Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Music

Not quite classical

Krishnakumar and Binni Krishnakumar. Photo : K.V. Srinivasan

Krishnakumar and Binni Krishnakumar. Photo : K.V. Srinivasan   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Dr. Krishnakumar and Binny Krishnakumar’s concert offers fare of a different kind to an audience used to traditional ones. There’s the contrast in sruti -- one is heavy and subtle, while the other, sharp and soprano.

In such concerts, the balancing of amplification, therefore, plays a crucial role. Here, there was no balance. And the result? Binny’s voice almost dominated the concert. The couple’s unique choice of songs also made the difference. Except for ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ in Mohanakalyani (Muthiah Bhagavatar) and Tyagaraja’s ‘Samanamevaru’ in Kharaharapriya, the songs were new to the concert platform. They sang ‘Sri Guruguha Moorthe’ in Udayaravichandrika of the Dikshitar school, which, Binny said, is also known as Srothaswani.

This was followed by another new raga, Gurupriya, a creation of their guru Dr. Balamuralikrishna (Krishnakumar mentioned that it is Vachaspati sans panchamam). Here they embellished the raga with alapana and sang ‘Deivamu Neevae’. Then it was ‘Mandharathara Sundara’ in Thodi set to the rhythm of chenda beats.

Their rendition of Kharaharapriya had significant, weighty touches. The swaras on the pallavi were shared. Because of the sruti and her incisive voice, Binny sang for the most part. Krishnakumar’s bass voice was pleasing especially in the lower and middle regions.

Can the programme be classified as ‘light classical’? Perhaps.

Padma Shankar on the violin accompanied the duo with professional élan. Surprisingly, Patri Satishkumar on the mridangam and Tiruchi Murali on the ghatam were subdued but were in their elements during the thani.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 1:20:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/not-quite-classical/article6682682.ece

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