By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
On the 17th of September, young flautist J.B. Shruti Sagar presented a Karnatak flute concert at 8th Cross Paramparika Ganeshotsava 2018. He was accompanied by Mattur Srinidhi on violin, B.C. Manjunath on mridanga and M.S. Jayaram on ghata. The concert was marked for traditionality, classicism and a variety of rare compositions by various composers.
Shruti Sagar began the concert with a rare varna in Behag composed by T.R. Subramaniam in Adi Tala. ‘Vinayaka’ in Chakravaka by Muthuswami Dikshitar was another composition seldom heard in the concerts. A short alapana preceded the Kriti ‘Tappulaniyu’ in Bhowli by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar, one of the best compositions in this raga. ‘Manasa Guruguha’ in Ananda Bhairavi by Dikshitar set to Rupaka tala and ‘Vande Sada Padmanabham’ by Swati Tirunal displayed maturity. Tyagaraja Pancharatna ‘Duduku Gala’ was well played and the appreciative fact was the line completed each time in stead of pausing at ‘Duduku gala nanne dora,’ to complete the meaning of the sentence — ‘Which master will protect an evil one like me?’
‘Ezhiludai’ in Hamsanada is a lakshana kriti of Tanjavore Shankar Iyer wherein the composer mentions the lakshana of the raga including the arohana and the avarohana in the composition as in a Lakshana Geete. This again was a never-heard-before composition.
Kambhoji stood out for the artiste’s manodharma. He began by playing the base flute and gradually moved to the middle octave, bringing out the ragabhava that perfectly suited the instrument. The playing of the tana was also noted for excellent breath control and the ease with which the flautist scaled the three octaves. Srinidhi was equally good at the tana and received wide appreciation. The pallavi was designed in Tamil, the lyrics of which were — ‘Ananda natanamadidal tadhimi tadheem ena kanaka sabhayil.’ Everything about the pallavi — the raga, the tana and the neraval — was satisfying. The RTP, which took more than an hour and with no kalpana swaras in ragamalika reminded one of the pallavis of the previous masters. The rhythmic patterns created by B.C. Manjunath and M.S. Jayaram in the taniyavartanam were exceptionally good.
The lighter part of the concert included ‘Hey Govinda Hey Gopala’ in Desh, ‘Kande na’ devaranama by Purandara Dasaru and Tiruppavai in Sindhu Bhairavi.
Mattur Srinidhi followed the mood of the main artiste and proved his mettle as an accomplished violinist.