The review is limited to 400 words. [ Brothers in harmony — The Hindu version (Dec 22, 2012) ]
Carnatic music, which is primarily melody driven, does not altogether eschew harmony. Nagaswaram concerts revel in this form, showcased in celluloid in Thillana Moganambal, in the English notes played by MPN brothers. Young and talented Trichur brothers, Srikrishna Mohan and Ramkumar Mohan, whose concert is being reviewed, pep their music with vocal harmony throughout. At the Mylapore Fine Arts Club, they were accompanied by Jyotsana Srikanth on the violin, Trichur Mohan on the Mridangam and H. Sivaramakrishnan on the Ghatam.
The brothers began with enthoprema (suruti) and moved on to panchamathanga (malahari), both delivered sedately. In singing the next krithi, endhuku nirdhaya (tyagaraja), with structured sangathis, the brothers showed good grip of harikambodhi raga.
The sudhadhanyasi alapana had good gamaka-laden development. The krithi was subramanyena (Dikshitar) set in adi tala. The swarajathi of Syama Sastri, rave himagirikumari (thodi) was delivered with poise, peppered with harmonies combining all three octaves in pairs.
The main kalyani raga alapana had a definite Semmangudi influence in its long sententious structure. There was a particular breathtaking (breath holding!) passage that elicited applause. In the following thanam section, Ramkumar Mohan’s voice opened, constructing sweeping akaram patterns that were rapturous. The pallavi hare rama govinda murare mugundha sowre murahara set in adi tala, was also sung in a ragamaligai in boopalam, hindholam, sudha-saarang and kapi.
A short and apt tani, with nadais and koraippus exchanged between the mridangam and ghatam, followed.
Swaram exchanges by the violinist were adequate but the same cannot be said about her alapanas in this concert.
The concert ended with a Tukharam bhajan set in misra-sivaranjani, followed by a recital of a few slokas set in madhyamavathi.
Trichur brothers have a capricious skill-set that keeps their concert interesting. Two observations from this concert they should consider while honing for concert significance:
Harmonizing during a fast section, as in the pacemaker for today, vidajalathura (janaranjani), is mesmerizing and during a thanam, is still appealing; but it is distracting during alapanas. The brothers already have the voice, mettle and manodharma necessary to preserve the classicism of the raga during an alapana, as it emerged during sudhadhanyasi alapana.
That and singing a swarajathi in a concert set for two hours; particularly when it made them sing the pallavi line only twice and the entire concert did not include one of the challenging creative elements of Carnatic music, the neraval.
[ Brothers in harmony — The Hindu version (Dec 22, 2012) ]