Mala Chandrasekhar’s concert dedicated to U. Shrinivas

Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar’s concert for ‘Gurusmriti’ 2020 at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai.

Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar’s concert for ‘Gurusmriti’ 2020 at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai.

In a melodious and well-defined flute recital, Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar paid rich tributes to Mandolin U. Shrinivas at Narada Gana Sabha recently. The concert titled ‘Gurusmruti’ was convened by his student Aravind Bhargav. He was aided befittingly by veena exponent Kannan Balakrishnan. Presiding over the function, art patron Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti spoke about the creative genius of Shrinivas, recalling a wonderful Abhogi exposition by the prodigy when he was in his teens. Chief guest, veteran mridangam artiste T.V. Gopalakrishnan reminicised how the young musician constantly strived for excellence.

During her recital, Mala evoked memories of Shrinivas through her choice of kritis. The performance also reflected her musical background as she rendered M.S. Subbulakshmi’s favourite compositions, including ‘Maithreem Bhajatha’. The stamp of her gurus — flute duo Sikkil Kunjumani and Neela — was evident in her swaraprastaras and in the raga enunciation (Nalinakanti, Kharaharapriya, Bindumalini and Kalyani).

Appealing Nalinakanti

“I want to begin my tribute concert to Shrinivas with raga Nalinakanti,” said the flautist, before playing a brief raga sketch and the composition, ‘Natajana Palini,’ adding duritakala kalpanaswara and korvai to enhance the appeal.

‘Srinivasa tava’ in Kharaharapriya, the highlight of the concert, was preceded by a neatly chiselled alapana with rich contours, thus bringing out the characteristics of the raga. Kumbakonam M.R. Gopinath (violin) provided an adept Kharaharapriya essay.

Immensely evocative was the Bindumalini sketch that came next and the kriti was Tyagaraja’s ‘Enta Muddho’ . “Shrinivas used to often play this composition,” said Mala during a post-concert conversation. The kriti created a poignant mood. The flautist’s next major offering was an elaborate and structured Kalyani raga essay for the kriti ‘Nijadasa Varadakila’ with niraval, swaram and korvai. The recital ended with a Khamas javali and a thillana in Kanada.

Kallidaikurichi S. Sivakumar (mridangam) and H. Prasanna (ghatam) provided good support.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2022 8:35:00 pm |