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Violinist's vocal skills

NOWADAYS, TAKING on the role of a vocalist by top instrumentalists (even percussionists) in regular concerts is not uncommon. Violin maestro M. Chandrasekharan's vocal kutcheri under the auspices of Hamsadhwani was most satisfying.

Endowed with a shariram that is soft and sweet, he did not indulge in spectacular gimmicks or sangatis, but preferred to sing straight using time-tested phrases and syllables. Chandrasekharan had commendable support from his pupil Coimbatore Usha, especially in raga alalpanans. After a somewhat laboured Kedaragowla alalpana by the vocalist, with just one stroke on the bow Usha hit the core of the raga which received praise from her guru and the audience. The song was Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar's "Saragunapalimpa" with charming chittai swaras. Chandru added glint with a few rounds of swaras. Usha's answers were apt and incisive.

"Taratamya" by Esa Dasan in Varali was one of the lesser heard kritis. Chandrasekharan's guru Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavatar's Kharaharapriya kriti "Nevedaki joochutaku tarama" followed the opener, "Gajavadana" in Hamsadhwani with chic swaras. "Sobhillu," saptaswara (Jaganmohini, Tyagaraja), "Merivere" (Anandabhairavi, Syama Sastri) and Rajaji's "Kuraionrumillai" were songs rendered in clear diction. K. Srivatsan's tani avartanam revealed the mridangist's vidwat. (All three artistes are visually-challenged.)

KSR

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