Ramothsava Sangeethotsava – Day 5: Rare compositions mark the brothers’ concert
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Ramothsava Sangeethotsava – Day 5: Rare compositions mark the brothers’ concert

April 6, 2023

By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

On the 5th day of Ramothsava Sangeethotsava at Alamma’s Choultry on Apr. 3, Malladi Brothers — Vid. Malladi Sreeramprasad and Vid. Malladi Ravikumar — gave a vocal concert with Vid. Embar Kannan on violin, Vid. B.C. Manjunath on mridanga and Vid. Giridhar Udupa on ghata.

The brothers are known to possess a large repertoire of compositions and they try to popularise rare ragas and compositions to increase interest in the connoisseurs. This day too, their list of compositions comprised of rare compositions. ‘Purushottamuda Neevu’, a composition on Sri Rama tuned by their guru in Revagupti set to Khanda Chapu was very appealing and suited the occasion. Dhanyasi brought another rare composition ‘Nicchitamu nirmalamu’ by Tyagaraja brimmed with emotional poignancy and lyrical allure.

‘Ramachandram Bhavayami’ by Deekshitar came next with a short ragalapana by Ravikumar. ‘Manamuleda’ by Tyagaraja found swaras at ‘Ganaruchi deliyu’, unlike the usual swaras for the beginning of the pallavi. ‘Sujana jeevana Rama Suguna bhushana Rama’ in Kamas by Tyagaraja, was a short but meaningful filler.

The toast of the evening Saveri presented as the main raga for more than 20 minutes, had everything in it. The brothers went full throat here but without being harsh. They used akaras, gamakas and janti prayogas and longish rests on jeeva swaras, making it a soul-satisfying experience. Embar Kannan’s playing was another highlight of the evening. His strong grooming let him unleash a variety of bowing and fingering techniques. Tyagaraja’s ‘Ramabana’ also saw a surprising neraval and detailed swaras for the pallavi after which  Vid. Manjunath and Vid. Giridhar combined well to present a Taniyavartanam that was replete with breath-taking styles.

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In the post-tani part, the brothers took up a RTP in Kapi. Ravi’s rendition of Kapi was highly enjoyable with all the expected sangatis in it. Kannan proved his mettle too. Before starting the pallavi which had the lyrics ‘Dasharathi Karuna payonidhi Srirama Pahi Bhadragiri’ set to Trishra Triputa Tala in Khanda Nadai, the brothers prayed that Bhadragiri Rama should smile on Bombay Jayashree who is in severe illness and help her to come out of her illness successfully.

The technique of weaving swaras for the pallavi in the Ghana raga pancharatna ragas – Nata, Gowla, Arabhi, Varali and Sri by the brothers alternately was yet another welcome surprise. Towards the end of the concert, the brothers were presented with a beautiful Rama frame by a donor, seeing which they were inspired to sing ‘Nannu palimpa nadachi vacchitivo’.

Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar concluded their 3-hour concert with ‘Rama Mantrava Japiso’ by Tyagaraja and ‘Ramachandraya janaka’ mangalam.

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