Instrumental Mysore brothers Nagaraj and Manjunath excelled in their combined recital. Ranee Kumar
Speed is the sine-quo-non of success, more so in instrumental music in the present day scenario. Savouring melodies are no longer the call of the day. So, why not give audience what they want? There is no dearth of classicality nor technical showcasing, nor melody for that matter. It's a fast-track generation that needs to be fed on exhilarating musical experience that excites the cochlear nerve by sheer power of sound and speed! And our musical tradition is so rich and so adaptable that we can just about serve our listeners with whatever they desire, without really tampering with the Carnatic music Constitution. That is good enough to preserve, practice, promote and propagate our ancient music culture!
At the recent Sica concert series, Mysore Brothers Nagaraj and Manjunath regaled their audience with their violin recital which was not only educative (in as much as they briefed us on the raga and kriti) but also had the necessary spices to create an appetite in the listeners. A common thread ran through the repertoire. A calm opening with a tuneful alapana which touched the raga's innate beauty, a series of pronounced sangathis, a catchy neraval followed by two cycles of improvisation which eventually spins like a high velocity whirlwind till it draws to a natural close and then there is a desirable pause that punctuated the next piece. There is no dearth of technical prowess in both the brothers. The expertise is mind-boggling. Alternating the manodharma between themselves, gave us a glimpse of their individual virtuosity. If one excelled in conveying the emotion with his deft bowing technique the other provided the gloss and gleam of techniques. When viewed in solo, their styles happen to be very individualistic but the blend when in tow never betrayed any trace of a jarring difference. The opening Janaranjani was as delightful as its name with Paahimam Sri while the Hindolam Manasuloni marmamu telusuko… wound its way smooth and stirring.
The alapana to Poorvikalyani ( Gyanamosaga raada.. ) was touching with a finesse which peaked to an animated crescendo but despite the swiftness in bowing, to their credit in this particular piece, there was great clarity in the sangathis and the neraval. The percussion's response to the stylistic variations displayed by the duo was very creative. Entha muddho entha sogaso… in Bindumalini was a beautiful delineation of the raga and the kriti with clear cut sangathis.
Arjun Kumar on mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on ghatam lent support to the recital at Ravindra Bharati.