Music

Many poignant moments

Shashank in the company of Patri Satishkumar and Nagai Sriram

Shashank in the company of Patri Satishkumar and Nagai Sriram   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

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Swift or slow, Shashank’s flute poured out melody

What could be new or engaging after an artiste presents a slew of concerts in December? One with a rich imagination can deliver something fresh in a performance early January. S. Shashank for instance, treated the audience to a classic fare, which showcased the ace flautist’s manodharma. Ahead of his performance for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Shashank said, “In December, we always try to present plenty of concerts. The catch is to find a balance between classicism and mass appeal.”

His sound foundation standing him in good stead, Shashank came up with a scholarly rendition, his creativity in full swing. And it was from the heart. To begin with, he asked the audience, “Shall we start with a varnam,” and painted Sri Raga varnam with all its aesthetics.

Great team

Shashank and Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam) make a great team, as found at several local/national venues. This was no exception. He had also Nagai Sriram (violin) ably assisting him throughout. Finely wrought ideas glistened with nuances in the Latangi alapana, albeit brief, the artiste’s experience coming to the fore. The song was Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s ‘Marivere Dikkevvaru.’

The slow swarakalpana stood for serene beauty leading to a faster tempo. The flautist continued building the edifice in the faster swaras with the stress on Panchamam in the final long sally.

As an interlude came Tyagaraja’s ‘Sadamathim’ (Gambhiravani) before Surutti raga alapana took over. Shashank gave a classic texture to the raga in the multi-hued prasthara stressing the Nishadam, Madhyama and Rishabha — jeeva swaras for this raga. Though this raga is ideal for Sringara rasa, it can also convey depth of emotions as Shashank did with his play on ‘Geetharthamu,’ (Surutti) of Tyagaraja. A dash of slow swaras enhanced the grandeur of the song’s content, while the faster swaraprasthara with play on nadais revealed the flautist’s consummate artistry.

Patri’s thani is always special. On this occasion too he produced a fiery thani. Nagai Sriram did very well in his Surutti and Subhapantuvarali essays.

The raga for RTP was a listener’s choice. Shashank’s Subhapantuvarali exposition tugged at the heartstrings in its meandering sowkya bhava. The tara sthayi section was so poignant and soaked in rasanubhava that the faster passages maintained the melodious feel. The effect was moving when quick pace alternated with the slower takes, while on the descent.

Pleasing tanam followed bringing out the cadence of two octaves together at times. The pallavi, ‘Gana lola Muralidhara Hare Gopala Madhava’ (Subhapantuvarali, Khanda Triputa tala) was embellished with swarakalpana in ragamalika. One of the tail-end pieces was the javali ‘Marubari talaledura’ (Khamas).

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:28:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/shashanks-flute-offered-many-poignant-moments/article26138297.ece

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