Embodying the excellence of their masters

Balakrishna, senior Veena artiste and son of Veena Doreswamy Iyengar and Vamshidhar, grandson and disciple of V. Deshikachar gave a Veena-Flute duet at Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on the 15th of August with Anoor Ananta Krishna Sharma on mridanga and Sunad Anoor on Khanjira.

Starting with Deekshitar’s ‘Vallabha Nayakasya’ suffixed by crisp swaras, the duo continued their recital with Purandara Dasaru’s ‘Manava Janma doddadu’ in Poorvi Kalyani with dignity and depth. Vamshidhar added a few melodious surprises on the spot while performing.  ‘Naa Jeevadhara’ is a lively composition of Tyagaraja in Bilahari. This and ‘Vara Narada Narayana Smarana’ in Vijayashree by Tyagaraja filled the gap between the sub-main and main items.

Abheri ragalapana was played by both individually. Vamshidhar’s devotion to his Guru Balakrishna was evident throughout. Never once did he surpass his Guru at any part of the concert. Mysuru Vasudevachar’s ‘Bhajare manasa Shri Raghuveeram’ was adorned with aesthetic swaras.          

Madhyamavati raga too was played by each individually. The raga could perhaps be played and enjoyed more leisurely if taken stage by stage by each of them. The Tana was highly enjoyable with the melody and technicality of both the instruments. The RTP in Madhyamavati was quite a long one as it was set to Trishra nadai Adi TaLa. The Pallavi ‘Paalinchu Kamakshi Pavani sada padame gati’ was in ‘ateeta graha’(starting before the beginning of the tala) and was decorated with neraval and kalpana swaras blending beautifully into the sahitya. A grand Taniyavartanam followed by Anooor Ananta Krishna Sharma with his nephew Sunad on the Khanjira.

The duo concluded their recital with ‘Swati Tirunal’s bhajan ‘Vishweshwar darshan kar chalo man tum kashi’ in Sindhu Bhairavi.

By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan