Music

Mysore Brothers celebrate classicism

Mysore Brothers

Mysore Brothers

Sadly for connoisseurs of Carnatic music, who would congregate every December in Chennai from different parts of the world, Margazhi 2021 is playing out in a hybrid mode. So while there are a few opportunities to listen to and discuss music as a shared experience, at the sabha or the canteen, most of it still online. .

While listening to the virtual violin concert by the Mysore Brothers — Nagaraj and Manjunath — hosted by Kartik Fine Arts, some imaginary conversations came to the mind. The concert opened with raga Sindhu Ramakriya (‘Sudha Madhurya’, Tyagaraja), a raga not heard often on the concert stage. “Mali would play this beautifully, the higher notes also...,” from paati , who had hoisted her sari a foot above her ankles and waded her way to the sabha through waterlogged roads. A nod from me, while the friendly young man on my left, surfing Facebook, tells her about MS singing ‘Devadideva Sadashiva’. “It is available on YouTube paati , brilliant! Rajiv Gandhi, MGR, P.V. Narasimha Rao and P. Chidambaram were in the audience.” As this reverie broke, the brisk rendition was coming to an end and the brothers had moved on to Vasantabhairavi, a janya of the beautiful Vakulabharana.

Soulful rendition

A soulful short alapana was followed by the composition, ‘Nee Dayaradha’ (Tyagaraja), in madhyama kala, rendered with poise and balance. A concert by the Mysore Brothers is always marked by skill, virtuosity and adherence to classicism. Trained by their scholar-father Prof. Mahadevappa, the bothers have ably carried forward the legacy. It is also significant that they have enhanced their traditional grooming with a creative spirit and individual imagination, making their renditions at once emotive and intellectual. Sahana was proof of this — Nagaraj painted a leisurely and reflective picture of the raga, developing each note with restraint. Unlike today’s trend of breathless renditions, the alapana was woven with pauses, and Manjunath joined him to elaborate the gamaka phrases, each extending the other’s meaning. Even the kriti and the swaraprastara preserved the sobriety of Sahana. Manjunath raised the pace to third speed and managed to keep the mood intact.

Purvikalyani was the masterpiece. The bothers took turns to delineate the raga in this RTP — it unfolded meditatively, presenting the uniqueness of the raga in its various prayogas. Barring some phrases in the higher octaves, it was an aesthetic and melodious piece of work. The overall structure of the tana had a judicious blend of reflection and felicity. Their rendition was also a demonstration of their perfect understanding, always working complementary to each other and never overshadowing. The pallavi ‘Madhura puri nivasini mampahi’ was sweetly sung by Manjunath before they began to play it. They wove in Dwijavanti, Saveri, Kantamani, and Desh, making it the most memorable piece of the concert.

Arjun Kumar on the mridangam and Giridhar Udupa played a brilliant tani avartanam for the RTP set to the complex khandajati triputa tala. In fact, they extended a mellow and tempered support through the concert, never taking attention away from the main artistes.

Paati called out to the young man. “Can I listen to this concert again on YouTube,” she asked, pulling out her android phone from a cloth bag. We exchanged seats, and the tutoring began.

The Bengaluru-based journalist

writes on art and culture.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 4:42:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/mysore-brothers-celebrate-classicism/article37912957.ece