Vignettes of tradition

Faithful to a legacy Malladi Brothers

Faithful to a legacy Malladi Brothers   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Malladi Brothers paid homage to their gurus and Annamacharya.

The 11th edition of HCL annual concerts held recently at The Music Academy, featured the deferential duo of Malladi Brothers —Ravikumar and Sreeram Prasad.

The considerable strength this delightful duo displays in upholding tradition is largely a result of their fidelity to the legacy of Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and Sripadam Pinakapani. Besides aesthetic proximity, it was also the emotional affinity to the illustrious gurus that was evident right through the recital. All the compositions presented were set to tune by Krishnamurthy and Pinakapani. Their musical prowess also shows the considerable influence of father Malladi Suribabu. Little wonder then that Malladi Brothers were the natural choice for a rare recital, to paraphrase N. Murali, president of The Music Academy, who addressed the gathering on the occasion.

The thematic presentation also included the works of Tallapaka Annamacharya, the 15th-Century poet-composer. There has been a proliferation of research and scholarship over the decades on the philosophy and music of this quintessential Vaishnavite thinker.

Against this backdrop, the artists presented a thoughtful mix of the familiar and the not-so-common Annamayya kritis. Among the familiar was the opening kriti in Vasantha ‘Vaade Venkatadrimeeda Varadaivamu.’ ‘Alaruluguriyaga Aadenade,’ was the other. Still better known perhaps, but presented well into the middle of the recital was the composition in Karaharapriya. ‘Okaparikokapari vayyaaramai,’ is of course reminiscent, above all, from M.S. Subbulakshmi’s recordings. But the brothers took care not to let proceedings sound too predictable. ‘Purushothamudaveevu, purushadhamuda nenu,’ was an unusual piece in raga Revagupti.

The most memorable of the evening, arguably, were two compositions set to tune in Hamsanadam (‘Telisite mokshamu, teliyakunna bandhamu’) by Krishnamurthy and in Mohanam (‘Konaro konaro meeru’) by Pinakapani. The accompanists of the evening were absorbing in their own way. It was as though Embar S. Kannan, the violinist, was making a larger point about the role of a supporting artist in a vocal recital through his brief yet impressive responses. Tumkur B. Ravishankar on the mridangam and B.S. Purushottham on the ganjira gelled as a team.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 3:46:58 AM |

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