The Malladi Brothers, singing with the able support of their accompanists, mesmerised connoisseurs at the recent Tyagaraja Music Festival.
Among the many concerts held in the Capital, one that stood out was by by Malladi Sreeramprasad and Malladi Ravikumar at the recently concluded Tyagaraja Music Festival organised by the Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha.
Popularly known as the “Malladi Brothers”, the structuring of the concert, depth of their musical knowledge, synchronised singing, and the embellishing support of other artistes resulted in a delightful evening for the music lovers. Without second thoughts, any rasika would rate the vocal duet concert by the Malladi Brothers as the best in the entire festival. The organisation could consider instituting awards for such outstanding performances, as done by some sabhas in Chennai during the famous December music season.
The brothers started their concert with a varnam composed by Lalgudi G. Jayaraman in Asaveri raga. Singing this varnam in two speeds gave a bright start to their concert. Taking up kalpana swaras towards the end of the next composition which was Papanasam Sivan’s “Umaiyor Bagane” in Nattai raga, they not only gave an impetus to their presentations, but also brought to the fore their creative talents.
The festival being dedicated to the legendary composer Tyagaraja, the siblings did justice by taking up quite a few kritis of Tyagaraja. Out of these, “Evarikai avataram” in raga Devamanohari (Janya of the 22nd melakarta raga Kharaharapriya) and “Sandehamunu” in raga Ramapriya (52nd melakarta raga) were taken up for elaborate singing. While the younger sibling Ravikumar sang an excellent alapana of Devamanohari, the elder Sreeramprasad presented a scintillating delineation of Ramapriya. Besides singing kalpana swaras that flowed with rich creativity, towards the end of both these songs, the brothers also presented niraval of the phrase “varamaunu lella caranambulanu smariyimpa nidu pada mosangene” from the charanam of the latter kriti. The brothers sang yet another Tyagaraja kriti “Kanugonu Soukhyamu” in raga Nayaki bringing out the aesthetic aspects of the kriti. They also rendered Muttuswami Dikshitar’s slow tempo “Divakratanujam” in raga Yadukulakamboji.
A noteworthy aspect of the concert was the scholarly presentation of ragam-taanam-pallavi. The pallavi “Maheswari Mahakali Mahalakshmi Mahasaraswati Pahimam Jagadambike” composed in raga Charukesi (26th melakarta raga) was set to Misra jati Triputa tala. In a detailed delineation of this raga, Ravikumar brought out its features to the fore. The taanam renderings by both the brothers in turns too weredelightful. Execution of the pallavi in three speeds and particularly in the slow one was surely a treat to both rasikas and students of music. Besides Charukesi, the kalpanaswaras here were in Janaranjani, Kannada and Saraswati.
Vittal Ramamurthy’s mature support on the violin and his takes on the ragas Devamanohari, Ramapriya and Charukesi were enjoyable. On the percussion side, K. Arun Prakash on the mridangam and H. Sivaramakrishnan on the ghatam demonstrate their understanding, particularly when the brothers were singing niraval and kalpana swaras. The percussion duo also presented a riveting tani avartanam in Misra jati Triputa tala.
On the whole, this concert will linger long in the memory of the music lovers.