Malladi Brothers’s elegant Karaharapriya treatise


Madrasana Festival 2022: Malladi Brothers’s carnatic vocal concert, at Asian College of Journalism in Taramani
| Photo Credit: VELANKANNI RAJ B

The best thing first. The acoustics at M.S. Subbulakshmi Arangam in Asian College of Journalism, Taramani, were excellent. It was, indeed, pleasing to listen to the vocal concert ( Madrasana) by Malladi Brothers here. With their growing popularity, the duo’s music has acquired greater depth. Their selection of ragas and kritis and their positioning were laudable.

With their voices in perfect tenor, the concert opened with the shloka ‘Gajananam bootha ganathi’, leading to ‘Lambodaram avalambe’ in raga Kamboji by Mysore Vasudevachar. After a few swara exchanges on ‘Tumburu narada’ they moved on to another shlokam ‘Buddhir balam’ appended with ‘Pavanatmaja agacha’ by Dikshitar in raga Nattai with swara embellishment.

It was then time for the raga essay and Ravi Kumar elaborated Vasantha succinctly with the best phrases neatly connected. A rare composition by Tyagaraja, ‘Etla dorakitivo’ followed.

The siblings took the entire charanam lyrics starting with ‘Pada mahimo’ for niraval and packed it with swarakalpana both in keezh and mel kalams and finally, closing with shadjam as the focal note.

After rendering the sober ‘Mokashamu galada’ in Saramathi, the mood brightened up with Tyagaraja’s ‘Vasudevayani’ in Kalyani (both of Tyagaraja). The sprightly swaras were at ‘Raga tala gadulanu’.

Karaharapriya took center stage. Sriram Prasad began the alapana, it progressed to tara sthayi when Ravi Kumar joined in.

The elegant treatise brimmed with raga bhava. They chose another Tyagaraja kriti ‘Pakkala nilabadi’. The niraval and swaras were at ‘Manasuna dalachi’. The well-proportioned swara sallies culminated in dhaivatam-centric swaras.

Nishanth Chandran extended solid support to the brothers – he received a thundering applause for the Karaharapriya raga essay.

Manoj Siva on the mridangam and Alathur Raj Ganesh on kanjira with their impeccable percussion added immense value. Their tani avartanam turned out to be a well-designed exercise.

The post-tani segment included ‘Idathu padam thookki’ by Papanasam Sivan in Khamas, ‘Balira vairagyamento’ by Badrachala Ramadas in Kalavathi and ‘Parama purusha manuyamava’, a Tarangam in Behag by Narayana Tirtha.

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