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The Mysore Brothers delighted audience with a violin duet in Thrissur

The Mysore Brothers in concert

The Mysore Brothers in concert   | Photo Credit: KK NAJEEB

Mysore Nagaraj and Mysore Manjunath were ably supported by mridangam maestro Yella Venkateswara Rao at the two-day programme was organised by Sree Thyagabrahma Sangeetha Sabha

A violin duet by Mysore Nagaraj and Mysore Manjunath in Thrissur turned memorable, thanks to their deft performance and accompaniment by mridangam maestro Yella Venkateswara Rao. Apart from the virtuosity of the artistes, perhaps what made the two-hour-and-a-half concert delectable was the choice of the compositions that highlighted their affinity for Tyagaraja. Venkateswara Rao’s visit to the town after decades proved an added attraction.

They opened with ‘Kanjadalayathakshi’, a Dikshitar composition in Kamalamanohari and Adi. The number, played in unison throughout, was well received. Perhaps, the dexterity of the violinists came to the fore more noticeably in ‘Siva siva yenarada’, the Tyagaraja composition in Panthuvarali and Adi. The way the musicians complemented each other was enchanting. While Nagaraj traversed the upper octave for the swaras, Manjunath’s movements in the lower octave made it more colourful.

Raga Kharaharapriya was treated exhaustively by the duo. They endeared themselves to the audience by the elaborate aalaap of the raga. While certain distinctive phrases proved the musical prowess of the musicians, it was interesting to see how they played in sync to bring out the shades of the raga. The ‘dialogue’ between Manjunath and Venkateswara Rao, when the swaras played on the violin were reproduced by gumkhi on the mridangam, was commendable. The ascending tempo of this exercise elicited applause from the audience. The composition was ‘Rama nee samanamevaru’ in Roopakam. Niraval at ‘Paluku, paluku’ was prolonged too. Handling of the raga was so ornate that one took it for the main one.

The Mysore Brothers in concert

The Mysore Brothers in concert   | Photo Credit: KK NAJEEB

Affinity for Tyagaraja

The musicians’ affinity for Tyagaraja became apparent again as they switched to ‘Nadaloludai’ in Kalyanavasantham and Roopakam. This was played in a soothing manner. The next number, ‘Marivere dikkevaru’ in Latangi and Khanta chap of Patnam Subramania Iyer was a welcome change.

The aalaap of Mohanam, the main raga, was crafted well. One wondered how a pentatonic raga could be essayed on such an intricate manner, which was admirable. Another Tyagaraja composition, ‘Nannu palimba’ in Adi, was the selection. The duo capitalised on the dexterity of Venkateswara Rao who rose to the occasion to demonstrate his technical virtuosity with the instrument to the hilt. Vazhappilly Krishnakumar took on the challenge in the tani. Perhaps, in this attempt, the percussion tani appeared too long and disproportionate.

The concert concluded with Sadasiva Brahmedra’s ‘Pibare ramarasam’ in Ahir bhairav and Adi, which was alluring. Veena exponent A Ananthapadmanabhan was roped in on the second day as Sikkil Gurucharan could not turn up due to unforeseen reasons. He was accompanied by Venkateswara Rao on the mridangam and Tripunithura N Radhakrishnan on the ghatam.

The two-day programme was organised by Sree Thyagabrahma Sangeetha Sabha as part of its 59th anniversary celebrations.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:08:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/the-mysore-brothers-delighted-audience-with-a-violin-duet-in-thrissur/article30277001.ece

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