December 19, 2009

Brothers and Sisters Day at the Music Academy

........................................ by Sivapriya Krishnan

Today seems to be a day of brothers and sisters in the Academy. Starting with Rudrapatnam Brothers, to Malladi Brothers, the last concert was Priya Sisters.

1. The morning session of the Academy concert was by Rudrapatnam Brothers. These brothers are experienced senior musicians from Karnataka and are known for their sedately classical style.

Every item be it, Varnam in Kannada by Lalgudi Jayaraman , Nannu brovarada in Bhairavam by Patnam Subramania Iyer, Ninne Namminaanu in Todi, Marivere a GNB composition in Malavi or the RTP in Keeravani was all true to their tradition of pure classicism and grammar. Arabhimaanam vaithu Aadari , a ragamalika in Tamil was rendered with full bhava of the words and the raga.

Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the violin preserved this classicism and brought forth her tradition in her volin playing. V .Kamalakar Rao , a very senior Mridangam player gave his best to the concert ably assisted by N.Govindarajan on the ghatam.

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2. Priya Sisters is an example of dedication to their career, boldness of approach and determination to be there and stick it out in this field of carnatic music.

If you were to look for strains of pure classical traditionalism, the classicist purists, may just not accept them, as their approach is rather light and not so full throated.

But they are able to produce music that cannot be faulted , that which is pleasurable, pleasing to the ears, sruti aligned and with basic grammar of music remaining intact.

Their voice crooning and falsetto at the higher octaves and constant penchant for singing only tara sthayi phrases and swaras, is what gets monotonous and irritating, but then any modern singer today, especially most female singers, only indulge in such singing styles.

However,they made a neat and compact presentation at the Music Academy. Right from the start of the Nayaki vanam by Rudrapatnam Venkataramayya they kept up the tempo. Lavanya rama was sung well with the words pronounced correctly.
They took up Gamakakriya (commonly known as Purvikalyani), with the song Meenakshi Memudham Dehi. Their neraval at Meenalochani Pasamochani was refreshing and intelligent.

They proved that they were capable of standard classical material in the Todi RTP. The alapana, was good, taanam was short and crisp and the rettai pallavi with two eduppus and two arudis in Khanda Ata Tala, was very deftly handled by both the sisters. Being a long pallavi, the words were too many. The Pallavi’s first line was “ saravananai muruganai, guhanai, ninai, second line was nidam padametudhi seivaainee arul perave." What was impressive was that they gave the necessary treatment correctly by way of Trikaalam and Neraval to the pallavi line.

The concert came to a fine close with a customary bhajan and an Annamayya composition. V V Srinivasa Rao, was an expert support on the violin. Neyveliskandasubramaniam and Madipakkam Murali were very good with their percussion and lent the concert a perfect laya support.

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