Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mambalam sisters

When the virile Tiger Vradachari style is spiced up with that of the affable one by late Musiri Subrahmania Iyer a new palatable ‘bhaani’ is born. Mambalam sisters from Chennai who presented a vocal duet at Rasikapriya recently, were the desciples of B.V. aman and Lakshmanan before being trained by Suguna Varadachari. R. Vijayalakshmi and R. Chithra the daughters of the popular Ghanjira player K.S. Rangachari have thus acquired a firm musical conviction to make a Carnatic music programme a creative art than a mere act of self indulgence. Both of them possess an attractive voice and their tenacity in upholding the elementary virtues of sruthi and laya in perfect balance was revealed from the varnam in Sree ragam ( Saami ninne) by Karur Devudu Iyer. This was well appreciated by a large gathering at the Ernakulam Gramajana Samooham hall. Then they sang Vandeham in Hamsadhwani by Tallapakam Annamacharya, who was inspired by Vidyaranya, his predecessor. Musical notation for most of his krithis was done by Dr.Pinakapani and Nedunoori Krishnamoorthy. The sisters proceeded with Jaya Jaya Padmanabha in Manirangu by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal. Vijayalakshmi presented Begada along with Anudinamu by Poochi Iyengar. Nannu Vidachi (Reethigaula) in chappu by Tyagaraja, in absolute aurrender unto God with the message ‘My body is Yours’, was sung well. Saveri by Chithra was smooth. Sankari sankaru by Syama Sasthri in the dual frame work of rhythm, a speciality of his. Its inherent rhythm is in Roopakam while the suggestive one is in Aadi thaala in Thisra Gathi. The duo handled the niraval and swaras with professional ability. Somasundaram in Sudha Vasantha, an offspring of Dheera Sankarabharanam had a swaying effect. Dharamavathi. was shared between the sisters. In the ensuing ragam- thanam –pallavi musical ideas seemed to flourish and expand to the glee of the listeners. Maninoopura by Oothukadu Venkatasubbaier in Neelambari was followed by Naagasayanhari in Desh, a devotional composed by Natarajan, the father of the vocalist Raji Gopalakrishnan. Bhajore Bhayyaa by Kabirdas in Maandu, Kaatrinile varum geetham in Jonpuri which M.S. Subbalakshmi had rendered for the movie ‘Meera’, paved the way for Jnaanappana on Malyalam. Yaman Kalyan was projected through Jai jai devi by Swathi. Govardhana giridhari in Kanada by Narayana Theertha and Neenamame by Annamacharya containing the synonyms of Lord Vishnu were also there. R.Hemalatha, the youngest of the Mambalam Sisters gave a lovely accompaniment with the violin. The claasic touch in the Kumbhakonam style in mridangam initiated by Kumbhakonam Azhagunambia Pillai of yore reflected in the play of K. Ramakrishnan , disciple of Kumbhakonam Rajappa Iyer. K. S. Rangachari, trained by Harihara Sharma (father of Ghatom Vinayaka Ram) handled the ghanjira in a way that revealed his experience in the field.
January 25,2002. Courtesy The Hindu (Kochi).


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