It was worth the wait
Die-hard rasikas were treated to a vintage recital.
Far from flamboyant: R.K.Srikantan at the Music Academy.
R.K. Srikantan’s concert at the Semmangudi Centenary celebrations was behind schedule by a good hour but the tenacious rasikas were rewarded with an hour of music that was “the soul’s own speech.”
Srikantan is one among the few living firm ideologues of the Carnatic music tradition and flamboyant frills are outside the pale of his domain.
That Srikantan has retained the “creative tension” in him, even at this ripe age, was evident in his alapana of Durbar (Naradaguruswamy, Tyagaraja), which combined phrases in all speeds, sung with immeasurable maturity.
The gradual and impeccable flight to the upper registers gained with an ease and unswerving unison to sruti were a pointer to his musical ideals.
Ramakanth, who provided able and sustained vocal support used the opportunities — the extension of the Durbar alapana and complementing of swaras for Sriranjani and Hamsadhwani — acquitting himself creditably.
Vande Nisamaham (Hamsadhwani, Mysore Vasudevachar) and the other three Tyagaraja kritis - Marubalka (Sriranjani), Guruleka (Gowri Manohari) and ‘Aparadhamula Norva Samayamu’ (Rasali) – had bhava running as the common thread.
An illustrative mention needs to be made of the soulful rendering of the lyrics “Ma Mano Ramana” in Sriranjani where Srikantan imparted to it all the necessary emotive inflections. He also included a Dasar composition in Surutti.
R.K. Shriramkumar on the violin gave a compact version of Durbar and his accompanying style assisted in maintaining the perspectives of the main artist.
Mannargudi Easwaran on the mridangam was clear about his brief and his laya support was marked by a fine sense of moderation.
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