It was a reposeful presentation by Rukmini and Amritha Murali.

The opening Bahudari varnam played on the violin by vidushi T. Rukmini had the Lalgudi stamp with its ‘kuzhaivu’ passages integrated into it. She was ably assisted by the young and experienced Amritha Murali.

A short alapana of Hamsadhwani and a Muthiah Bhagavatar kriti ‘Gam Ganapathe’ followed next. Swarakalpanas for the kriti were shared between the duo, each showing the brilliance of her imaginative skill. In the subsequent Suryakantham raga kriti of Tyagaraja, ‘Muddhumomu,’ the pattern of approach to swaras was similar.

In the Ritigowla alapana, Rukmini presented a clear picture of the raga while Amritha followed her closely playing the virtual second fiddle. It was the slow paced ‘Janani Ninuvina’ of Subbaraya Sastri and both the artists made a reposeful presentation in madhyama kala.

The mridangam vidwan K.V. Prasad collaborated well with the ghatam artist Karthick in offering soft rhythmic support. Perhaps cautious of their role that they were accompanying instrumental players, both exercised restraint.

It was while playing the Ramapriya alapana that Rukmini began a short sketch and allowed Amritha to take over and complete it. Amritha was admirable in presenting the raga in wholesome. Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s kriti, ‘Korinavaramu’ was an unhurried presentation with niraval and swara sallies embellishing the sahityam. Syama Sastri’s ‘Mayamma’ in Ahiri created a poignant moment. Before embarking upon the elaborate Thodi alapana, Rukmini and Amritha played the fast number ‘Vararagalaya’ of Tyagaraja in Chenjukhambodi. The brief Thodi alapana by Rukmini belied the expectation as it turned out to be a less attractive presentation. However, while rendering the Tyagaraja kriti, ‘Kaddanuvariki’ and portraying its extension of niraval and swarakalpanas, both the violinists amply compensated the richness of the raga with their manodharma. The tani avarthanam by Prasad and Karthick was lively.

For the Ragam Tanam Pallavi in raga Hemavati, the duration for the alapana and tanam was short but swarakalpanas for the pallavi, ‘Malmaruga Shanmugha’ in Khanda Jati Triputa Talam had a variety to reveal their artistry in Kapi, Behag and Sindubhairavi. The violinists ended the concert with a brisk tillana.

(charukesiviswanathan@yahoo.co.in)