Vocal : S K Anil Murthy
Violin : Mathur Srinidhi
Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao
Mrudangam : Anirudh Bhat
01. ninnu kOri ( varNam ) – mOhanam – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar ( O )
02 praNamAmyaham srI gaurisutam – gauLa – Mysore Vasudevacharya ( O,S )
03 Alapana – aThANa
ALidE nInu ninnALu ?? ( ugabhOga) – aThANa – ?
bAgilanu terEdu sEveyanu – aThANa – Kanaka Dasa ( A)
04 manavi nAlakinca – naLinakAnti – Thyagaraja
05 SeshAchala nAyakam – varALi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S)
neraval & swara @ ‘ aravinda patra nayanam gOvindam uraga Sayanam’
06 endukku peddalavale – SankarAbharaNam – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )
neraval & swara @’ vEda shAstra purANa tattvArthamu dElisi‘
07 hUva taruvara manEge – rAgEshrI ? – Purandara Dasa
08 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja
Earlier this year, Sri T N Seshagopalan was singing at the Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple at Sanjay Nagar. Performers were inside an iron grilled enclosure and the spectators were sitting outside ( a few, including me, were inside the enclosure). During the speech, he turned back and pointed out to the singer accompanying him sitting a feet or two behind, unassuming ( not even once I remember hearing his voice above his guru’s) and noted that he is an upcoming (he used the word upcoming ) singer who sing very well and people need to encourage such talents. I have been seeing him in many TNS concerts over last few years and never heard his voice distinctly. I had even forgotten his name, until I saw the Nadasurabhi schedule for September concert. I should say, I went there to listen to him only on the ‘recommendation’ of Sri TNS and so far none of his disciples have disappointed me.
Vidwan Anil Murthy, did not disappoint me either. He gave a brilliant concert, fitting the bill of a worthy disciple of TNS. His concert did have a lot of TNS influence, be it in his bhriga-laden phrases in alapana, the flattened ‘sa’ during kalpana swara singing (the sha sha sha sha… style of TNS for sa, sa, sa, sa…) .
He started the concert a bit patchy with a short sketch of mOhanam, moving on to the varnam in typical two speed. Mysore Vasudevacharya’s gauLa kriti was just ok, but the kalpana swaras that followed gave glimpses of what is to follow. He concluded the kriti with some fantastic swara singing. Athana alapana was short and the ugabhoga that followed were pretty good. The Kanaka dasa kriti , I remember, hearing in some other raga before.
Varali was the next alapana and it had the TNS stamp all over it. For a while I closed my eyes just listening. I thought, he was imitating the voice of the master as well. So much was the resemblance to the singing of TNS, at this point of time. Mathur Srinidhi gave a fitting return with some brilliant phrases. The kriti , neraval and swara were impeccably executed.
Sankarabharanam main was also fabulous. The alapana, yet again, started a bit off, before picking up steam and developing into a class act. He seems to have this initial trouble for a couple of minutes, may be due to some irritation in his throat, before settling in to the alapana. Mathur Srinidhi was also very good with some melodious passages. I was hpoing for a Shyama Sastri kriti to come ( Mysore Vasudevacharya, Dikshitar and Thyagaraja kritis were already sung) and ‘sarOja dalanEtri was my bet, but Endukku peddala it was. I thought he sang it well, with some nice neraval singing ( received some applause for this) and the typical two speed kalpana swaras. He did not venture too much into TNS style of intricate swara patterns, staying to the comfort zone with some nice improvisations.
Jayachandra Rao and his shishya anirudh gave a spirited tani avartanam. The dual mrudangam percussion was pretty effective through out with Jayachandra Rao doing some fine finger works. Mathur Srinidhi was also good whenever he was doing solo. His varali and Sankarabharanam alapana were top class. However, I found while he was playing for the singing, there seemed to be some minor mismatch, some lack of resonance.
Voice is not the strong point of Anil ( unless he is having a bad throat). He has a restraint style of singing, not an open throat-ed way of singing. He sang within these limits of his voice and occasionally tried to break away from this was immediately felt. He knowledge and skill are evident so is the influence of a great guru. I am going to listen to him many more times.