Allam Durgaprasad’s raga phrases were rich in bhava

It is not every day that we get to enjoy a gottuvadyam recital. Thus, the concert by Allam Durgaprasad, for Paalam TV (Mudhra), was particularly enjoyable. He succeeded in producing a nadham of rare resonance and ensured sruti shuddham. With control and mastery over the instrument, every phrase he played was rich in bhava.

The opening phrases of Nattai laid a good foundation for the concert, with Dikshitar’s ‘Mahaganapathim’ with a charming chittaswaram offering an auspicious beginning. The swaraprastara was at the pallavi. Durgaprasad is the son of well-known gottuvadyam exponent Allam Koteswara Rao and disciple of the legendary Narayana Iyengar.

Elaborate raga alapana

The masterpiece was raga Purvikalyani, which saw Durgaprasad weaving interesting raga patterns on the instrument. After a lengthy, yet tranquil alapana, he played a rich tanam, before launching Ramanathapuran (Poochi) Srinivasa Iyengar’s ‘Paramapavana rama’, again with a chittaswaram. The swaras were at the charanam, ‘Kanakambaradhara’. The sprightly thani by Sherthalai Ananthakrishnan (mridangam) and Ghatam Karthick enriched the recital immensely.

Another elaborate alapana and a mini tanam that Durgaprasad offered was for Mayamalavagowla. The kriti was the majestic ‘Devadeva kalayamithe’ by Swati Tirunal. Swaraprastara at ‘Jagarupa Nibhachela’ also had a short ragamalika segment.

The introduction for ragam Mohanakalyani was unique, with the instrument giving it a special hue. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s ‘Bhuvaneswariya’ was a vibrant rendering. After a short and sweet Ritigowla, the artiste played Subbaraya Sastri’s masterpiece, ‘Janani ninnuvina’ (misra chapu), which has a lovely chittaswaram and an equally appealing chittaswara sahityam.

Earlier, Durgaprasad had offered Saint Tyagaraja’s Saraswathi Manohari piece, ‘Enthavedukondu’ in a lilting Desadi talam. In the concluding segment, he presented Purandaradasa’s ‘Jagadoddharana’ in Kapi. The rendition was majestic and melodious, perhaps as its venerable composer intended it to be. ‘Vaishnava janato’ in Mishra Pilu made for a fitting finale. The concert is available on the Mudhra Bhaskar YouTube channel.

The Chennai-based

writer specialises in

Carnatic music.

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