Poornachander with Pappu Gnandev on the violin, Burra Sriram on the mridangam, and Raghu Hari on the morsing.

Poornachander with Pappu Gnandev on the violin, Burra Sriram on the mridangam, and Raghu Hari on the morsing.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Versatility was the hallmark of M. Balamuralikrishna. An unconventional and experimental strategy marked his musical journey. Apart from being a gifted vocalist, he was a composer, instrumentalist, percussionist and a guru. Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha not too long ago organised P. Purnachander’s live performance, on M. Balamuralikrishna’s remembrance day.

An achieved violinist and proficient vocalist, Purnachander had the uncommon privilege of studying from two legendary musicians — Lalgudi Jayaraman and M. Balamuralikrishna. And on this live performance, his repertoire comprised kritis principally composed by Balamuralikrishna.

Purnachander started with the common varnam ‘Omkara pranava’ in raga Shanmukhapriya, which has a number of swarakshara prayogas.

He then rendered Balamuralikrishna’s Tamil composition on Ganesha, ‘Pirai aniyum perumaan mainthan’ in raga Hamsadhwani. It has a charming chittaswara and the kalpanaswaras that Purnachander rendered have been soulful. Pappu Gnanadev’s responses on the violin was equally gratifying. An Engineering graduate, Gnanadev, was born and introduced up in a household of musicians and was groomed by senior vocalist Pantula Rama.

Purnachander’s subsequent was a kriti composed by Balamuralikrishna on his guru, Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu. The kriti was ‘Guruni smarimpumu’ in raga Hamsavinodini. He adopted it up with the Kamavardhini piece on goddess Bala. The chittaswaram enhanced the attraction of the piece and Purnachander selected the charanam line ‘Raaka nishaakara bimbaanane’ for niraval.

Rare raga

Like his guru Balamuralikrishna, who is thought for his compositions in uncommon ragas, Purnachander too selected to current the hardly ever heard Tanarupi. His selection of kriti was ‘Shri ramam sada bhajeham’. After this got here an elaborate Sankarabharanam alapana, and a chic response from Gnanadev, adopted by the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Manasu swaadheenamaina’ in Mishra Chapu. The swaras have been at pallavi.

Purnachander subsequent rendered his personal composition on his guru. After an alapana in Saurashtram, he rendered the kriti ‘Entho bhagu murali ravam’. The anupallavi described how Balamuralikrishna educated beneath Ramakrishnayya, whereas the charanam highlighted his musical prowess and character.

The thani by Burra Sriram (mridangam), an IT skilled, and Raghuram Hari (morsing), a trainer was well-planned and offered.

After Balamuralikrishna’s Bhimpalas composition, ‘Paraakelane o paraambike’ got here his Tamil piece in Charukesi, ‘Thunai neeye kumara’ and Purnachander did full justice to it. He adopted it up with yet one more Tamil piece, ‘Jaya jaya gurunatha’, a guru keerthanai by Balamuralikrishna set in the uncommon raga Vallabhi.

Before he wound up his live performance with the common Brindavani thillana, ‘Dheen nanana’, Purnachander selected to render ten shlokas (Dasasloka) in reward of Balamuralikrishna, composed by Amarnath Sarma. Purnachander concluded with Madhyamavathi piece ‘Mangalam giri tanaye’(Misra Chapu, Balamuralikrishna).

The Chennai-based reviewer writes on Carnatic music.

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