Mandolin U. Srinivas performed to a packed and overflowing auditorium at the Odukathur Mutt in Bangalore yesterday. He was ably accompanied by Sri S.D. Sridharan on the violin, Trichy Sri B. Harikumar on the mridangam and Sri S.V. Ramani on the ghatam. In the 3 hour concert, Sri U.Srinivas once again showed why he is rightly acclaimed as a child prodigy and why he is still one of the best instrumentalists around. If I were asked to choose one aspect of the concert that I would remember for a long time to come, it would be the beautiful way in which he played the compositions. It was almost as though a very good singer was sitting on stage and singing the compositions. This kutcheri was a very good example of how learning vocal or at least knowing the sahitya of the song can help an instrumentalist. The songs dEvAdidEva (sunAdavinOdini) and himagiritanayE (sudha danyAsi) played in the concert were very good examples of the same.
Another good part about the concert, which is generally missing from most other carnatic music concerts, was the artist’s interaction with the audience. Sri U. Srinivas announced details of the composition he would be playing next, almost before every song. If not at the beginning, artists should at least make such announcements at the end of each song, especially in instrumental concerts where recognizing what song is being played might be a bit difficult at times for many people. This will also help the artists connect well with the audience.
Sri Harikumar and Sri Ramani provided quality percussion accompaniment, the highlight being the 15 minute odd taniavartanam. Another very good aspect of Sri Harikumar’s mridangam accompaniment was the effective use of “ghumukhis“. I think after Sri Trichy Sankaran, this is the first time I am seeing any other artist use it so beautifully in a concert.
The list of songs played is as follows:
1) nI dayarAda (varnam) – AndOlika – Adi – g.n. bAlasubramaniam
2) srI ganapathini – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja
3) dEvAdi dEva – sunAdavinOdini – Adi – mysore vAsudEvachAr
4) entarAnI – harikAmbOji – Adi – thyAgarAja
5) dEva dEva – mAyAmAlavagOwla – rUpakam – swAti tirunAl
6) himagiri tanayE – sudha danyAsi – Adi – harikEsanallUr muthiAh bhAgavathar
7) idi nyAyamA – mAlavi – Adi – pattanam subramanya iyer
8) bAlagOpAla – bhAiravi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar
9) govindA ninna – janasammOdhini – Adi – purandaradAsa
10) thIrAda vilayAttu – rAgamAlika – Adi – subramanya bhArati
11) gOvinda – Ahir bhAirav (?) – Adi – sAi bhajan
12) bArO krishnaiyyA – rAgamAlika – Adi – kanakadAsa
13) chandrasEkharA – sindhu bhairavi – Adi – pApanAsam sivan
14) thillAna – misra sivaranjani – Adi – lAlgudi g. jayarAman
15) pavamAna – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgarAja
Today’s concert at the Odukkathur Mutt is by one of my favorite singers Sri T.M. Krishna. The schedule of the concert series is available here.