Music

Ramakrishnan Murthy: A fine brew in the making

Ramakrishnan Murthy should aim to strike a balance between aesthetics and expertise

Ramakrishnan Murthy has always been considered a good bean. There was further evidence in his concert for Kartik Fine Arts that the brew promises to be exciting too. His overall game plan was good. A facile voice and focus on aesthetics led his march to what would easily qualify as an above par concert.

Mayamalava gowlai varnam (Swati Tirunal) and ‘Parakela nannu’ (Kedaragowlai, Syama Sastry) were different choices within the traditional realm. Ramakrishnan didn’t linger longer than necessary and forayed into a brief but sparkling Purvi Kalyani. ‘Paripoorna Kama’ (Tyagaraja, Rupakam) offered mid-tempo that he was seeking to maintain an engaging tide. Neraval and swarams at ‘Parama Karuni’ didn’t add much lustre to the kriti and the raga alapana before.

In Sankarabharanam raga, violin Varadarajan grabbed more honours with some sweet sangathis including nottu/western style short phrases. Ramakrishnan Murthy’s ‘Dakshinamurthe’ (Dikshitar) was as good as any one has heard. He soaked in the raga bhavam and the lilting misra jampai to a fine aesthetic outcome. Following that was some pleasing first speed swarams, with scholarly riposte from Varadarajan. Ramakrishnan need not have succumbed to the populist fire-power ending for the swara korvais as it slightly marred the poignant mood. ‘Notru suvargam’ (Andal, Todi) is an enchanting creation and his rendition promoted Ramakrishnan’s artistic credentials.

Hamsanadham for RTP was also a good barometer of Ramakrishnan’s versatility and breadth. ‘Vande hamsanadanu Santana krita mahaniya’ in Kanta tripudai was professionally executed with good time shares for ragam, thanam, niraval and ragamalika swarams with all the ‘hamsa’ ragams – Hamsadhvani, Hamsavinodini, Hamsanandi. Challenging genre of pallavis is a self-test most youngsters are subjecting themselves to — Ramakrishnan Murthy will also need to climb that peak sometimes. Viruttams in Kamboji, Jonpuri and Behag carried on the aesthetic journey. Neyveli Narayanan and B. S. Purushottaman relished the largely madhyama kala concert that gave them a sarvalagu platform. It will take a few experiments for Ramakrishnan Murthy to strike a good balance between aesthetics and exhibition of expertise, neither of which is dispensable.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:13:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/ramakrishnan-murthy-a-fine-brew-in-the-making/article25788382.ece

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