An array of renowned musicians adorned the stage as performers at the Purandaradasa Music Fest in Coimbatore.

Age has not withered the refined quality of the music of C. Saroja and C. Lalitha whose decades of experience and sadhakam were evident at the Purandaradasa music festival organised by the Raghavendra Rao Memorial Trust in R.S Puram, Coimbatore.

The happy duo accompanied by Anantapadmanabha (violin), Suresh (mridangam) and Shankar (ghatam) began with a neat execution of ‘Jaya Jaya Janaki Kanta' in Nattai with brisk chittaswarams followed by ‘Rakshito Sreenivasa' in Sama.

Lalitha's alapana of Khamas for the Dasar padam, ‘Pahisenne Sree Mahalakshmi' and Kalyani for the kriti, ‘Charanu Venkatanatha' revealed her vidwat in bringing out the raga swaroopa and lakshana in telling sancharas laced with artistic finesse.

Saroja's raga delineation of Thodi, the main piece of the kutcheri, was bhava-oriented and the composition, ‘Ninnenodi' was soulful.

Anantapadmanabha could respond well to the demands of the vocalists. Suresh and Shankar lent able support. To sum it up, the concert was a treat of nada and laya.

T.N. Seshagopalan's musical discourse on Purandaradasa on the second day of the festival belied the expectations of the rasikas who had occupied every vantage point in the auditorium.

His musical discourse was sheer drag for the first half-hour without getting to the crux of the matter.

With sruti at a discount at several places, the session was a tame affair. Guruvayurappan (violin), Raghunatha (mridangam) and Mahalingam (harmonium) accompanied the kathakalakshepam exponent.

Showcasing the artistry

T.M. Krishna's music recital on the last day was marked by vigour.

Krishna's intellectually stimulating exercise of the numbers from the start of ‘Gajavadana Beduve' (Kedaram) with swaras catapulted the music buffs to a different world altogether.

His delineations of Malahari for ‘Sree Gananatha' and Charukesi for ‘Neelavarnanadevane' were marathon exercises with sweeps and karvais showcasing his artistry in revealing the nuances of the raga.

Thodi raga portrayal with rollercoaster rides on the octaves was an aesthetic effort.

Haribaskar (violin), Arun Prakash (mridangam) and Purushothaman (ganjira) played their roles with distinction.

At the end of the three-day festival, the cognoscenti felt that a music session that includes at least one or two compositions of the trinity adds to the weight of the kutcheri.