Emphasis shifts to the spectacular
Aesthetics takes a backseat when the musician's aim is to impress with flamboyance.
SLICK: Malladi Brothers.
To the extent an exposition is precisely defined, devoid of flamboyance, the quality of music prevails. But in the case of brothers or sisters, the sawaal-jawab mode robs a recital of refinement. Only the anxiety of tempo rules the concert, demonstrative impetus being the motivation. Attention is riveted more on the spectacular than on the sublime.
This shift in emphasis was noticeable in the performance of Malladi Brothers, Sriramkumar and Ravi Prasad, for the Krishna Gana Sabha in its Gokulashtami series. Slickness of presentation took over the contemplative role of sangita.
The item to start with was "Lambodaram" (Kambhoji) followed by "Lekanaa Ninnu" (Asaveri). The latter was Tyagaraja kirtana all right but neither the saint's deft clothing of the raga's succulence nor the soulful sahitya was to be sensed in their interpretation. The serene touches in the song were marginal. The alapana of Abhogi was well manicured, dexterous in a politely pleasing style. The kirtana, "Sri Lakshmi Varaaham" was well sung.
The main focus of the kutcheri was Todi ("Needayaraavale") of Tyagaraja. This effort was shared between the brothers. Both of them masqueraded their tonal manipulations with aplomb. The programme included two unfamiliar items: "Karunajooda" (Sri) and "Talli Tandrulu" (Balahamsa).
R. K. Sriramkumar was the violinist whose role as an accompanist was decorous. K. V. Prasad's dynamism on the mridangam shone through his punch-packed tani avartanam.
The programme of Priya Sisters was also on similar lines, the choice of the songs indicating their objective "Varana Mukhane" (Nattai), "Ranganathude" (Sowrashtram), "Neethaan Mechchikkollavendum" (Sriranjani - a sahitya-filled Oothukadu Venkatakavi's piece) and "Kanchadalaya" (Kamalamanohari). Andolika was elaborated followed by the kirtana, "Raga Sudarasa." Between them, Kalyani took a breezy stroll. "Nidhi Chala Sukhama" followed the alapana.
M. A. Krishnaswamy (violin) replied to their sancharas and swaras in the same coin. Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam (mridangam) and S. V. Ramani (ghatam) provided percussive support.
A well-laid musical formulation and the higher levels of exposition sharpened by a highly talented guru were the highlights of Gayatri Girish's performance. This was especially reflected in the raga elaboration of Chandrajyoti and Bhairavi.
Smooth-flowing melodic lyricism of the sancharas enriched the vista of Bhairavi. Manodharma and refined expression went hand-in-hand indicating her music built on patience and perseverance. The kirtana was "Bala Gopala." In the other items too based on the Krishna theme "Aalokaye Balakrishnam" (originally in Huseni it was presented in Charukesi) of Narayana Tirtha and "Ododi Vanden" (Dharmavathy, a composition of Ambujam Krishna) and "Bhaagaye" (Chandrajyoti) harmony and balance were well stressed.
In V. V. Srinivasa Rao (violin) and Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar (mridangam) Gayatri Girish had accompanists with a clear feel of her singing pattern.
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