The relaxing and calming effect of Sruthi Sagar’s flute

Sruthi Sagar.
| Photo Credit: Nick Haynes

In the series ‘Vaadhya Vaibhavam’ hosted by Mathangi Chamber Music, J.B. Sruthi Sagar presented an impressive flute recital, where he brought out the sahitya bhava through the instrument. He has honed this skill training under the versatile vocalist Dr. S. Sunder.

‘Hechchariga ga rara’, one of Tyagaraja’s Utsava Sampradaya kritis in Yadukula Kamboji, Dikshitar’s ‘Manasa guruguha’ in Anandabhairavi and the main piece Swati Tirunal’s ‘Bhavaye Sarasanabham’ in Kiravani stood out for the unhurried pace in which they were rendered. Be it elaborate kritis or short pieces, his playing was precise.

Syama Sastri’s varnam in Begada ‘Dayanidhe mamava’ from the D.K. Pattammal-D.K. Jayaraman tenet led to more pieces from this school. With neat medium-paced swaras appended, Sruthi Sagar presented Tyagaraja’s ‘Teliyaleru rama’ with pleasing touches. This was followed by ‘Thaaye dayaapari’, a composition by Thanjavur Sankara Iyer.

Sruthi Sagar with Vittal Rangan and Manoj Siva.

Sruthi Sagar with Vittal Rangan and Manoj Siva.
| Photo Credit:
Nick Haynes

While for the slow-paced ‘Hechchariga rara’ Sruthi Sagar included a short melkala swarakalpana, he chose to present just the kriti ‘Manasa guruguha’ without any superfluities, which was appropriate for the bhava-rich composition. ‘Marukkulaviya’, a Thirupugazh verse in Purvikalyani quickly moved past and a vividly depicted Kiravani came as a full display of his talent. His portrayal of the raga was enjoyable. Swati Tirunal’s rarerly heard kriti ‘Bhavaye Sarasanabha’ was his choice as the centre-piece. The soft-blowing did not give room to any glittery exercise but attested to the artiste’s understanding of the raga and kriti. An orderly niraval was followed by the flow of kalpanaswaras with uncluttered kuraippu leading to a neatly executed korvai.

For the tukkada part, Sruthi Sagar took up Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Naan oru vilaiyattu bommaiya (Navarasa Kannada) and Madurai T. Srinivasan’s ‘Karunai Deivame’ (Sindhubhairavi) again from the DKP-DKJ school.

Vittal Rangan’s good understanding of the classic style of the concert was evident in his raga alapana and kalpanaswaras of Keeravani and his essays of Yadukula Kamboji and Anandabhairavi kritis.

Manoj Siva, a seasoned mridangam artiste, played brilliantly enhancing the phrases in the swarakalpana and presented a delightful tani avartanam.

To sum up in a line, Shruthi Sagar’s recital was relaxing and calming.

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