Music

Pallavi, extempore!

Violin duet by Ganesh and Kumaresh. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan  

This was a concert where the audience selected the swara patterns for the RTP and the artists on stage created, on the spot, a pallavi in that raga and presented it. Violin duo, Ganesh-Kumaresh, came up with an interactive presentation for their kutcheri at Bharat Kalachar.

The novel varnam, in Sankarabharanam said it all. Composed by Ganesh recently, the varnam was interspersed with innovative graha bedha chittaiswaras in the charanam portion. What lingered in memory though was Badrachala Ramadas’s piece in Chenjurutti that came towards the end. With a little sishya in tow singing ‘Sri Rama Ramaku,’ the duo enriched this composition with phrases of the raga that has a folk flavour.

They warmed up with Ritigowla raga alapana and the kriti ‘Cherarava Demi’ with fast-paced kalpanaswaras. The Lalitha raga alapana was heartwarming. Because of its limited range and close resemblance to Vasantha, the raga usually gets a cursory treatment. The duo excelled in the alapana, before they played ‘Hiranmayeem’ by Muthuswamy Dikshitar at a slightly faster pace than usual. The slow-and-fast-paced swaras highlighted their virtuosity and their penchant for the unusual.

What followed was a Khamas elaboration with improvisations . This preceded the kriti ‘Brochevarevarura’ with chittaiswaram and swaraprasthara.

With a fresh approach to RTP, the brothers next called upon the audience to choose five swaras (Sa and Pa are fixed and unchanging, while Ri, Ga, Ma, Dha, and Ni have varieties) for the pallavi raga. Based on these swaras, they came up raga Gamanashrama, the 53rd melakartha in the 72 Melakartha system. They took turns to play the ragam and tanam, before weaving a pallavi in the raga, ending with a ragamalika swaraprastara that included Arabhi, Bhairavi, and Abheri.

The recital ended with ‘Bagyadalakshmi’ (Sri) and ‘Nagumomu’ (Madhyamavati). Anantha Krishnan on the mridangam and Sundar Kumar on the ganjira enhanced the recital with their excellent accompaniment.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 12:52:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/Pallavi-extempore/article17097286.ece

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