Music

Strings of melody

Mandolin Srinivas  

When prodigies were considered dime a dozen, Mandolin Srinivas (U. Srinivas) as he is fondly referred to, was a true child prodigy. And till date, he remains a musician par excellence. He is a trail-blazer to all those who took to the mandolin after him. This tough string instrument melts under his nimble fingers as he literally makes it speak the language of his music.

The melodies that emanate out of his mandolin never cease to astonish us with their human quality and what more, each syllable vibrates with life.

After establishing his credentials with the formal yet traditional varnam followed by an invocation to Lord Ganesha, Srinivas took up the Pancharatna kriti Endaro mahanubhavulu in Sri. All the Mahanubhavulu listening to him with singular attention were bowled over with the lengthy yet stately Sri as he wound his way through the pallavi, charanam after a crystal clear sangathee delineation round.

The 33rd melakarta Gangeya bhushini beamed like a gemstone as he ambled through the alapana and began the kriti Evare Ramayya nee sari (Thyagaraja). The artistry he bestowed on handling the grammar of this delicately carved kriti was as sweet as honey. The charanam was woven like a beautiful piece of tapestry around the lyrics.

The Amritavarshini of Dikshitar was rather crisp one. The profound Todi found its full expression in the subtle nuances, Srinivas provided in his sweeping alapana. The artist is a wizard who could conjure the illusion of a veena as he elegantly played on the mandolin strings.

The violin by Komunduri Venkatakrishna followed like a shadow not losing out on any syllable let alone melody. The display of virtuosity was like child's play to Srinivas and he switched over to ragamalika- the breeze of the windy Khambhoji was replaced by the sweet fragrance of Anandabhairavi as the swara wafted through the air. V. Ramanamurthy on the mridangam displayed his unique style of beat to one syllable that steadily rose to a volley of multi-syllabic rhythm. He would begin at the lowest decibel and rise like a meteor as he made his way up to the pinnacle and by the same token tailspin into a muktayi.

The ghatam took up the percussion combat in the most sportive spirit and answered in the most compelling tones. Never was there audience participation with such cheer and enthusiasm in a classical concert; the audience began to keep time to the percussion burst of music with their hands in talam in unision. The Ravindra Bharathi auditorium reverberated with so many hands clapping to the rhythm.

The Kadanakuthuhalam ( Raghuvamsha Sudhambudi Chandra) a Patnam Subramaniam's composition flowed with ease as Srinivas has been adept at this particular ragam ever since his childhood. The underlying notes were so pronounced as the surface notes were simultaneously explored and it was a joy to behold. Jagaddodharana in Kapi (Purandhara Dasa) recreated a picture of an astonished Yashoda as she realized the supreme power of her precious child Krishna. The Ramadas keertana in Nadanamakriya – Ye teeruga nanu dayachuchedavo and Brahma kadigina paadamu an Annamacharya keertana in Mukhari flowed eloquent to say the least. The recital was put up by Nadaprabha cultural organisation.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:21:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/strings-of-melody/article3527825.ece

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