The Malladi brothers perform ‘Kailasa Nathena’, a Sanskrit kriti (composition) in Raag Kambhoji in this excerpt from the Darbar Festival 2018. This devotional piece was composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775 – 1835).
The Malladi brothers have a sharp coordination when they perform. While one swoops to the lower octave, the other immediately soars powerfully to the higher notes, bringing beautiful shades to the canvas. They introduce the raga with a detailed alapana, highlighting the contours of Kambhoji.
After finishing their bit, they provide ample opportunity to Vijayalakshmi to introduce the raga further with her dulcet and graceful phrases. She further explores the raga and with elegant glides and poignant, curly notes, paves the way further for them to embark on the kriti. The brothers take the lead weaving short, simple but exquisite patterns, eventually involving the whole ensemble to replicate and improvise upon.
Trichy Sankaran (mridangam) and Giridhar Udupa (ghatam) give a masterful support to the whole performance.
Kambhoji is a bhaṣanga janya of the 28th meḷakarta Harikambhoji. It is a ṣaḍava-vakra sampurṇa raga. The swaras present in this raga in ascent are ṣaḍja, chatusruti riṣabha, antara gandhara, suddha madhyama, pachama, chatusruti dhaivata. Kaisiki niṣada occurs in descent. Kakali niṣada, which is an additional note that is not present in its parent raga Harikambhoji, is seen in the phrase S N3 P D2 S. Kambhoji is a raga which has existed since olden times. It finds mention in treatises as far back in history as 7th century CE. It is equivalent to the paṇṇ Ṭakkesi. Kambhoji does not have an exact equivalent in Hindustani music, but its parent raga Harikambhoji finds an equivalent in the Khamaj that. It is a rakti raga or a raga which pleases instantaneously. It is a major raga that offers ample scope for improvisation. There are a number of compositions covering almost all varieties of compositional forms. Madhyama, dhaivata, niṣada are ragachaya swaras. Gandhara, madhyama, pancama and dhaivata are nyasa swaras. Sa-ma, sa-pa, ri-da, ri-pa, ga-da are vadi-samvadi swaras (consonant notes).
It can portray rasas like vira (valour) and sṛingara (romantic) very effectively.
The Malladi Brothers (Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar) sing Carnatic vocal music together. They hail from an illustrious Andhra Pradesh musical family, training under their grandfather Srirammurthy and father Suri Babu, as well as Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and Sripada Pinakapani. Their style of singing blends a deep approach to composition with extended forays into improvisation, covering rare ragas and commanding stages around the world.
Malladi Sreeramprasad (vocal)
Malladi Ravikumar (vocal)
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi (violin)
Trichy Sankaran (mridangam)
Giridhar Udupa (ghatam)
Priya Sharma & Srutti Suresan (tanpuras)
Raag Kambhoji, Sanskrit composition by Muthuswamy Dikshitar (1775-1835)