Monday July 3, 2000
Resonance- The Madras String Quartet (Oriental Records),
It was in the early 19th century that Baluswamy Dikshitar introduced
the violin to Indian music. Since then, this instrument and its
cousin, the viola, have retained a pivotal place in Indian music.
The Madras String Quartet, comprising of the leader V.S.Narasimhan
(violin), Krishna Murali (violin), V.R.Sekar (cello) and
B.J.Chandran (viola) has attempted something unusual. The quartet
has played some Carnatic compositions in Western classical style.
The resulting combination of melody and harmony constantly resonates
in your mind!
'Raghuvamsasudha' in Kathanakuthuhalam is played in a stately style,
while 'Amba Kamakshi' in Bhairavi sounds majestic. The rhythms of
the various compositions have been beautifully integrated into the
The versatility of Narasimhan, who is the brain behind the project,
is evident throughout, specially his composition in Bilae is
completely at ease in both Indian and Western classical styles which
is rare in a musician.
However, one wished the record company had given a listing of songs
instead of printing an ad overleaf. Buyers will not have an idea
about the cassette or the songs! This album will serve as an
excellent introduction to both the genres of music. A must buy!