Effective team work offered enjoyable experience.
Govind Balakrishnan, endowed with a rich, powerful voice, put all his personal and external resources to full use. He was assisted by Thirumarugal S. Dinesh Kumar, whose violin responded to the deft fingering to bring out pure notes with ease, and Srivanchiam Sriram whose beats on the mridangam were clear and precise. Effective team work offered the audience an exceedingly enjoyable experience. The 90 minutes appeared to shrink, as it were.
After 'Moolaadhara Moorti' (Hamsadhwani, Adi), Harikhambodi showed up for instant identification. ‘Undedi Ramamudaku’ of Tyagaraja was developed with care. Excellent diction, complemented by an instinctive awareness of where to pause with long karvais during niraval lent a special glow to a leisurely, deliberate progress.
Dinesh Kumar's playing evidenced strong foundation, training and practice. Sriram too displayed his musical calibre through his neat, simple and catchy liaisons between the segments of a composition. There was abundant richness in the Dhanyasi that Govind rendered after this. The five-minute alapana was replete with perfect methodology - moving up from deep mantra sthayi, through plumbing the middle scale, adorning the multiple faces of the dhaivata and nishada of the raga; long, pure, loud karvais were followed up by impeccable brigas and durita kala sancharas. The team possessed a degree of musical sense which reached beyond their years in maturity. Notwithstanding a couple of abortive attempts to reach an expression, Dinesh Kumar was unhurried in his delineations.
The team extracted not only the full melodic value but also highlighted the spiritual mood in the piece, ‘Mayoora Naatham Anisam’ of Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Misra Chapu (the “tha” in “naatha” and the “bha” in “bhajaami” could have stood out better.) Syama Sastri's ‘Karuna Jootu Ninnu’ in Sri Ragam was not very common.
Purvikalyani was the major item. Govind took up the sahityam ‘Ekkalathilum Unnai’ of Tiruvarur Ramaswamy after a nine-minute alapana between voice and violin. Concluding a half-hour elaboration of the song with niraval, Govind let Sriram take up front stage for thani, which commenced in vilamba on 3/4, changing over to tisram on samam, slow and fast. There were many moments of arresting deliveries. One got the distinct satisfaction that if all young artists could sustain this ethos, there is hope for the future of our music.