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A pristine recital by flautist-brothers Raghu & Ravi
Flautist brothers S. Raghu & S. Ravi gave a fabulous concert on the evening of December 19, 2009 at Thyagaraja Vidwath Samjam, Mylapore. They began with the famous “Endaro Mahanubavulu” (Sri), a pancharatna kriti of Saint Tyagaraja, and instantly made an impact. “Manavyala Kim Para” (Nalinakanti) perked up the mood and added momentum to the concert. If their song selection was appropriate, their music was unalloyed. The Madras brothers led one to a fantasy trip down to a pristine `sangeetha’ world for a while, away from the hustle-bustle of modern music. The creative mind of Raghu came out in full flow as he made a mind-boggling alapana in Hindolam. “Samaja Varagamana” of Saint Thyagaraja only added to the excitement of the assembled. It was very absorbing. The brother-duo improvised the kriti with some arresting sangatis and swara kalpanas. Both the mridangist Papanasam Kumar and violin artiste Tiruvallur Parthasarathy measured up to the brothers’ artistic work. By choosing songs such as “Brocheva Evarura” (Kamas) of Mysore Vasudevacharya and others, they have certainly endeared themselves to the fans.

Raghu and Ravi had indeed made the evening a pleasurable experience for those who had made it to the concert. There was something distinctly different in the way they played kritis such as Samaja Varagamana and Brocheva Evarura. It had more to do with their unique style. Their music was simple. At the same, there was style. Their music had the power to attract both the lay audience as well the vidwans. It was aesthetic, reflecting their traditional patantara. The Mali style (assiduously taught to them by their guru and father Sundaram) was evident as they took “Mi Valla Guna Dosha Memi” after a fine Kapi alap. This kriti is one of Mali’s favourite items. Raghu and Ravi played this one fantastically. Mohanam shone with glory. They presented the alapana exceptionally well. They brought the subtle nuances of the raga to the fore with amazing creativity. Raghu was brilliant in his exposition of the raga and the duo played “Bavanutha”. The later part of the concert saw them play favorite pieces such as “Kurai Ondrum Illai” (Ragamalika) and a Tillana of Swathi Tirunal in Danashree, made famous by late MLV. It was indeed an evening to cherish.