Varalakshmi Anandakumar's detailed delineation of Khambodi set the pace for the concert.
Varalakshmi Anandkumar, accompanied by Melakaveri Balaji on the violin and V.R. Jayakumar on the mridangam, started with Muthuswamy Dikshitar's kriti ‘Mahaganapate, Palaya,' in Natanarayani. There was effortless delivery of wholesome music in this and the succeeding numbers. Another Tyagaraja song, in Ritigowla and Misra Chapu talam, ‘Nannuvidachi' followed, once again rendered with feeling.
With kritis in ragas using suddhamadhyamam and pratimadhyamam, and in talams, Adi, Rupakam and Misrachapu, composed by two of the Trinity, delivered at a medium pace completed in the first quarter of her two-hour programme, Varalakshmi settled down to a detailed delineation of raga Khambodi. Her alapana was effective in depicting the lakshanas, dwelling mostly at the notes in the tara sthayi, (dha to Ga and Ma), leading the listener to expect a composition commencing with notes in the upper pitches.
Vibrant rava-sancharas gushed out in waves and fell pleasantly on the ears. Balaji took off on that cue and augmented the deep ‘Khambodi effect' created, setting the stage for Tyagaraja's 'Sree Raghuvara Aprameya' in a double beat Adi talam (which takes off at the upper shadja). Supplementing the chittaswara-sahityam pattern in which the composition is set, the artists embellished it with their dialogue through slow and fast kalpanaswaras at the pallavi sahityam to serve a further half-hour of Khambodi, before Jayakumar took over for his thani avartanam, who split it into nearly two equal segments of normal chatusram through slow and fast sollus and tisram in the same pattern, in a 13-minute presentation of his eminently aesthetic creativity.
RTP was allotted eight minutes for the alapana in Dhanyasi, for voice and violin together, commencing at the panchama. It was followed by a proportionately short tanam, to take the pallavi which predictably emphasised panchama sanchara at start (sa, pa- ma- pa, ma-pa-ga, ma-pa') and to the words, ‘Thenpazhani, Vadivelane') in a double-beat tisra-jati Triputa talam in Chatusra Gati, taken enjoyably through the customary trikalam and tisram.
The exercise, impressive for its simplicity and effectiveness, was taken through ragamalika in kalpanaswara exchanges in ragas Amritavarshini, Saramati and Kannada before turning back to Dhanyasi in kuraippu. The kutcheri was brought to a close with the Tamil item ‘Indaa, Vibheeshana' of Arunaachala Kaviraayar.