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Shashank’s recital turns out to be a TVG
(True Value Giver)!
CHENNAI, December 27: Flautist S. Shashank is a genius. He has the ability to express the brilliance in him. He did exactly that at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha. With TVG (T.V. Gopalakrishnan) accompanying him on the mridangam, it turned out to be an artistic duel between two extraordinary musicians.

As his wont, Shashank started the concert with a brief introduction. Expressing his happiness to perform for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha after a long hiatus, the flautist began his recital with a Chalamela Varnam (Ata talam) in Rag Sankarabharanam. It was an exhilarating experience, as Shashank played the Sri Krishna bansi with effortless ease. As the genius flautist slipped into rag Kalavathi, out came “Oka pariju ta rada”, a Thyagaraja kriti made popular by flautist late T.R. Mahalingam (Mali). Shashank was impressive, as he displayed dazzling kalpanaswaras. Violinist Akkarai Subbulakshmi proved no less to Shashank. She was composed. She played easy. She adjusted herself nicely to the overwhelming presence of Shashank and TVG. If Shashank blew out scintillating swaras, TVG played splendidly. When these two engage each other, it was a treat to ears and eyes. This amalgamation was unique as it transcended age, merged class and pushed the audience to an elevated status. TVG’s student (Vijay Natesan) played the Kanjira. He has a good disposition. He played well within himself in front of his guru.

Rag Kalavathi made quite an impact. Varuvaro (Sama) was pleasing to listen. “Moksahmugalada” (Saramathi) of Thyagaraja came out very well in flute. Shashank employed three flutes at different levels. It was melodious, as he played deftly with multiple flutes. He looked an artiste in hurry that evening. He cut short the improvisations on lyrics and slipped into kalpanaswarams. Brand Shashank is known for his extraordinary creative talent, especially for his super imagination in rendering of swaras. After “Vidajaladura” (Janaranjani), he took up RTP (Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi) in Kalyani (adi talam). Kalyani dropped out so nicely from his flute. His tanam rendition was impressive, as he deployed the double octave technique to lovely use. The pallavi line was: “Thyagaraja Swamikku Sari Evvare Sri Rama Bhakthiki”. It was a pleasing recital. TVG gave elevation to the concert. The tani turned out to a live teaching exercise. There was perfect communication between the teacher and his student. It came out tellingly in the tani phase. Their duet further invigorated the concert. A maverick flautist, Shashank also slipped into ragas such as Kanada and Shuddha Sarang. He also played a Dvijavanti piece. He brought the concert to a finish with the racy “Raguvamsasudha” (Katanakutuhalam). Shashank has indeed perfected the art of intelligently disturbing the silence. No wonder he draws huge audience applause.

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