The famed Malladi Brothers, Sriramprasad and Ravikumar were at their best in their vocal duet held at Sri Odakkattur Matha on Wednesday during the Gokulasami music festival being held under the auspices of Sri Guruvayurappan Bhajan Samaj. The recital radiated with fine classicism and its soothing variations. The duet methodology showed excellent turns and partnering skills. Both of them have a perfect and exceptionally flexible technique and an astonishing diversified touch. The phrasing is natural with a wonderful richness of nuances.
The duet began with a rare Asaveri varna (Jalajaksha) with speed variations. As it happened to be Wednesday, the deity of the day Lord Budha was saluted with Dikshitar’s Nattakuranji Navagraha krithi Bhdhamaashrayami sathatham. After a long time one heard the Anandabhairavi masterpiece Nee madi challaga. The rhythmic delineations were of a high standard. Taking the dimension of Devamanodhari, the rendition of an old time favourite krithi Yevarikai avatharam, was delightful.
The singers dealt with Kalyani (Nammi vachchina) and Kharaharapriya (Sadaanandamu Sarvewhara) in detail. They connected expressively with the texts and brought them across delighting the audience. There was a certain sweetness, especially in the way they rendered Ninnuvina gathi (Balahamsa), Sharanu bhava (Devagandhari) and the Kannada devaranama Sadaa yenna hridayadalli (Behag). Their pure diction and energetic rendition never failed to make a mark. The richly textured accompaniments were perfectly handled by seasoned and skilled H K Venkatram (violin), K V Prasad (mridanga) and Srishyla (Ghata).
Listening to young Ramakrishnamurthy’s singing at the same venue on Thursday was simply a pleasure. His enunciation of the words was intelligible as his lyrical gift shone through the recital. A confident delivery and rich tonal quality marked his vocal concert. There was variety in the selection and execution of different ragas.
Launching his recital with a surprising krithi in Revagupthi raga (Gopalaka paahimam), he laid a formidable foundation with a majestic Reetigowla for Ninnuvina mari galada. The solid phrasing in Reetigowla lent a singular charm. The audience was delighted to hear Kannada devaranama Idhu Bhagya idhu Bhagya in Bilahari raga. He made the rasikas glued to their seats by rendering a rare Gangeya Bhooshini krithi Nee sari yevvare Ramayya.
His elaboration of Shahana raga for Thyagaraja’s Giripai nelakona and the raga, tana and pallavi in a demanding Ramapriya raga, was excellent. The kalpanaswaras used for this kriti reflected his knowledge.
The presentation of raga Ramapriya was of a high standard. Continuing with the same fervor he exhibited his brilliance in the sketching of tana in a ragamalika form containing Bahudari, Sowrashtra and Kapi ragas. The pallavi Balagopala maampaalaya Balarama Priya Sri was sung in an exemplary style. The kalpanaswaras strung in Bhairavi, Saveri and Khamach ragas were sweet. Veterans M. A. Sundareswaran (violin), Srimushnam Sri Rajarao (mridanga) and A. S. N. Swamy (khanjira) added immense value and artistry to the resonating quality of the concert. Before he concluded with a shloka and other pieces, he moved the rasikas by singing Balakrishnam Bhaavayami (Gopika Vasantha).
Exuberance of movements
The technique native to the Bharatanatya style with ardhamandalis were well represented in the Bharatanatya recital presented by Ashmitha at CMR IT auditorium on Saturday. Asmitha did her Guru Mamatha Karanth proud by demonstrating her dancing skills. Asmitha displayed impressive technical gifts but also possessed intelligent sensitivity. Her ability to shape dance-phrases was impeccable.
A rare Murugha Kauvuthuvam that peppered the composition on Lord Murugha was rendered artistically. Guru Mamatha needs to be patted for her idea of incorporating items tuned in Hindusthani ragas and also to have sitar as one of the accompaniments of the music ensemble to make it more authentic. A composition in Hindi Gale Bhujanga in praise of Lord Shiva was set to Basantha Bahar raga. Supported by a few lines of Veda mantras Asmitha erected a glowing picture of Shiva. Her abhinaya was excellent.
The elegance of line and manner made the most popular Reetigowla Krishnashtottara shatanama varna Sri Krishna Kamalanatho captivating. Asmitha’s abhinaya in interpreting each naama and the adjoining nrithya and nritta was laudable. Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s Yarukkum (Abhogi) on Devi and Tulasidas bhajan Thumak chalath (mishra Peelu raga) were notable for an striking abhinaya. Guru Mamatha Karanth made her presence felt with dexterous handling of the cymbals. D. S. Srivatsa was a melodious asset. Vivek Krishna (flute), Narayanaswamy (mridanga) and Prasannakumar (rhythm pads) contributed much to the success of the dance recital.
— Dr. M. SURYA PRASADdrmsuryaprasad@gmail.com