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A short & sweet concert
CHENNAI: It was a short-duration concert, lasting just 90 minutes. It was sweet, nevertheless.

Form is temporary and class is permanent, it is often said. Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna proved this in an unambiguous way, as he gave a mesmerizing concert on January 5. 2014 and brought the curtain down on Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha’s music festival for the season. Dr. Balamuralikrishna usually gives one concert during the year for the season. Dr. Balamuralikrishna, as Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty pointed at the end of the concert, has not been keeping good health. Before he commenced his concert, Dr. Balamuralikrishna informed the audience that he won’t be able to sing much, and asked them not to expect more from him. However, as the concert began with an Amirthavarshini varnam (Aapaala Gopaalamu), his own composition, it turned out to be absorbing without doubt. He was accompanied by his disciple during the concert. Be it swara rendering or raga alapana, the veteran vocalist was all classy. He had complete command over the sahithyam, and the nuances of the music. His voice was overpowering, as he went to the base and traversed the upper satjam with easy elegance. He was impeccable, as he went into an expansive alap in raga Chandrika. The raga got a fine treatment from the legend, and it had a tranqulising effect on the listeners. Dr.Balamuralikrishna had composed “Nee Saati neeve Ranga” on the deity of Sri Rangam temple. Nagai Muralidharan on the violin was fantastic, as he brought the raga bhava to the fore with expertise. Another Balamurali’s composition in raga Kamboji “Simha Rupa Deva” on Lord Narasimha, the fourth dasavathara incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was beautiful with thoughtful lyrics as the audience savoured the alap and the composition with rapt attention. Balamurali also rendered Thyagaraja’s “Intanuchu Varnimpa” (Gundakriya raga) with a fine diction. “Edari Sancharitha”(Sruti Ranjani raga) of Thyagaraja was wonderful to listen in his unique rendering style. He signed off the evening concert with a Jayadeva’s final Astapadi of the Gita Govindam “Nijaga Dasa Yadunandane” in Sindhubhairavi.

Taniavarthanam between Umayalpuram Sivaraman (Mridangam) and N. Guruprasad (Ghatam) was skillful, and their Vidwath came to fore. Not just that. The fine technique of Umayalpuram Sivaraman was inspiringly beautiful. The way he handled the Mridangam was aesthetic, as he caressed it with the soft strokes but with telling effect. Truly, the concert on this day was a convergence of stalwarts and brilliance.

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