Mysore A Chandan combines skill and maturity in this evocative performance from the Darbar festival 2007. Accompanying him are Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin), Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam). Chandan’s lucid way of communicating with his listeners before he performs each piece makes this Director’s Cut worth every moment for an audience that needs initiation to Carnatic music.
He begins with a ‘varnam’ in Raag Saveri in Adi talam. A traditional piece composed by Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer, Chandan begins in a leisurely manner and then picks it up, providing scope for his listeners to savour every lively phrase and gamaks used to expand this piece.
The second piece, a hymn to Lord Ganesha, is set to Raag Nata in Ektala. It is a composition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. He showcases the raga expansively through colourful combination of swaras. Chandan embarks on a sprightly ‘sawal-jawab' with his co-artists and brings this part to a spirited end.
Next, he plays ‘Gopalaka Pahimam’, in Raag Revagupti set to Misra Chapu tala. It is a composition of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal. After a brief introduction, Chandan weaves medium-paced phrases bringing out the soul of this morning raga in evocative combinations accompanied by intricate rhythmic patterns.
The fourth piece, ‘Varanaradha Narayana’ in Raag Vijayshri composed by Saint Thyagaraja, is an instrumental kriti. Chandan’s dexterous, swift exercises around komal risabha conveys a deep sense of his understanding of the raga. His accompanists build up on this composition liberally, bringing different flavours to the piece.
The central piece, the ragam tanam pallavi, is set to Raag Mohana. Chandan explains how Mohana is handled differently in Carnatic classical from its Hindustani counterpart, Bhoop. In this section, Dr. Srikanth adds her magical touch with well-conditioned embellishments during the alapana, tanam and pallavi set to Adi talam.
In the end, Prakash and Venkatesh play a virtuosic taniavarthanam, wrapping up mathematical patterns into a variety of well-rounded, pleasing conclusions. Their team-work positively lifts every piece throughout the recital, drawing thunderous applause.
Chandan’s concluding piece, a ‘thillana’ in Raag Vasanthi composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman (1930-2013) set to Misra Chapu tala comes as a request from Begum Parveen Sultana who had graced the concert with her presence. Cementing every aspect of his co-artists' brilliance, Chandan proceeds with nuanced phrases evoking a deeply vocal style in his playing.
Mysore A Chandan also happens to be the first Carnatic musician ever to be presented on the Darbar platform.
Mysore A Chandan (flute)
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Raag Saveri, Varnam composed by Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer
Raag Nata, Kriti composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835)
Raag Revagupthi, Kriti composed by Swathi Tirunal (1813-1846)
Raag Vijayshri, instrumental composition by Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847)
Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Raag Mohana, Adi talam
Raag Vasanthi, Thillana composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman (1930-2013)