Music

Unnikrishnan impresses with his refreshing touches

P. Unnikrishnan with K.V. Prasad on mridangam at Bharath Kalachar’s December Festival, 2018

P. Unnikrishnan with K.V. Prasad on mridangam at Bharath Kalachar’s December Festival, 2018   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

P. Unnikrishnan performed at Bharat Kalachar’s December Festival, 2018

Even as twilight shadows crept into the YGP auditorium, you heard P. Unnikrishnan sing. His voice still bears that youthful exuberance, even while gaining a matured mellowness over the years.

In the elaborate Kharaharapriya RTP, ‘(sekhara) harapriye Lalite thwam vande’, he conveyed the raga essence in his own inimitable style. He has a fine musical brain with which he brought out the nuances of Harikhambodi, Kalyani and Thodi in grahabhedam. Though I am not a particular votary of this technique, Unnikrishnan’s sequences conveyed the beauty of Kharaharapriya in a way that it compelled me to change my opinion.

Impeccable laya

Similarly, the technical negotiation of the pallavi was handled with ease. The Ragamalika swaraprasthara in Nalinakanti, Sumukham (a raga with just four notes, named by Dr. Balamuralikrishna) and Bahudari was a mark of refined craftsmanship. Unnikrishnan revealed an impeccable sense of laya too. B.V.Raghavendra Rao’s violin support was constructive and inspired throughout. His raga expositions and swaraprastharas were sparkling. He is an asset to any concert.

K. V. Prasad (mridangam) and Guruprasad (ghatam) struck a wonderful partnership in the thani. It is not often that the rhythm department gets a leisurely Khandajathi Tripudai to showcase its talent. K. V. Prasad achieves a naada that adds enjoyment to the concert.

Unnikrishnan maintained the freshness with which he rendered the opening Saveri varnam and Tyagaraja’s ‘Sugunamule’ throughout the two and a half hours. The cascading swaras in Chakravakam, the detailed raga elaborations in Vachaspati for ‘Paratpara Parameswara’ (Papanasam Sivan) and Gamakakriya for ‘Meenakshi memudham dehi’ (Dikshitar) were striking. ‘Guruvayurappane’ (Ritigowla, Ambujam Krishna) and ‘Sarasamukhi’ (Gaud Malhar, Harikesanallur) were rendered with felicity. Then came the Madhuvanti Ashtapadhi, ‘Natha Hare’. Unnikrishnan concluded his concert with Sadasiva Brahmendra’s ‘Pibare Ramarasam’ and a Viruttam from Narayaneeyam.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 1:29:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/unnikrishnan-impresses-with-his-refreshing-touches/article25840854.ece

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