Balakrishna Prasad’s rendition of Annamacharya kritis at the memorial concert was imbued with innate dignity. Lalithaa Krishnan
Lalitha Kala Vedika honoured the memory of its late founder and patron of the arts, B.V.S.S.Mani, by organising a recital of Annamacharya compositions by G. Balakrishna Prasad of Tirupati.
The senior vidwan who has been a moving force in the Annamayya project of the TTD and a disciple of Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, communicated musical sensibilities of a high order. With manifest emotional involvement lending a personalised slant to the kritis, the artist’s renditions were imbued with an innate dignity.
The simple, clean lines of the dhathu in a wide spectrum of ragas ranging from Suddha Dhanyasi, Brindavani, Abhogi, Durga and Rasika Ranjani to a classicism-embedded Sankarabharanam, Madhyamavathi and Gambhira Nattai to an esoteric Nasika Bhushani, succeeded admirably in emphasising the spiritual content of the mathu with intensity and crystal clear enunciation of lyric. The artist was accompanied by V.V.Ravi (violin) and Mannargudi Easwaran (mridangam).
The high point of the kriti line-up came with the composition ‘Raamam Indeevara Shaamam’ that glowed resplendent in its intricate setting of the Nasikabhushani raga alapana. The raga’s graceful lines eddied and swirled around a core of vidwat in a graceful delineation while the kriti was set to khanda chapu tala, the distinctive gait highlighting the beauty of the lyric that sped into melkalam mode in the anupallavi and charanam. Other renditions that stood out for melodic content included ‘Hari Hari Nee Maayaa Mahima’ in Rasika Ranjani, voice gliding smoothly over glistening strands, ‘Aanikaadavada Anthatiki’ tuned to lovely facets of raga Durga and an uplifting ‘Veedivo Ala Vijayaraghavudu’ (Brindavani) that breezed in on a joyous note.
‘Alarulu Kuriyaga Aadenadhe’ was rooted in the strong classical content of Sankarabharanam and showcased pithy kalpanaswaras with succinct single and half-avartana kuraippu rounds homing in on the tara sthayi shadja.
The value addition here was Mannargudi Easwaran’s short, crisp thani that spelt class as always.
Inbuilt jatis sparkled in the Gambhira Nattai sway of ‘Tiro Tiro Javaraala’ and the familiar strains of ‘Bhavamulona’ in Suddha Dhanyasi brought home the bhava that reached an acme at the point of heartfelt articulation in ‘Achyutha Achyutha.’
Mannargudi Easwaran shadowed each line, each phrase with the uncanny anticipation born of perfect tuning into the main artist’s wavelength. V.V.Ravi’s violin echoed and enhanced the main artist’s bhava-oriented approach.