Music

Malladi Brothers are stickler for tradition

Malladi Brothers performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Chennai on December 9, 2018.

Malladi Brothers performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Chennai on December 9, 2018.   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

Malladi Brothers chose Desakshi as the highlight of their performance at their Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan concert

The placid melody that dominated the evening concert of Malladi Brothers, Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar, at this sabha sustained till the last composition. Their approach of strictly adhering to tradition, be it the main kriti or a fast number between the slow-paced renditions, gave a wholesomeness to their concert.

An expansive alapana, scaling heights, culminated in ‘Ramanatham Bhajeham’ in Kasiramakriya of Dikshitar sampradaya (Pantuvarali in general parlance). The brothers presented the kriti in a medium pace. They took turns in presenting an enjoyable niraval in the pallavi line. Resting in madhyamam and nishadam yielded a Hindustani flavour in the swarakalpanas.

The highlight of the concert was the elaborate alapana of Desakshi (similar to Bilahari) and rendering the main kriti ‘Sarasiruha nabhamudaram kalaye’ of Swati Tirunal. The raga alapana without a trace of Bilahari and emphasising on ‘kaisiki nishadam’ in the alapana frequently, showed the brothers’ calibre of handling such ragas.

The perfectly aligned sruti lighted up the long karvais and made them pleasing to the ears. Without going into a niraval, the brothers launched into kalpanaswaras and rendered them in slow and fast paces. The manodharma present in the segment was an aural treat.

Decorating each kriti with kalpanaswarams in the first half of the concert, the brothers drew appreciation at every point they rendered them in various speeds. ‘Melukovayya’ in Bowli and the following ‘Sri Narada’ (Tyagaraja) in Kanada were rendered in the beginning with swaras in madhyamakala. The swarams in Kanada spanned across a range. Presenting the subsequent ‘Telisirama’ (Tyagaraja) in Poornachandrika sans the usual super speed and singing the charanam with the composer’s mudra showed their conscious effort to enhance the quality of the recital.

Violinist Nishanth Chandran needs a special mention as he followed the brothers with a smooth flow and matched them in the alapana and niraval portions. His delineation of Desakshi was impressive.

The contribution of the percussionists Parupalli Subbaraya Phalgun on the mridangam and Anirudh Athreya on the ganjira in enhancing the mood of the concert was no less. They were sober and exuberant in appropriate places and came together well in the exchanges during the thani in misra jampa for the Desakshi kriti.

The post-thani session also saw grand ragas such as Kharaharapriya, Punnagavarali and Dwijavanti. While it was ‘Appan avadharitha’ (Papanasam Sivan) in Kharaharapriya,‘Kanakasaila viharini’ (Syama Sastri) was rendered following a sloka from Mooka Panchashati. Annamacharya’s ‘Ramachandrudithadu’ set to tune by the brothers’ guru Nedunuri Krishnamurthy had a folk touch to it.

The concert concluded with maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman’s tillana in Khamas that encloses beautiful swarakshara phrases with stress on ‘ma’ leaving a lingering effect.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 1:27:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/malladi-brothers-are-stickler-for-tradition/article25787970.ece

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