This video has been making the rounds on Facebook lately:
This is from a concert of Mandolin U. Srinivas at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana in 1990, with Sikkil Bhaskaran (violin) and Palghat R. Raghu (mrudangam). Anantha R. Krishnan (Raghu sir’s grandson) can be seen in the back!
These early recordings of U. Srinivas are gems; there is something timeless about his music that defies description. The video starts with some racy swarams in Kalyanavasantham for Naadaloludai, followed by a sedate rendition of Paramaathmudu (Vaagadeeswari); this is the same one I uploaded a few years ago:
The sangathis Srinivas plays in Vaagadeeswari are really unique – they do not compromise on the raga chaaya (identity), but at the same time these phrases are only possible on the mandolin. After this comes the main piece, Swara raga sudharasa (Shankarabharanam), followed by a majestic thaniavarthanam by Raghu sir. This fittingly receives a standing ovation from the audience. After listening to this, I realized I had heard this concert before, because the audio had been uploaded on Sangeethapriya.
I am really grateful to Sikkil Bhaskaran sir for uploading this video to Youtube for public viewing; I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to hear Palghat Raghu sir live a lot, and so videos like these are deeply cherished.