Violin The Thirumarugal Brothers' recital exhibited their respect for melody while Nagai Sriram's was dynamic. G. Swaminathan
Shanmukhapriya has been promoting solo violin concerts every year through their week-long ‘Madhuradhwani Isai Vizha' at Swamy's Hall, Mylapore. The third day of the festival featured Thirumarugal Brothers – Ganesh Kumar and Dinesh Kumar. The brothers presented a fairly long list of songs in their 90-minute programme.
They rendered Saranga Varnam, ‘Gajananayudam' in Chakravaham, ‘Samaja Vara Gamana' in Hindolam, ‘Sogasujooda Tharama' in Kannada, ‘Nannu Vidachi' in Ritigowla, and ‘Saraswati Namosthuthe' in Saraswati before they set on the main raga Kiravani and ‘Kaligiyunte Gada.'
Hindolam, Ritigowla and Saraswati were given a fair share of raga alapana and Saraswati had a swara segment too. The net result, their Kiravani kriti had to be fast forwarded towards the end. In fact, there was no niraval or swarakalpana anywhere except for Saraswati and Kiravani.
Respect for melody
Yet the distribution of time was lopsided. To their credit, the duo, being students of A. Kanyakumari, exhibited a lot of respect for melody. The siblings also had good mutual insight and most of the raga essays were shared by both. Their blending was seamless and violins were sonorous and played without the normal craze for any stunts.
G.V. Guru Bharadwaaj (mridangam), Krishna (ghatam) and Balaji Sairam (morsing) completed the team of youngsters and complimented the duo well in their presentations. Yes, they too have to rush through the tani avartanam because of the time constraint.
Nagai R Sriram , a notable violin accompanist for many front line singers, gave a power-packed solo recital. ‘Sarasijanaba,' the Ata tala varnam in Khambodi and ‘Sri Mahaganapati' in Gowla opened the concert. A succinct outline of Sriragam was appended with ‘Karunajooda' of Syama Sastri. Sriram went for treatise of Varali for the Dikshitar kriti ‘Seshachala Nayagam' with electrifying niraval and swaras on ‘Aravinda Patranayanam.' After soft ‘Hecharika Ra Ra' in Yadukulakambodi, an explicatory essay of Sucharitra, Sriram played ‘Velum Mayilumae' of Koteeswara Iyer. The main place went to Kapi and Tyagaraja's ‘Inta Sowkya' segued with streams of swaras flooding on the pallavi. As an accompanying artist Sriram always used to gauge the vocalist's proclivity and control his responses matching the mood of the concert. When an artist is adept at an instrument and is performing independently, the confidence level goes up.
Sriram's expertise on the instrument tried to overpower his attention on the soul of the musical content. In many places his forays bordered on an aggressive nudge than a passionate touch. Nevertheless, one should marvel at his grasp and precision of the classical music. When the performer is dynamic the spirit infects the accompanists. Thanjavur K Murugabhoopathi (mridangam), E.M. Subramaniam (ghatam) and K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira) were a tad over-zealous in their support.