With his heavy voice, T.M. Krishna tried to achieve ecstatic effects in the upper octaves of raga alapana as well as niravals. This communicated well with the diverse audience that applauded at every segment of his flights. Undefined dictum for the opening song is part of his new experiment and sets up the puzzle. He began with a brisk Mohanam (‘Bhavanutha', Tyagaraja) with its attractive Janta patterns and ‘Kripaju’ (Chayatarangini, Tyagaraja). Atana was taken up for elaboration but as the characteristic phrases are limited, recurrence of sangatis could not be avoided. Saint Tyagaraja’s kriti, ‘Epapamu Jesithi’ set in misra chapu was a classic act with guru Karaikudi Mani and V. Suresh playing perfect foil with aligned strokes.
The concert faced its test in the Kedaragowla kriti (Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar’s ‘Saraguna Palimpa’) as the long stroll appeared to sap Krishna’s creativity. His current formula includes long, breathless (sometimes repetitive) niravals or swarams that offer strong allure for the gallery and his manoeuvres at the second speed at ‘Varaguna Seshadri’ were impressive.
The concert returned to a familiar ground through the Bhairavi RTP although Krishna was hard-pressed for time due to the extended Kedaragowla. He vividly painted the raga alapana with exploratory sojourns around the daivatam. His ringing tanam on the lines of the Hindustani 'Jhor' was an intelligent adaptation. The pallavi ‘Govindanadi Mukundanadi Enakkavar Sondamadi’ set in Rupakam was a whirlwind effort, including the ragamalika kalpanaswarams. The format surprise extended itself as Krishna sang a hurricane swara course in the tukkada, ‘Eppa Varuvaro’ (Jonpuri, Gopalakrishna Bharathi).
Proportion was the hallmark of the legend, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer who had a role in shaping Krishna’s prodigious talent in the 1990s and one is sure Krishna would continue to reset his style based on his current experiments and their results.
Ramanujacharyulu matched every segment with self-effacing efficiency. His raga alapana for Kedaragowla was charming. The percussionists, guru Karaikudi Mani and V. Suresh, collaborated brilliantly guiding the concert with fierce and improvised play especially in the thani.