Accompanied by S. Varadarajan on the violin, Neyveli R. Narayanan on the mridangam and S.V. Ramani on the ghatam, Malladi Brothers – Sreerama Prasad and Ravikumar – commenced their concert with the Sindhuramakriya kriti ‘Sudhamadhurya’ of Tyagaraja. For the opening piece the quantum of kalpanaswaram by the duo was too much instead of being crisp.
‘Endundi Vedalithivo’ in Durbar, Misra Chapu talam, again a Tyagaraja composition, was next in line. Srirama Prasad gave an essay of Durbar raga and proceeded to give the kirtana not giving a chance for the violinist to make his essay of this raga. An elaborate alapana of Hamsanadam for the Annamacharya composition set to that ragam in Rupaka talam, ‘Telisithe Mokshamu,’ ‘Abhayambikayah’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar in Khanda Chapu in Kedaragowla has touching Vedhanta backed sahitya bhava. The grand gait of a Dikshitar composition of this nature was not experienced in this kriti as perhaps it was rendered in Khanda Chapu and instead if it had been in Jampa talam the outcome would have been more satisfying and long lasting in the minds of the rasikas. Of course, this also had a raga alapana prelude.
‘Rama Bana,’ in Saveri, Adi talam, was rendered with an alapana.
The niraval and kalpanaswaras were at ‘Thammudu Badalina’ in the charanam line. This is a line packed with sahityam’ leaving almost no space for a convenient vilamba kala niraval to exhibit the Saveri raga bhava.
The Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi session was the next in line. The ragam was Ritigowla. The alapana for the raga had touches suggestive of Nattakurinji in the portion ‘sa ni dha ma ni dha ni’ which could have been cleverly restructured to retain the Ritigowla shade. The solo raga version by Varadarajan was highly commendable. Set to Adi talam, four kalai, the pallavi was ‘Brahmanandam Paramanandam Parama Sukhadam.’
It was a neat execution by the team. There was practically no niraval of the pallavi and only the trikala exercise. This is presumed as an account of excessive sahitya of the pallavi leaving no chance for niraval.
The ragamalika swara embellishment contained Mohanam, Dhanyasi, Hamsanandhi, Hamirkalyani and Surutti. The thani by Narayanan and S.V. Ramani was well performed.
With ‘Swara Nama’ in Kuntalavarali, a slokam in Salakabhairavi and a kriti in Namavadami, the concert concluded with an exquisite mangalam which paid obeisance to all the great vaggeyakaras of Yore. Every piece in the concert had a raga alapana and there were no crisp songs in between which could have elevated the concert to an exhilarating level which the rasikas were looking forward to.