It was yet another awesome concert that the audience at Odukkathur Swamigal Mutt in Bangalore got to witness yesterday. Malladi Brothers – Sri Sreerama Prasad and Sri Ravikumar gave a carnatic classical vocal concert accompanied by Sri Mysore Manjunath on the violin, Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao on the mridangam and Sri B. Sundar Kumar on the khanjira.
The list of songs is as follows:
1) taruni (varnam) – kAmbOji – Adi – violin ponnuswAmi
2) srIpa priya – atAnA – Adi – thyAgarAja
3) shankari nIvE – bEgada – rUpakam – subbarAya sAstri
4) nIkE theliyaka – Anandabhairavi – Adi – thyAgarAja
5) pAlintuvO – kAntAmani – Adi – thyAgarAja
6) enta muddO – bindumAlini – Adi – thyAgarAja
7) rAmA nIyada – karaharapriya – Adi – thyAgarAja
8) rAgam tAnam pallavi (RTP) – sAvEri – Adi (kanda gathi)
pallavi wordings: kAmAkshi brOvavE kalyAni purANi, parama pAvani manOnmani
9) kandenA gOvindana – mAnd – Adi – purandaradAsa
10) gOvardhana giridhara – shudha sArang – Adi – nArAyana thIrtha
11) thillAna – bAgeswari – Adi – lalgudi g. jayarAman (?)
12) pavamAna (mangalam) – sOwrAshtram – Adi – thyAgaraja
followed by mangala slOkam in rAgA surutti
Malladi Brothers have a vast repertoire of thyAgarAja swAmi kritis and it is a treat to hear some of the rare ones in their concerts. The atAnA kriti “srIpa priya” is not often heard in concerts. Same is the case with the kAntAmani kriti “pAlintuvO“. The rAga AlApana of kAntAmani was executed beautifully both on the vocal and on the violin. A detailed rAga AlApana of karaharapriya followed later.
The RTP in sAvEri was also a treat to the years. The wordings of the pallavi were “kAmAkshi brOvavE kalyAni purANi, parama pAvani manOnmani”. The pallavi line was structured as follows (A = aksharam): kAmAkshi started 0.5A before samam and was for 3A, brOvavE started immediately afterwards 2.5A from samam and was for 2.5A, kalyAnI started after a 0.5A gap i.e. after 5.5A from samam and was for 3A, purAni started immediately afterwards i.e, 8.5A after samam and ended with the end of the lagu part of the tAlam with 1.5A. The rest of the pallavi line was structured as follows: paramapAvani started 2A after lagu completed i.e. 12A after samam and was for 4A, manOnmani started 1A later i.e, 17A from samam and was for 2.5A. Adding up everything, 3A+2.5A+0.5A+3A+1.5A+2A+4A+1A+2.5A = 20A which is the total count of 1 Avartana of the tAlam.
Sri Mysore Manjunath’s raga alapanas were very beautiful and he provided excellent accompaniment on the violin. The organizer announced that Sri Manjunath had returned back to India just a day before from the US where he was the only Indian violinist among 400 violinists assembled from all over the world for a conference. He had presented a paper and had received two standing ovations in an one hour concert he had given there.
Sri Srimushnam Raja Rao, one of the seniormost mridangists in the field and one of my favorites too, as usual, was just too good. Though his accompaniment was a bit loud at times, it was a treat to the ears to hear him play and a very good learning opportunity for the listeners. The kanakkus he used in the taniavartanam he played were just awesome.
This post would however be incomplete without mentioning about Sri B. Sundar Kumar on the khanjira. I have heard him play mridangam before in a concert in Delhi but these days he plays the khanjira more. The way he was able to exactly replicate whatever kuraippus Sri Raja Rao played is commendable and is certainly no easy task with the kind of mathematics that went into each of them. The pharans he played on the khanjira were crystal clear even while being played at very high speeds. I feel carnatic music has two very good young khanjira artistes in him and Sri B.S. Purushottam.
Today’s concert at the Odukkathur Mutt is a veena recital by Smt. Jayanthi Kumaresh , acclaimed as one of the topmost vainikAs of today. She will be accompanied by Sri Arjun Kumar on the mridangam and Sri S. Karthick on the ghatam.