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Seamless blend of styles

G. SWAMINATHAN
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VIOLIN MSG, Narmadha and Suresh were individualistic, and yet struck the same note. G. SWAMINATHAN

INCREDIBLE TRIO: M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Suresh and Narmadha. Photo: K_V_Srinivasan
INCREDIBLE TRIO: M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Suresh and Narmadha. Photo: K_V_Srinivasan

P .K. Mahal, where Hanumath Jayanthi of Panchamukha Anjaneya Festival Committee, was conducted is not exactly a concert hall; it is a medium sized kalyana mandapam; the paucity of venues has forced many concert organisers to convert marriage halls into concert platforms.

The utsava deity in full ornamentation was seated on the one side of the makeshift dais put up for the performers. The rasikas squatted on the floor and some on the chairs.

On the whole, the ambience resembled that of a temple concert.

A welcome factor was that the most dreaded audio system one is used to in such halls was absent and to one's pleasant surprise the sound levels were in comfort zone. One could not help wondering at the flexibility of our musicians, who perform at sophisticated auditoria one day and are seen at makeshift venues the next.

The concert by veteran violinist M.S. Gopalakrishnan with his son Suresh and daughter Dr. Narmadha was an expression of musical discipline and reverence in a delectable manner.

A master

The confluence of the three violins was sans any catches though on specific sections each showed individuality in a subtle manner avoiding hyperboles.

It was another testimony of the fact that age can never wither the mastery or enthusiasm in an artist and this was clear in M.S. Gopalakrishnan's every move. The choice of the kritis was in favour of the bright and racy ones to keep the listeners engaged.

The violins sounded in perfect unison especially during the surfeit of sangatis that were mandatory in almost all the kritis; more conspicuously in ‘Thaye Tiripurasundari' in Suddha Saveri and the pallavi of the main Tyagaraja kriti, ‘Ethavunara' in Kalyani.

The spiralling sangatis were mounted with unwavering attention. It also showed how MSG has trained his sishyas in learning, internalising and presenting a composition without sacrificing any nuances at the altar of populist designs.

It was also interesting to recognise that father and guru MSG, strictly traditional and imposing, Suresh visibly delicate and a little cautious, Narmadha strong and slightly stylish. Yet, when they played together the blending was seamless.

The main facets of Kalyani were outlined by MSG in meaty phrases and the niraval section was shared by the three deploying their own ingenuity and improvisation. The swaras also rolled off almost in their own styles without affecting the image of the kriti in totality and yet adding radiance to it.

To mention some of the catchy numbers presented by the trio – ‘Gajananayutam' in Chakravaham, ‘Rama Neeve Gani Nannu' in Narayani, ‘Seethamma Mayamma' in Vasantha and ‘Paraloka Bhaya' in Mandhari.

Each kriti was prefixed with a modest alapana by each in turns and suffixed with brisk swara strands.

It was pleasant percussion support that was accorded to the trio by Neyveli Narayanan on the mridangam and S. Karthick on the ghatam.

MSG's was an expression of musical discipline and artistry.

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