Sticking to classical notes

Elaborate alapanaThe concert was melodious.

Elaborate alapanaThe concert was melodious.  


The melody and rhythm made for tuneful stuff.

Malladi Suri Babu’s concert last week under the aegis of Kalasagaram was a reminder of chaste classical music of yesteryears. Devoid of mannerisms and theatricals it was a presentation of uncorrupted concert based on the conventional format.

The strong point in Suri Babu’s music is his faultless and incorruptible and precise addiction to sruti, which by itself made the concert tuneful and filling. His alignment, particularly at thra shadjam was immaculate; with similar assistance on the sruti by Dwaram Sathyanaraya on the violin and D.S.R. Murthy on the mridangam, the trio made a perfect team. Music concerts may indeed get a tang of tedium if they tend to be without some sparkle; it was so at moments in Suri Babu’s singing.

A couple of items running in madhyamakala with the inclusion of fast moving sangathis and swarakalpana would have made the concert even more attractive. His alignment with the sruti may be good but to exploit it to the hilt was not so good.

Incidentally, Suri Babu is the father of the famous singers, Malladi Brothers. Starting with natakuranji varnam, the change over to the uncommon krithi Ranganathude in Devagandhari was an unexpected but unique endeavour.

The elaborate alapana of Poorvikalyani with fascinating decoration kept the audience attentive. The song Paripoorna kama went off very well, but was not in equation with the long alapana; a heavier krithi in mishra chapu perhaps would have been more appropriate. O rajivaksha in Arabhi was a welcome change. Padavini in Salaga Bhairavi from the archives was winning. Shakarabharana occupied the centrestage.

The alapana was impressive but not with much of innovation; it was a routine rendering; so was the song Endukukupeddlavale.

A short virutham, a krithi of Annamacharya brought the concert to conclusion. Hailing from the family of Dwaram, Sathyanarayana was helpful, coordinative and pleasing in his accompaniment on the violin, while D.S.R. Murthy on the mridangam was slightly out of form.

Kishna Prakash on the kanjira was out of tune quite often although in general he was acceptable. The concert was poorly attended perhaps due to the weather.

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