The vocal duo – Rudrapatnam R.N. Thyagarajan and R.N. Tharanathan’s – music was a simple and sincere fare. There was no glamour or gimmick in their performance, but it was an aesthetic presentation. They are not aggressive performers but they articulate well. The audience familiar with their kind of music did not expect to get any excitement out of their performance but contentment with the exposition of their vidwat. While Tharanathan’s voice is more open-throated, Thygarajan’s voice lacked the tonal strength in his voice. However, while rendering Harikhambodi alapana in the middle of the concert, his voice opened up and acquired the ‘azhutham.’ When both their voices merge, the audience get the feeling of listening to a balanced voice and the music that flows is sombre.

The Brothers were accompanied by C.N. Chandrasekaran on the violin and the veteran Kamalakar Rao on the mridangam with Tirukannapuram Sowrirajan on the morsing.

They opened their concert with the Saranga raga kriti ‘Sri Sarade Pahi’ and moved on to present the Tyagaraja kriti, ‘Srinarasimha Maam Pahi’ in the raga Palamanjari. One does not listen to such sahityams often in concerts and hence it sounded fresh. The violinist responded well to the swarakalpana portion of the song. While Tharanathan initiated alapana of Dhanyasi, Tyagarajan continued with it, in a subdued voice. Thus, the raga delineation was formed on two kinds of individual manodharma to present the fullness of the raga.

The violin play by C.N. Chandrasekaran for Dhanyasi was devoid of any excessive display and suited well for the occasion. The kriti ‘Na Moralakinche Nanu Brovamma’ had, besides the usual niraval and swaraprastaram for the line ‘Nanubrova Radha – Na Meetha Daya Letha,’ brilliant chittaswarams to enhance the rhythmic beauty of the composition. This was followed by a Harikhambodi kriti and Thyagarajan rendered a pleasing alapana. For him the raga bhava seemed to be more important than the ornamental additions to it. The violinist’s version of the raga was elegant. When the kriti ‘Enduku Nir Daya’ was taken up, without resorting to niraval, the brothers embarked upon an elaborate swarakalpana to enliven the proceedings.

The thani was marked by Kamalakar Rao’s soft touches (on the mridangam) and Sowrirajan’s sharp tones (on the morsing). The master mridangam player led the percussion session with imaginative korvais and varied nadais, prompting the morsing artist to give his best.

It was time for Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi and Rudrapatnam Brothers took up Manirangu for raga vinyasam. As a duo, they shared the alapana and the tanam. ‘Mamava Pattabhirama,’ was the pallavi line and the swarakalpana was restricted to Manirangu instead of a ragamalika swaraprastara. The concert ended with a brisk tillana.

(charukesiviswanathan@yahoo.co.in)