Malladi Brothers impress

SINGING DUOS is nothing new in Carnatic music. If Alathur Brothers, Brinda-Mukta and Radha-Jayalakshmi were stars in their time, the next generation saw the arrival of Bombay Sisters and in more recent times, Hyderabad Brothers, Priya Sisters and others to mention a few. Such performances have had their merits and defaults. Comparisons become inevitable, the louder of the two voices suppresses the other completely, rendition of `krithi' gets limited to a set pattern, synchronisation becomes a challenge, tendency to use `kalpitha swaras' increases.

All said and done, the performance of Malladi Brothers, Ravi Kumar and Sreeram Prasad, conducted under the aegis of the Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha, turned out to be a hit with the audience.

The Brothers, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, had the advantage of knowing the essence and depth of the Telugu compositions of Tyagaraja, and hence their rendition of the `krithis' were crisp and lucid, with the `sahitya' never being a casualty, as it usually is with many artistes.

They began the concert with a `varnam' in Hamsadhwani. The `kalpana swaras' after the `charana swaras' were presented with utmost mastery. `Gajananayutham... ' in Chakravakam was the next item. This was followed by a detailed delineation of Poorvikalyani by Ravi Kumar. Ravi Kumar, who has a more open voice, displayed wide imagination during the `alapana.' The `krithi' rendered was `Kashi vishalakshi... ' praising the goddess who frees the soul from the clutches of `samsara.' `Balakanakamaya... ' in Atana, which imparted a light vein to the concert, set up the audience for the main phase of the concert.

The `krithi' taken up was `Evarimata... ' and Sreeram Prasad, a staff of All India Radio, Vijayawada, took up Khamboji for detailed delineation. This was executed well, but the complementation from Kovai Balasubramaniam on the violin hardly moved the audience. Certain phrases from popular `krithis' were placed haphazardly during this exercise. The synchronisation suffered in `kalpitha swaras' by the vocalists during the `muktaippam' and certain other points. The percussion by Kovai Prakash on mridangam and Kovai Suresh on ghatam were impressive. The `thani' was done without being ludicrous. Certain artistes do not compromise by performing with local musicians. And this indeed pays dividends when the vocalists are able to relate better with their accompanists.

`Saramaina... ', the popular `javali' in Behag was received well. `Mudugare yashoda... ,' which is also a popular dance number, celebrates the `leelas' of Krishna and his many roles; the son of Devaki, the `udharaka' of Govardhana and as the Lord Padmanabha himself.

The Brothers are still to make it big in the Chennai music circles. And as some of the connoisseurs at the concert opined, it shouldn't be far, especially with the promise they show.


Recommended for you