/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": July 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rama’s story was always meant to be sung - Malladi Brothers’ Duet- 2006

We are happy to feature a duet by the popular Malladi Brothers this time.

Malladi Brothers (Vid. Sreeramprasad and Vid. Ravikumar) have a musical lineage that includes their father and grandfather as well as three outstanding gurus: the highly respected scholar Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, the long-famous Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, and the creative genius Vid. Voleti Venkateshwarulu.

Malladi Brothers have rich and facile voices that combine well and make an impact from the word go. Carnatic music shines when presented in rich resonant male voices that euphoniously harness violin and mridangam accompaniments. This is on full display in the concert we feature here. Malladi Brothers are currently very active performers all over the globe. They have come and sung in Parvathi festivals a few times.

( Courtesy: The Hindu )

In Carnatic music, there are many famous duos past and present: brothers and sisters who have made a lasting impact, like Alathur Brothers and Radha Jayalakshmi. What is the instant appeal of duos? It is interesting to know that in a way the very first documented musical concert was that of twins, Kusha and Lava. They sang for no less an audience than great sages and in Lord Rama’s court. They had been trained by Valmiki himself! What a glorious concert tradition! We reproduce the relevant verses from the opening pages of Valmiki Ramayana:

Translation: That sage Valmiki after observing sacred vows has rendered the entire epic in the name of 'Ramayana', 'Sublime Legend of Seetha' and 'elimination of Ravana'. To read or to sing it is melodious, adaptable to music with three scales and sevenfold tune, and orchestral to the tunes of string-instrument and rhythm included. Aesthetics like romance, pathos, comic, fury, fright, valour etc., embodying the epic. This is sung by Kusha, Lava. They are conversant with the art of music and proficient with the pitch and pausing their voices, and those two brothers have not only a wealthy voice, but they also look like celestial singers. They have charm in their appearance and melodiousness in their voice, they are like the two reflections of one original object, and thus they came out from the body of Rama, separately.

So Malladi Brothers are in a long and illustrious line of duos who have captured our hearts through the ages with their music!

The Paramaguru of Malladi Brothers, Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, holds a high place among the scholarly musicians of our country. In his childhood, no one would have predicted a musical career for this would-be physician, as he was averse to delve into the “girlish pursuit”. But his musical vistas opened when at the age of 11 he began lessons with his sister’s music teacher Mysore Lakshmana Rao, who taught him first a krithi in Todi (The Hindu). As they say, the rest is history. The Todi song referred in The Hindu interview is the second piece in the concert we feature here.

The brothers go on to give us a concert of rich repertoire, including two major raga essays-Pantuvarali and Kharaharapriya. Kharaharapriya is the centerpiece, with elaborate raga alapana, a vibrant krithi “Pakkala Nilabadi” embellished with with neraval and swaras, followed by an energetic thani avarthanam.

In Pantuvarali, a melodious vocal essay is presented with many meditative moments, well complemented by the violinist. Pantuvarali ( The correct technical name is Kamavardhini) comes out as a raga of great power from Thyagaraja. We feel this raga’s timeless appeal stems perhaps from its nodal alignments to Kundalini chakras! This is probably an area for deep research, an idea supported by two recent articles on this raga: A Raga’s Journey: Poignant Pantuvarali and Mystical Flights of Ragas. We can gauge Thyagaraja’s assessment of this raga’s musical and devotional impact by listing just the famous compositions (there are many others too):

1.Vadera daivamu manasa
2.Siva Siva Siva yana rada
3.Raghuvara nannu
4.Sambho Mahadeva
6.Naradamuni vedalina
7.Ninne neranamminanura
8.Appa Rama bhakti

So all in all, in this concert, we dwell in the realm of a classical art form that traces its beginnings to Valmiki and Kusha-Lava duo. We are treated to some absorbing concert fare by Malladi Brothers representing a great guru parampara. We have some wonderful delineations of Patuvarali and Kharaharapriya (the eternal Parvathi favourite). So let us sit back and enjoy the concert!

(Ramanavami Music Festival, held on 8 April 2006)

Malladi Sreeramprasad and Malladi Ravikumar – Vocal Duet
Mysore V. Srikanth – Violin
Tumkur Ravishankar – Mridangam
M.A. Krishnamurthy - Ghatam

Song List:

01. Evari Bodhana – Abhogi Varnam – Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer *** 02. Gajanana Yanuchu – Todi - ? *** 03. Sita Lakshmana Sahitam – Athana – Thyagaraja *** 04. Vadera Daivamu – Pantuvarali – Thyagaraja *** 05. Sringara Lahari – Neelambari – Mysore Lingaraje Urs *** 06.Ninu Vina – Balahamsa – Mysore Sadashiva Rao *** 07. Kharaharapriya Alapana *** 08. Pakkala Nilabadi – Kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja *** 09. Tani *** 10. Kande Na Govindana – Mand – Purandara Dasa *** 11. Akati Velala – Revati – Annamacharya *** 12. Ramachandru Ditadu – Dwijavanti – Annamacharya *** 13. Anta Ramamayam – Varali – Bhadrachala Ramadasu *** 14. Bayarani Baliche – Kapi Javali – Tirupathi Narayanaswami *** 15. Patiki Harati re Sita– Surutti – Thyagaraja *** 16. Mangalam *** (Please note this recording was not made from a line-in audio).