagara Hall, Villivakkam.

Two sublime kritis of Tyagaraja, ‘Sri Rama Padhama Nee Krupa Chalune' (Amruthavaahini) and ‘Entha Muddho Entha Sogaso' (Bindumalini) that were presented, indicated how committed instrumentalists take immense care to interpret compositions.

The Ritigowlai piece at the beginning, in praise of Sikkil Velavan was a varnam composed by them. Mala presented an alapana for Khamas (‘Brochevarevarura Ninnuvina Raghuvara,' Mysore Vasudevachar) and caught one's undivided attention. It was a joyous one-to-one exchange with violinist C. N. Chandrasekaran, with crisp phrases centred on the Ma, Dha and Ni. The violinist answered with felicity and fine articulation, here and for the raga elaboration done by Neela for Abheri. Neela's Abheri saw the top-notch vidwan doing a gracious elaboration that expanded, stretched and flowered.

Of modulated sounds

It also registered in one's mind that blowing could be done with varying intensities to produce differently modulated sounds on the flute.

The strategic choice was ‘Nagumomu Ganaleni,' the sangatis for which rolled out with vigour. A less popular composition of Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar in Swararanjani, ‘Raghunatha Nannu,' and ‘Manavyalakinchara Dhate' (Nalinakanti, Tyagaraja) were also played. The many sangatis and swaras for the second of these -- admirably suited to exhibit instrumental virtuosity -- were well apportioned between the flautists without compromising on the sukam aspect.

For a certain section of the audience, a concert, attains its ultimate purpose only when ‘Kurai Ondrum Illai' is rendered. It was so here too. Rajaji's song was there before the Nottu-Swaram.

Madirimangalam Swaminathan on the mridangam thrilled the rasikas with enchanting gumukis at the choicest places and teamed along with Srikrishna on the ghatam in an understanding manner where the distinctive nadham of each laya instrument was heard without any sense of domination. Their thani had sparkling sollus from Swaminathan that were reciprocated fairly well by Srikrishna.