The exchanges between the Trichur Brothers lent a fresh dimension to their singing.
The full force and freshness of youth could be felt in the concert of Trichur Brothers Srikrishna and Ramkumar right from the start. ‘Chalamela,’ the Natakurinji pada varnam with swara and sahitya kick-started the concert. Tyagaraja’s ‘Gana Moorthe’, the next number had glossy swaras on ‘Krishna Venu.’
Srikrishna began the explication of raga Sri. Ramkumar joined him. The brothers’ voices have nearly the same depth and tenor. The voices have been trained so well that if one feels their upper region trajectories were sweet and supple, the mandra sthayi treks were deep and resonant. Singing their way through the extraordinary subtleties of Sriragam, including the signature usage of ‘pdnpm’ and ‘rgrsr’ at the right junctures establishing its true identity, they chiselled the raga aesthetically. Could there been a better choice than Dikshitar’s ‘Sri Varalakshmi’ for that wonderful prelude? The kriti was meticulously sung and the swaras flowed like a river in full flow. ‘Marakathamani Maya’ in Arabhi (Othukadu) filled the space before they launched into Thodi.
The Thodi raga essay unleashed the siblings’ manodharma, unfolding the royal facets in grandeur. The way the siblings exchanging phrases or one standing on a note while the other covering the sancharas, lent an interesting dimension to the raga treatise. Sivan’s ‘Karthikeya Gangeya’ with niraval and swara sallies on ‘Malmaruga Shanmuga,’ opened the floodgates for their ingenuity and musical acumen.
The concert reached energetic heights with ‘Marugelara’ (Jayanthasri) of Tyagaraja and slowed down to set on Ragheshri alapana with a proposal of presenting a RTP. Again in the raga delineation, the siblings showed their flair to sing quite comfortably to some extent in the Hindustani style too. But, alas! They lost the sense of time and what finally turned up was a sketchy tanam, just a pallavi and a medley of ragas to sign off the concert with a quick ‘Enna Tavam’ (Sivan) in Kapi.
A word of caution to the brothers and many overzealous young artists. During the Season, where programmes are scheduled back to back, or even otherwise, time management is a vital aspect. It is always better to leave the rasikas wanting some more than over satiate them.
Dr. M. Narmadha, an expert in her own field, bolstered the spirit and enthusiasm of the vocalists with her imaginative and profound exchanges on the violin. Trichur R. Mohan on mridangam and Nerkunam Sankar on ganjira backed the boys with their understanding percussion. Their ‘thani’ should be lauded for its brevity.