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.