Sangita Kalanidhi M. Chandrasekaran, in his long musical career, has effectively brought his individual style into play. Last Sunday evening’s lively performance (Indira Ranganathan Trust) made it all the more evident.
Bharathi, daughter and disciple of the veteran, herself a fine performer rose up to the duet concert challenge, very different from the role of an accompanist. If she seemed a bit uncertain at the start, she came with an impressive elucidation of Jyothiswaroopini (68th Melakartha) complete with elegant embellishments and variations. What followed was one of the masterpieces of the eminent composer Koteeswara Iyer, ‘Gaanaamuda Paanam’. From this kriti onwards, the voco-violin skill of M. Chandrasekaran was on display. The swara exchanges between the two inspired spontaneous improvisations. The concert was undoubtedly enriched by the rhythm section, ably handled by Trichur Narendran (mridangam) and the energetic Vaikkom Goplakrishnan (ghatam). In their thani in Misra Chapu, they came up with a virtuosic display of intricate patterns, especially in the tisra nadai.
Earlier, the duo opened the concert with Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Pranamamyaham’ (Gowla), followed by two compositions of Saint Tyagaraja,
‘Sogasu Chooda Tharama’ and Sripathe Nee Pada’. The highlight was M. Chandrasekaran’s delineation of both Kannadagowla and Nagaswaravali. Another composition of the bard of Tiruvaiyaru, ‘Bhavanutha Na Hridayamuna’ with all its dynamic varieties of sangathis followed. The Mohanam alapana was a thing of soulful beauty. The swaras, particularly those in super fast tempo, were captivating.
Swathi Tirunal’s ‘Bhogindra Sayinam’ in aKuntalavarali had an electrifying impact. A multifaceted artist, M. Chadrasekaran presented his creative dexterity as a composer while he sang and played his own Kriti in Chandrakauns, on Lord Muruga. The duo wound up with the MS favourite ‘Vaanathin Meethu’ (Mandu), the Sivaranjani tillana of Maharajapuram Santhanam and the Purandaradasa Devaranama, ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’.
That the concert was marked by repeated rounds of applause by the discerning audience who stayed on till the very end is an indication of its high quality. The acoustics of Ragasudha Hall and the sound engineering are worth mentioning.