While Kunnakudi M. Balamuralikrishna gave detailed, lively renditions, Vechoor C. Sankar too made the most of a short recital

Music lovers in the Capital were treated to some good music recently. Chennai-based Kunnakudi M. Balamuralikrishna performed at the Karthiyayani auditorium of the Uttara Guruvayurappan temple, Mayur Vihar, under the aegis of the Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha. In an intelligently structured concert, Balamuralikrishna’s musical depths — both while singing the compositions as such and while handling the creative aspects — came to the fore. The concert was for about two-and-a-half hours.

The vocalist started with an Adi tala varnam in raga Abhogi, which provided ample indication that this concert was going to be delightful. He went on to present composition after composition to the utter delight of the music lovers. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s “Sree Mahaganapati” in raga Gowla was his next item, containing lively swaraprastaras towards the end. After singing Ambujam Krishna’s “Guruvayurappane Appan” in raga Ritigowla emotively, he took up Tyagaraja’s composition “Paramatmudu” in raga Vagadhiswari (a vivadi raga) for detailed rendition. In a scintillating alapana, he brought out the features of this raga in stages.

Yet another Tyagaraja composition, “Ninnada nela” in raga Kannada, was suffixed with fast paced swaraprastaras, which enlivened the proceedings. Dikshitar’s “Sri Krishnam bhaja” in raga Todi again came in for detailed treatment. He excelled while delineating the raga and while presenting the neraval of a phrase from the charanam portion of the song, as well as the subsequent swaraprastaras.

Another noteworthy feature of Balamuralikrishna’s concert was the ragam-taanam-pallavi. The pallavi “Sri Krishnam bhavaye Saranagadavatsalam” in raga Hamirkalyani, set to a slightly complex tisra jati Jhampa tala in khanda nadai, was again rich in creativity and executed brilliantly.

Both Mullaivasal G. Chandramouli on the violin and P. Jayabhaskar on the mridangam provided excellent support. While Chandramouli’s take on the ragas Vagadhiswari, Todi and Hamirkalyani was delightful, Jayabhakar’s tani avarnanam (percussion solo) in Adi tala and again briefly in tisra jati Jhampa tala during the ragam-taanam-pallavi was enjoyable.

In another concert organised by the Delhi Tamil Sangam at their auditorium recently, Kerala-based Vechoor C. Sankar too enthralled music lovers, even in a brief concert of an hour or so. As Sankar and his Delhi-based accompanists were scheduled for another appearance elsewhere in the Capital immediately after this performance, they had to wind up such a delightful concert rather hurriedly, even though there was still time at their disposal.

Structuring his concert entirely on Tamil compositions, Sankar started with a composition of Gopalakrishna Bharati, “Sabhapatikku” in raga Abhogi. Even in this very first piece Sankar’s depth in Carnatic music came to the fore. Sankar took up yet another Gopalakrishna Bharati composition, “Varuvaro varam taruvaro” in raga Sama, and Papanasam Sivan’s “Appan (Ayyappan) avatarita” in raga Kharaharapriya for somewhat detailed rendition. Sankar’s creative talents flowed when he handled the improvisation techniques (raga alapana and swaraprastaras) while presenting these songs. Sankar concluded his concert with Papanasam Sivan’s “Nanoru vilayattu bommayam” in raga Navarasakannada. VSK Annadurai on the violin and Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan on the mridangam provided good support.