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Wizard of saxophone

R. K.
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Music Kadri Gopinath’s saxophone play and Kanyakumari’s violin recital made for a marvellous evening of instrumental music.

Dexterous playKadri Gopalnath performs for SICA
Dexterous playKadri Gopalnath performs for SICA

Kadri Gopalnath is a name to reckon within the firmament of saxophone play. The toughest Carnatic music nuances got transferred and translated on to this very English wind instrument and that’s no hat-trick. To this day, Kadri is able to hold his audience with his baffling musical display. The dexterity with which he delineates complex ragas and defines their gradations to the last decimal demonstrates his wizardry with the saxophone. To top this, he had ace violinist Kanya Kumari to accompany him which is a sure shot to success of the concert. The two made for an awesome evening of instrumental music.

Beginning with the Papanasam Sivan’s gyana Vinayagane .. in Gambheera Nata, Kadri waded through the sangathis and expounded the neravals in a manner that singularly bears his stamp. It was as if an album of all the great composers we know, that opened before us! Shyama Sastri’s swarajati Amba Kamakshi …, followed by pancharatna kriti Saadhinchene … (Arabhi), Muthiah Bhagavatar’s Vaanchatonu navagalu telpa amba …in Karnaranjani, a very rare raga Surya (Sallapam) which was the RTP piece with the pallavi, Devaki nandana scaling the skies of Valaji, Brindavana Saranga, and so on.

The composure and poise with which Kadri led us across the gamut of ragas was something to write home about. The clarity which marked the sangathisand manodharma - one sounded vibrant to the ear, the other was astounding. Added to this we had KanyaKumari’s interpretation on the violin which underlined the finer nuances in the swarakalpana or for that matter the alapana. For instance, the swara and sahitya that were spelt out in the Bhairavi swarajati through the saxophone were flawless and we could literally sing along with it. The gamakam may have sounded better on the violin but then the beauty of his handling this tough wind instrument that makes Kadri the numero uno in this class of music. The duo had a literal conversation with their instrumental music which was marvellous to witness. The tanam was top class. Hari Kumar on the mridangam and Rajendra on the tabla and Rajasekhar on the morsing complemented the main artiste. The concert was part of Sica’s annual festival at Ravindra Bharathi.

R. K.

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