Ganesh unravelled his skill as a vocalist in the course of his violin concert with brother, Kumaresh. LAKshmi Venkatraman
Ganesh and Kumaresh violin duet accompanied by Anantha R. Krishna on the mridangam and Tiruchi Krishnaswamy on the ghatam was a high voltage entertainment. After beginning with Dikshitar’s kriti ‘Veera Hanumathe’, they rendered ‘Vande Sada Padmanabham’ in Navarasakannada by Swati Tirunal. The duo added a bit of orchestral effect in the swaras for the pallavi. The Mandari alapana by Kumaresh was a little intriguing for a while before one could establish the raga for what it was. Patnam Subramanian Iyer’s composition ‘Enduku Chapalamu’ was taken up with Ganesh singing part of the song as also the kalpanaswaras. Later the string duo’s pre-set swarams were answered by the percussion duo.
Some imaginative combinations emerged when the brothers played kalpanaswaras.
The earlier half of Begada essay by Ganesh had ‘azhutham’ and ‘nidanam’ and was thus appealing and the raga alapana for Ranjani also had similar effect. The song in Begada was ‘Nadopasana’ of Tyagaraja; swarams for the Pallavi was mainly by Ganesh. When played at Mandhra stayi the violin sounded like cello because of the attached mike. Their expertise in fingering technique allowed them to get away with a lot of gimmicks, which anyhow seemed to please a major part of the audience. A quickie ‘Marugelara’ in Jayantasri saw them producing harmony.
There was contrasting styles between the duo as Ganesh rendered a pacy tanam for Ranjani, giving an effect of a speeding train and Kumaresh on his part played an entire stretch just by plucking the strings.
Was it a Pallavi set to Khanda Jati Triputa tala or just an abstract tune? It might be the latter since there was no improvisation and the two played the sangatis together and towards the end it sounded like a superfast express!
The ragamalika of swarams included Nattakurinji, Ahiri, Ganamurti and Bilahari.
Anantha Krishna and Krishnaswamy played an interesting thani. After a brief but engaging Kapi came ‘Chinnanchiru Kiliye’ in the popular version and then a lilting ‘Azhimazhai Kanna’ (not Thiruppavai) in Behag, sung by Ganesh with Kumaresh on the violin.
The final items were Dwijavanti tillana and ‘Bhagyatha Lakshmi’ which also included the popular ‘Harivarasanam.’