/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": May 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mandolin U. Shrinivas – Puttu Rao Memorial Concert 2011




We feature this time a brilliant concert held last year at the opening of the Puttu Rao Memorial Concert series on 31 August 2011.

Held in the Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore, the concert marked an auspicious beginning for the new festival, and also brought a heavy downpour in the city. Braving the weather, a few hundred rasikas came to attend a memorable concert.

The story behind the scenes was no less dramatic. Vidwan Shrinivas had come straight from his US tour, and his baggage was wrongly directed by the airline to Mumbai. There were only a couple of hours before the concert after the KFA flight landed in Mysore. What was needed was an assortment of electronic amplification attachments for the mandolin as well as the artiste’s concert attire. The elderly host Sri.K. Srikantiah and his assistants managed to put everything together in a short time. A much relieved Vidwan Shrinivas came up with a highly cherishable recital.

The concert is recorded in good quality audio. Vidwan K.V. Prasad has provided sonorous and highly responsive mridangam accompaniment.

We bring you the whole concert on audio as well as a You Tube clip of the opening moments.

It is befitting to ruminate on how Carnatic music has embraced the phenomenon called Mandolin Shrinivas before we give you the full audio stream.

A few years ago, I was asked to recommend some music to be played at a family function attended by music lovers. The music had to be classical, yet contemporary and beyond banis and genres. I readily suggested Mandolin Shrinivas’s CDs. Which one? Anyone would do, I said. After all, his music sets an Olympian benchmark in creativity, melody, classical interpretations, lyrical depth, rhythmic dynamics and variety. There is NO other musician like this genius.

How come we have such a phenomenon called Mandolin Shrinivas in a highly tradition-bound mileu called Carnatic music?

In afterthought, the answer is not difficult to understand. Carnatic music traces its beginnings to Saint Purandara Dasa some five centuries ago. At the same time, Carnatic music has shown a great capacity for creative evolution and sometimes even revolution so much so that it is garnering new audiences worldwide even today. This dynamic mileu is unparalleled in its many dimensions:

1. The range of ragas, a few hundred of them, all organized in a beautiful structure, codified and exemplified by the stalwarts’ renditions. Some innovations are seen in this area even today.

2. The range and complexity of talas, or rhythmic cycles, with complex, dynamic, slow/fast structures with a beauty unique to Carnatic music. The tala dimensions are constantly innovated and unravelled by great exponents even today.

3. A whole world of compositions, all dedicated to our deities, and telling a wonderful story full of rasa. This lyrical dimension is best described as an ocean, with unfathomed depths and countless treasures.

4. Incorporation of western instruments like violin, guitar, piano, and mandolin into mainstream music. A whole new variety of wind and percussion instruments have also ascended the concert stage.

5. Enthusiastic adoption of electronic amplification for the concert stage.

Not all these innovations meet with universal approval. But even then, critics do not protest with any belligerence. It seems almost that “we are willing to try anything once”.

We need to remember these aspects in order to understand the phenomenon called Mandolin Shrinivas. Not only has this genius wowed the biggest exponents of Carnatic music, he has also experimented and extended his presence on the world music stage in an emphatic way. Mr. Srikantiah told me how Vidwan Shrinivas was invited to perform at the Barcelona Olympics. A fitting honour for a creative genius who is one of the finest examples of the youth of shining India.

We don’t need to dilate on this subject. We merely refer the rasikas to Mandolin Shrinivas’s website.

Concert Details ( held on 31.8.2011)

U. Shrinivas (Mandolin)

V.V. Srinivasa Rao ( Violin )

K.V. Prasad ( Mridangam )

G.S.Ramanujam ( Ghatam )

Song List

01. Viriboni – Varnam, Bhairavi – Pachimiriyam Adiappayya***

02. Sharanu Siddhivinayaka – Saurashtram- Purandara Dasa ***

03. Raghunayaka – Hamsadhwani – Thyagaraja ***

04. Annapoorne – Sama – Muthuswami Dikshitar ***

05. Mokshamu Galada – Saramathi – Thyagaraja ***

06. Varanarada – Vijayashree – Thyagaraja ***

07. Rama Nee Samanamevaru – Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja *** Thani Avarathanam ***

08. Krishna Nee Begane – Yamuna Kalyani – Vyasaraya ***

09. Chinnanchiru Kiliye – Ragamalika – Subrahmanya Bharathi ***

10. Bhajan – Ahir Bhairav ***

11. Thiruppugazh – Desh ***

12. Chandrashekhara – Sindhu Bhairavi – Aanai Vaidyanatha Iyer ***

13. Dhanashree Tillana – Swathi Thirunal ***

14. Mangalam ***