The sullen drizzle did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Malladi Brothers who gave an engaging recital.
The rain decided to play spoilsport. Otherwise, the sizeable audience would have swollen sufficiently to constitute a full house for the concert of the Malladi Brothers (Sriram Prasad and Ravi Kumar) at the Bharat Sangeet Utsav organised by Carnatica. Fortunately, grey skies and a sullen drizzle did not dampen the enthusiasm of the artistes, who put their best foot forward to come up with an engaging presentation.The distinctive fragrance of Dhanyasi wafted in with the opening notes of Tyagaraja's `Sangeetha Gnanamu.' Solid sangathi structuring stood testimony to the importance given to patanthara and a series of crisp single-avartana kalpanaswaras was steeped in raga bhava. Janaranjani raga, delineated by Ravi Kumar witnessed a linear development interspersed with swift flashes through the octaves and a comfortable acquaintance with the mandrasthayi.In Tyagaraja's `Naadadina Maata,' the neraval at `Talaku Vacchina' was explorative with small knots of punch and emphasis adding interest.
Singing with gusto
Two Dikshitar kritis were presented in succession, the serenity of `Arunachalanatham' in Saranga offset by a brisk `Nagagandharai Raaganuthe' in Nagagandhari sung with a gusto that came as a shot in the arm to the proceedings. Kharaharapriya, the main alapana, was a shared effort, with the brothers alternating. Within a grid of sampradaya pidis, a colourful mosaic of the raga was pieced together with minute embellishments. Slowing down the delivery of prayogas by a few degrees would have helped the artistes savour them more fully and the listeners to absorb the nuances better. The Swati Tirunal composition `Satatam Taavaka Pada Sevanam' with swarakshara at `pada' had several heads nodding in benign appreciation. The neraval showcased a high degree of skill, with tightly-knit melodic-rhythmic segments falling neatly into place. The kalpanaswaras incorporating catchy kanakku employed with discretion, ended with a rousing korvai.The eloquent appeal of `Maayaa Mohamu' (Jog) and Chandrasekara (Sindhubhairavi) made the tukkada section a memorable one. The violinist, M.A.Sundareswaran, imparted deft touches and delicate shades to Kharaharapriya. Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam (mridangam) and V. Suresh (ghatam) who enhanced the pace all through with subtle patterns, underwent a sudden transformation to assume a fire and brimstone avatar during the fascinating tani avartanam. Sparks flew as sollus ricocheted in riveting exchanges.