In 2018, the Malladi brothers performed for the first time at the Darbar Festival and enthralled a hugely multicultural audience with a delectable selection of ragas. The duo chose Raag Anandabhairavi as their central piece and gave a compelling performance with an ensemble comprising the best musicians. This piece, ends with a magical taniavarthanam. The genius lent by Trichy Sankaran on the mridangam and the youthful energy of Giridhar Udupa on the ghatam is incomparable.
Anandabhairavi can portray valour, compassion, devotion as well as romance, depending on the composition and the performers. They begin the alapana, elucidating the salient features of the raga. Transcending remarkably from its basic framework, they also illuminate the multiple facets of Anandabhairavi.
The tanam section is full of energy and built slowly upon the tug of the ‘veer rasa’ or emotion of valour. The pallavi follows with equal gait and is embellished with lively phrases. The Malladi brothers open the avenue for the rest of the ensemble here to display excellent teamwork with each bringing in a unique flavour.
The audience was treated to a succinct and power-laden percussion duet displaying the vast erudition of Sankaran, a veteran exponent and 76 years of age. Giridhar Udupa remains unobtrusive, following the master in consonance and with demands of the occasion.
Anandabhairavi is a bhaṣanga janya of the 20th meḷakarta Naṭhabhairavi. It is a vakra ṣaḍava- sampurṇa raga, that is, it uses six notes in the ascent and all seven notes in its descent. The swaras present in this raga in ascent are ṣaḍja, chatusruti riṣabha, sadharaṇa gandhara, suddha madhyama, pachama, chatusruti dhaivata. Kaisiki niṣada occurs in descent. Kakali niṣada, suddha dhaivata and antara gandhara are extra notes that are seen in some phrases. It is an ancient raga. It is a rakti raga or a raga which pleases instantaneously. It is a versatile raga and is used for diverse variety of tunes ranging from Film, Folk to purely classical compositions. This Raga is used both as a minor and a major Raga in performances and has ample scope for improvisation. Gandhara, madhyama, niṣada are ragachaya swaras. Gandhara is a nyasa swara. M-N are vadi-samvadi swaras (consonant notes).
It can portray rasas like vira (valour), karuṇa (compassion) and sṛingara (romantic) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
Malladi Sreeramprasad (vocal)
Malladi Ravikumar (vocal)
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi (violin)
Trichy Sankaran (mridangam)
Giridhar Udupa (ghatam)
Priya Sharma & Srutti Suresan (tanpuras)
Ragam tanam pallavi in Raag Anandabhairavi