Spirit of Unity
M. Balamuralikrishna and Pt. Ajoy Chakraborthy
Aditya Music (India) Pvt. Ltd.
(Jugalbandhi – Carnatic and Hindustani Vocal)
DVD video _ Live Concert
Price: Rs. 299.
Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, whose versatility is very familiar to the Carnatic music rasikas, has teamed up with Hindustani vocalist Pt. Ajoy Chakraborthy to present a jugalbandhi recital which is truly engaging from start to finish. This digital video disc brought out by Aditya Music (India) P Ltd is a recording of a live concert held at the Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad.
What strikes the listener while the opening strains of raga Valaji (Kalavathi in the Hindustani parlance) is rendered by the gifted vocalists, is their absolute control over their vocal chords. The silken finish and mesmerising quality of their voices reflects the immense sadhakam (riyaz) put in by the artists.
The brief guru vandana ‘Mananeeya Madura Murthi’ in Valaji is a composition of Balamurali Krishna and leads on to ‘Vatapi Ganapathim' (Hamsadhwani - Muthuswami Dikshitar). Ajoy Chakraborthy joins the Carnatic vocalist in the rendering of the madhyama kala sahityam ‘Karaam Bhuja Paasa’ which is decorated with kalpanaswaras in both styles by the singers.
Ajoy next renders a bewitchingly beautiful alap of raga Malkauns and a short composition ‘Mandir Dheka Chale Sudhama.’ This is complimented with Tyagaraja's Hindolam kriti ‘Samajavaragamana' by Balamurali who excels in the passionately sung lyrics. The percussive interlude by Ramakrishna (mridangam), Umashankar (Ghatam), Indhra Neel Bhaduri (Tabla) and Sathya Sai (Morsing) earns repeated applause from the audience.
The highlight of this concert is the masterly creation of Balamurali, which happens to be a Thillana in raga Kalyani. The sruti bhedam technique employed during the course of the composition yields melodies such as Mohanam, Hindolam etc which stand testimony to the manodharma of the composer. Ajoy has meticulously learnt this difficult thillana and presents it with involvement with Balamurali. The result is a sheer delight. A bhajan in Sindhubhairavi ‘Bhajare Guru Divam’ is the final number before the curtains fall.