Music

A.S. Murali’s raga treatises were steeped in tradition

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 16/12/2018: Vocal Concert by A.S. Murali at Music Academy in Chennai on December 16, 2018. Photo: M. Karunakaran

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 16/12/2018: Vocal Concert by A.S. Murali at Music Academy in Chennai on December 16, 2018. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

Experience and musical wisdom were evident in A.S. Murali’s concert. The structuring of the concert and selection of ragas and compositions ensured there was not a single dull moment. Murali may not be a crowd puller; but the crowd on the stage showed that he is a mentor to many aspiring singers.

‘Ne nendu’ (Tyagaraja) in Karnataka Behag with a few swara passages was the first kriti of the concert. A vibrant Pantuvarali preface led to Bhadrachala Ramdas’ popular composition ‘Ennaganu Rama’. The projection in ‘Premameera’ and the swara sallies between Murali and violinist M.R. Gopinath, with the notes landing on panchamam and shadjam alternatively, moved on lively lines.

Murali’s raga treatises stood out for their traditional touches in developing the raga’s special sancharas. They were neither strident demonstration of his vidwat nor a simplistic treatment. They were neat presentations that came from years of experience.

His musical acumen was evident again in the expansion of Thodi and in the rendition of Kumara Ettendra’s ‘Gajavadana’, a beautiful kriti with chittaswara with emphasis on the gandharam. Here, Murali segued the niraval on ‘Vasutaatapura Samrakshana Deva’ with lengthy swarakalpanas without going overboard.

‘Pari palinchu’ in Suddha Saveri (Tiruvisainallur Venkataramana Iyer) paved the way for Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi. Murali ventured into a Ragamalika RTP. Brief alapana of Sriranjani, Ranjani and Jana Ranjani paved way for tanam in these ragas and the pallavi ‘Ranjani-mrudupankaja lochani-mampahi-jajjanani’ set to Khandajathi Triputa talam was presented in all the three Ranjani-s and so were the swaraprastaras with the mandatory trikalam. M.R. Gopinath, an experienced violinist, developed and presented the raga essays, niravals and swaras with classic touches. In his thani, Umayalpuram Sivaraman’s poignant pauses spoke of his strength and expertise. Young G. Guruprasanna on the ganjira, matched the veteran’s posers with his impeccable repartees.

‘Parulanna mata’ Javali in Kapi (Dharmapuri Subbarayar) and ‘Manasa sancharare’ in Sama (Sadasiva Brahmendral) were part of the concluding section.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 9:08:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/muralis-expertise-shone-in-his-thodi-raga-elaboration/article25787793.ece

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