REVIEW While the much awaited vocal recital of M. Balamuralikrishna suffered from being too short, the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan proved impressive. Venkatesan Srikanth

Performances ofveterans in the field of music are eagerly looked forward to. The recent vocal recital of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna in the Capital was a delightful opportunity to savour the veteran’s scholarship and musical talents, which came to the fore in the form of rigorous swara combination patterns (Kalpanaswaras as well as the Chittaswaras) in a vibrant voice traversing three octaves effortlessly and his dexterity in composing. The experience would linger long in memory. Sadly, one did not leave the concert hall with a satisfying full-fledged concert experience as the recital was only for a brief duration — about an hour — in which no weighty composition was taken up for detailed presentation. Dr. Balamuralikrishna was performing on the concluding day of the three-day Sangeet Samaroh organised by the New Delhi Kendra of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at the Kamani auditorium.

In the concert, a good majority of the songs that Balamuralikrishna presented were composed by him (“Paripari ne” in raga Hamsadhwani, “Omkarakarini” in raga Lavangi and the thillana in raga Kundalavarali). Thyagaraja’s “Bagayanayya” in raga Chandrajyothi and “Samajavaragamana” in raga Hindolam were the other two songs that the veteran presented. While Vittal Ramamurthy provided violin support, G. Raghuraman was on flute (one was at a loss to understand the need for the flute accompaniment) and P. Vetriboopathithe on mridangam.

In the Capital this year it was reported that during the festival of Diwali the noise levels due to the use of fire crackers declined in comparison to last year. But the Diwali celebrations of the Delhi Tamil Sangam, through the medium of music organised at their auditorium just a few days after Diwali, last weekend were noisy. The noise levels were high not because of the bursting of crackers inside the auditorium, but because of the saxophone recital of Kadri Gopalnath and his team, which included accompaniments even on tabla (Pandit Rajendra Nakod) and rhythm pad (V. Krishna Kishore), besides the usual violin (A. Kanyakumari) and mridangam (B. Harikumar).

The recital was not cohesive either. One failed to understand the need for the tabla and rhythm pad for the songs of Papanasam Sivan (“Sri Ganeshacharanam” in raga Thilang), Thyagaraja (“Endaromahanubavulu” in Sri raga, “Maravairi” in raga Nasigabhushani) and Ootukadu Venkatasubramanya Iyer (“Ennatavam” in raga Kapi), which Gopalnath presented on the saxophone.

In the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan 2012 concert broadcast recently, M.K. Sankaran Nambudri’s vocal concert was very impressive. In a concert of an hour and a half, Sankaran took up two songs — Thyagaraja’s “Intakannayanandamemi” in raga Bilahari and Papanasam Sivan’s “Saravanabhavaenum” in raga Shanmukhapriya — for detailed rendition. Earlier, Sankaran started his concert with “Bhajamanasavigneswara”, a composition of Tulasivanam, and went on to present Thyagaraja’s “Chalamelara” in raga Margahindolam.

He concluded the recital in a fitting manner with a thillana in raga Pahadi composed by Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. Edapally Ajith Kumar on violin, Dr. G. Babu on mridangam and Vazhapally Krishnakumar on Ghatam provided good support in this concert.