concert video: http://youtu.be/e7RoZl0hwDo
La Flûte Enchantée - The Magic Flute
It was indeed a unique "East meets West" event that HWMF had organized on Wed the 29th Apr 2015 at "Our Sacred Space”, Secunderabad. Two virtuoso flautists, sharing a common podium, playing different genre of music. What is more unique was that their music was of the same aural spectrum but from two opposite ends of the intellectual spectrum.
The concert opened with an Indian Flute recital by Nagaraju Talluri who is popular known as Flute Nagaraju. In his preamble Nagaraju briefly touched upon the Manodharma, a form of improvised music and is created on the spot during the performance, but within the confines of strict grammar of music, as codified in the raga and/or the tala, or simply put 'a freedom within the discipline'. It was a mellifluous piece based on a Carnatic raga supported by 'mrudangam' and an 'electronic tampura'. Why an electronic 'tampura'? - Nagaraju put it in very simple words - unlike the west the Indian musician need not stick to the A-440 and an electronic tampura facilitates setting any reference pitch desired by the musician as his 'shadja' or the 'tonic' as a western musician would put it. Nagaraju, a Telugu by birth, was equally comfortable with his next piece Raag Misrakamaj, from his Hindustani classical repertoire, playing on a 'bansuri'. The variations and improvisations were superbly interspersed with a 'flutter tongue' passages - difficult to play and perhaps even more difficult to describe it.
Uberto opened his recital with a Vivaldi's piece with the backdrop of a pre-recorded orchestral accompaniment. This was followed by a Mozart's Andante for Flute & Strings, amply demonstrating the Baroque style vis-à-vis the classical style of the later period. Though Mozart hated the flute and more so writing music for it, the rendition was an aural treat indeed, to hear as to how Mozart could bring out the beauty and nuances of the instrument and the virtuosity of the player as well, in his wonderful composition. The third piece of the recital was by a modern 20th century composer Claude Debussy and his composition 'Syrinx', written as a solo for a modern Böhm (pronounced 'berm') flute in a hexatonic scale, an indispensable part of any flautist's repertoire. Many musical historians believe that "Syrinx" gives the performer ample room for interpretation and emotion .
For the finale, both Uberto and Nagaraju shared the common podium to play Bach's famous Badinerie [BWV 1067 from the Orchestral suite no. 7] in an antiphonal style. While Uberto peered into his score under the dim-lit stage Nagaraju was at ease with his "sa re ga ma" in Telegu with all its punctuation marks which could flawlessly replicate the subtleties of the crotchets, quavers and the scalic runs and arpeggios in the western score of his counterpart. This indeed brought out a uniquity despite the ethnic diversity. As if to create a symmetry in their divergence one could see that the western keyed flute was held to the right of the embouchure and the Indian bamboo flute was held to the left of the player (because he is a left handed).
J. S. Bach Badineriehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_PAAYZiS8w
Responding to some questions, Uberto succinctly put it . . . 'unlike an Indian Musician who had no score in front of him but only the strong foundation of the raga for him to improvise bringing out his virtuosity under its strict framework, the western musician is like an 'actor on the stage' who, perforce, has to 'go by the script' (music score) written by the author (composer) '. On the whole it was an evening of enriching experience to listen to the 'Titans without the clash', you could also say without an iota of dissonance, in musical parlance, if you like. Write-up by Commodore Champion