Balamuralikrishna @ Narada Gana Sabha Hall , Chennai

Venue: Satguru Gnanananda Hall, Narada Gana Sabha, TTK Road, Chennai

Date: 1st Oct 2006

Vocal: Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna

Violin: Sri Embar S. Kannan

Mridangam: Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman

Ghatam: Sri E.M. Subramaniam

List of songs:

1) OmkAra ganapati charaNam – hamsadwani – Adi – ? (S)

2) saraswati manOhari – saraswati manOhari – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

3) akhilAndEswari durusuga – karnAtaka kApi – Adi – syAma sAstri

4) varuga varuga – pantuvarALi – Adi – m. bAlamuraLikrishnA (AS)

5) vAnil parakkinra – tOdi – misra chApu – subramanya bhArati

6) Ayar kalaikkellAm arasiyE – mOhanam – Adi – m. bAlamuraLikrishnA

7) parAsakti manuparAdha -sAvEri – Adi – thyAgarAja (aS – main)

8) antharanga (? – thEvAram) – hemavati – Adi- sambandar (?)

9) appA nAn vEndudhal – vAgadIshwari – Adi- rAmalinga adigaL (?)

10) giridhara gOpAlan ennuyir kAdhalan – sindhubhairavi – misra chApu- ?

11) thillAna – dwijAvanti – Adi – m. bAlamuraLkrishnA

12) mangaLam girithanayE – srI – misra chApu – m. bAlamuraLikrishnA

Age doesn’t seem to have any effect on a few great singers and one such singer is Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. Even at 76+, his melodious voice hasn’t lost a bit of its shine. The only thing that gave an indication of his being old enough was the persistent cough that he had during the first few minutes of the concert. Such was the range of his voice that he was able to reach the lower ‘sa’ of the lower octave and the upper ‘sa’ of the upper octave without much effort showing through and was able to sing lower octave notes at the same volume as the normal octave ones.

Sri Embar Kannan on the violin was a shadow of Sri Balamuralikrishna (BMK), faithfully reproducing whatever he sang. The rAga AlApanAs played on the violin were excellent and I would rate the pantuvarALi rAga AlApanA on the violin higher than the one done by BMK himself because of the primary reason that BMK traversed the rAgA note by note in his AlApanA while in carnatic music, it is customary to do so phrase by phrase, highlighting a few important patterns that characterize a rAgA. This is one aspect of BMK’s rAga AlapanAs I don’t like much.

Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman on the mridangam was simply awesome. I don’t think there is any other mridangist who can match/surpass the clarity with which Sri Sivaraman plays the sollus that come at very very high speed. Sri E.M. Subramaniam, as usual, supported Sri Sivaraman very well.

Author: Ram

Leadership Coach. Musician. Educator.

10 thoughts

  1. hi,
    age never matters to seasoned singers like balamurali sir …
    i am a reglar reader of ur blog except for the kutcheris… i am not reading them as they invoke a kinda bad feeling that am not able to attend them cos i am at some other place but i read the reviews…
    fords and aspera also i read regularly
    feels like i am one of you people
    yes hoping for isb 2008
    will keep in touch with u
    ram

  2. Ram,
    I did attend his concert here in Bangalore on Friday. I had to leave after the main. However, it did not create a lasting impression on me. The Meenakshi Varada on Hamsanandi was exceptional but the rest were just ok.

  3. 01 Amma anandadayini – GambhiraNattai
    02 Saraswati Manohari – I guess it is Saraswati Manohari Raga
    03 Meenakshi Varada – Hamsanandi ( 28 min )
    04 Nanna Kanna Talli – Sindhu Kannada or Kesari ( I do not know these Ragas well )
    05 Emani Mukula ( main )- Thodi and Thani Avartanam (50 min)

    I had to leave after this , not sure what are the other composition he sung..

  4. i wanted to attend this concert, but got held up at a friend’s place where i had gone to sing for navarathri.

    looks like a nice list to me.

    on Jayan’s list, the tODi kriti should be Emani mikula, a lovely shyama sastri kriti which nobody touches these days. and correct me if i am wrong, but kesari and sindhu kannada are names of the same ragam?

  5. Well, I must say that you didn’t miss much except probably for Sri Embar Kannan’s violin and Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman’s mridangam. The only thing I remember from the concert w.r.t BMK is his golden voice that has stood the test of time and not aged along with him. There was nothing special in the kriri renditions or in the raga alapanas.

  6. gone to a friend’s place for navarathri ….. if I read inbetween the lines, I can see sundal appearing …. šŸ˜‰ Just kidding …. dont take it seriously

  7. ya of course sundal does appear there as well. but then, here i was suppose to sing a couple of songs, while at the former occasion, i got to listen to some amazing music.

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