Music Hyderabad Brothers, D. Raghavachary and D. Seshachary regaled the audience with their choice of kritis. Ranee Kumar
It was like a waft of fragrant cool breeze uplifting the sour summer spirits as SICA celebrated its anniversary with Hyderabad Brothers (D. Raghavachary and D. Seshachary). The duo known for their pure, steady, emotive (shruti shuddam, bhava-laden) rendition captivated the audience by sheer sweetness of music. With them, Carnatic music gets re-defined as something even a music non-literate can experience and enjoy. Though highly erudite in the facets of pure classical music, the brothers lay great stress on the emotive aspect of the kriti, its literary content (sahityam) with right diction at right places and adherence to the pitch and scale of music to a T. The other embellishments like alapana, neraval and kalpana swara are embossed into the kriti as a matter of fact rather than by design. This apart, our general Carnatic music concerts are rather sombre, one-sided affair where the vocalist or main artist goes on to showcase his repertoire for a full length of 2 hours and the audience for most part are mute listeners interrupting only with applause now and then. With Seshachary the younger brother of the two, the katcheri takes on an added dimension-he makes it interactive and vibrant with an encouraging comment to his team mates-either the mridangam artist or the violinist or even the audience like we usually find in Hindustani concerts. The Sourashtram seemed suitable to a summer evening to awaken Ganapathi, remover of obstacles with Sri Ganapathi ni sevimpa raade… where Seshachary embellished the anupallavi with his characteristic stress on the line to indicate the connotation signifying the quality of the concert that was to follow. In the Maalavi ( Nenarunchi nanu annitiki ) a Thyagaraja kriti, the very meaningful pause at kali lo maatalu before bringing in the completion with nerchukoni . bestowed a depth on the kriti. The ragas chosen were not the run-of-the-mill but definitely the kritis for these ragas were well-known and what more quite popular. For instance, Baagaayanayya.. in Chandrajyothi where the duo pictured the scene of Kauravas being handled by lord Krsna, through the beauty of their rendering the line ala naadu kauravulva nanacha… The lovely alapana set the pace for Jaganmohini (Shobillu saptaswara) with stylistic variations and a swarakalpana that carried the soul of the raga along with it as the duo alternated. While Raghavachary provides the soft, feather touch, Seshachary lends the strong streak and beautifully draws the swarakshara (syllabic swara like Shadjam) and links it seamlessly to the sahitya line at saamadhulalo… It has to be watched to be believed. The energetic finale (muktayi) by Ramanamurthy was just the right rhythmic wrap up. Nee bhakti bhagya sudha… in Jayamanohari (Karaharapriya janya), a not-so-well-known kriti, in their tone and tenor personified the beauty of Thyagaraja’s thought-process and devotion.
The sober (Raghavachary) and sprightly (Seshachary) alapana, a meandering one scaling the contours of the melodic Poorvikalyani wound up in the lower octave yielding to the profound gnyana mosaga raada… Violinist Dwaram Satyanarayana Rao with his steady bowing kept pace and traced the raga like a shadow. Raghavachary’s neraval at paramatmudu, jeevatmudu defined the import of a neraval — it was suffused with meaningful shift in stress at the words to indicate the philosophy underlying these seemingly simple lines. The speed or the gamakam and the volley of swara employed at this juncture by both as they alternated, only served to enhance the beauty of the lines and the raga structure. It was lovely to watch the junior brother turn into an umpire as the game of percussion play- taniavarthanam- began and ended up in challenging dialogue between Nemani Somayajulu (ghatam) and Ramanamurthy.
A chirpy, alliterative Dandamu pettanura Kodandapani… in a rare raga called Balahamsa (Harikambhoji janya) was followed by the Bilahari where Seshachary drew upon the raga nuances with faithful follow by Dwaram. Dorakuna ituvanti seva… with rippling sangathees laden with tremulous gamakam created an illusion of a rivulet prancing over pebbles as it winds its way through the green hills. The essence of the raga was brought out in the lovely swarakalpana at Rama brahma… with decorative variations which were kept to the optimum. With the duo, you cannot expect a bombardment of all the technicalities available in their arson of music to prove their mettle. The recital doesn’t deviate from the classical and yet is enjoyable to both the commoner and connoisseur. Krishna nee begane baaro (Yaman Kalyani) and Karunai daivame… in Sindhubhairavi were the right choices to conclude, though a javali intercepting these two keertanas seemed a little out of place. It may have been in the katcheri format ages ago, but with the present day audience, it stuck out like a sore thumb.
The ragas chosen were not the run-of-the-mill but definitely the kritis for these ragas were well-known and what more quite popular.