26 December, 2015
Hyderabad Brothers were to sing at the Music Academy after a considerable gap and this alone was enough to arouse one’s interest. Only the younger, Raghavachari was present to perform, as the other, Seshachari was indisposed. D B Ashwin who gives concerts independently provided vocal support.
The distinct advantage of singers with Telugu as their mother tongue is time and again reflected when they handle krithis in that language. The sahithya therefore becomes the indispensable framework of their music. This became transparent when Ragahavachari sang Evareni in Devamruthavarshini, Dorakuna Ituvanti in Bilahari, Dayachuchutaku in Ganavarithi and Palukavademira in Devamanohari. The first three are Thyagaraja krithis while the third is composed by Mysore Vasudevachar. The interpretation and the splitting of the lyrics of all these krithis were done at the appropriate places holding their meanings intact. A single example from Evareni, would be in order here. Sivamantramunaku “Ma” Jivamu Madhava Mantra Munaku “Ra” Jivamu (For the Sivamantra Ma is life; the Madhavamantra takes Ra). One could derive this meaning as it was being sung.
Bilahari and Simhendramadhyamam (Pamarajana Palini, Dikshitar) were taken up for raga vistharam. Apart from witnessing those customary breathtaking flourishes that had the indelible mark of a manodharmic mind during the alapanas, we were also given the chance of listening to some fine seemingly effortless phrases in the mandhra sthayi. These always have a soothing effect on the mind, especially when it is sourced from a forceful yet pleasant voice like that of Seshachari that has a tremendous carrying power. Swara kalpanas of Seshachari are always known to be brilliantly engaging exercises and they fitted the ragas well.
In keeping with the tradition of Music Academy concerts, Sesachari presented a ragam, thanam and pallavi, in Bhairavi, in thisra jathi thriputa thalam which for a change had Tamil lyrics that went as “Unadhu Paadham Thunaye Oraru Mugane”.
H K Venkatram on the violin was a picture of confidence during the raga alapanas. During the thanam session he was able play with a method that allowed him to both stay at the notes and give a proportionate mix of gentle glides that made his technique stand out in terms of its value.
Trivandrum Balaji on the mridangam and Coimbatore Mohanram on the ghatam showed the special role laya vidwans could have when they possess prior knowledge of the manner (pokku) of the krithis. This could be felt in their style of accompanying in general and became all the more conspicuous during the Kalkada krithi Parvathi Ninnune Neranammithi of Syamasastri .