Margazhi Festival

Scope well utilised

Kunnakkudi Balamuralikrishna

Kunnakkudi Balamuralikrishna  

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Though he is still young, Kunnakkudi Balamuralikrishna has certainly evolved over the years. This was evident from his creative and effortless elaboration of Sankarabharanam during his concert. He brought out its majesty and melody in full measure. It was literally a ‘jewel of Lord Sankara.’

On the violin, Anayampatti Venkatasubramaniam etched an equally appealing alapana. The chosen kriti was Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Mahalakshmi Jaganmatha.’ Set to misra chapu, this kriti offers immense scope for manodharma and the ever innovative Balamuralikrishna, setting an apt tempo, made full use of it. In the swaraprasthara at ‘Paarkadal Tharum Kripakari,’ he used several intrinsic tisra nadai prayogas. Little wonder, as he is also an accomplished mridangam artist, learning at present from guru Karaikudi Mani.

I am a fan of the young mridangam player Kumbakonam Swaminathan. He has the right nada, apt anticipation and deep knowledge of rhythm. Though the first half of his thani was modest, he opened up later and presented a few exceptional korvais. Balamuralikrishna chose another Sivan kriti ‘Kannanai Pani Maname’ in Shanmukhapriya where the niraval at ‘Pandavaneyanai’ was simply superb.

In Swati Tirunal’s evergreen Mayamalavagowla composition, ‘Devadeva Kalayamithe,’ (Rupakam), the young singer displayed his creativity in the niraval and swaras.

Dikshitar’s ‘Srilakshmivaraham’ in Abhogi and Periyasami Thooran’s masterpiece ‘Muralidhara Gopala,’ in Mand, showcased the devotional aspect. Kuthambai Siddhar’s philosophical stanza ‘Vettaveli Thannil’ was another moving rendition.

Balamuralikrishna began his concert with the Begada varnam on Lord Venugopala. Aptly so, as the concert was held at the Gopalapuram Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple.

Wonder why he never sang any Tyagaraja kriti.

Last, but not the least, a word of appreciation for the dedicated efforts of Muthuswamy in organising the concerts single-handedly.



(ramakrishnan.h @gmail.com)

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:34:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/chennai-margazhi-season/scope-well-utilised/article6694198.ece

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