Violin It was on Tyagaraja that T.N. Krishnan and Viji Krishnan banked for success.
The violin concert of T.N. Krishnan and Viji Krishnan was constructed on the foundation of Bhairavi varnam 'Viriboni' and the four massive pillars of 'Niravathi Sukhada' (Ravichandrika), 'Rama Nee Samana' (Kharaharapriya), 'Enduku Peddala' (Sankarabharanam) and 'Gitartamu Sangeetha' (Surutti).
It also carried the message that it was not infra dig for a senior vidwan of his calibre to seek the monumental kirtanas of Tyagaraja to make a success of his recital for Carnatica in association with Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha.
The harmony of the two violins contributing to fulfilling melody was a highly sensitive, reflective and gentle presentation of alapana lines and interpretation of songs. This quality gave a new rakti dimension to the two ragas Kharaharapriya and Sankarabharanam. Having a commanding view of their beauty from different angles, it synchronised fertile manodharma with refined articulation.
Shifting images and glowing threads of sancharas made the alapana picture fascinating.
The way he wielded the gana-naya from his bow contained all the mesmerising touch. Nothing Krishnan played which was not marked by graciousness and unique ease of expression.
The arresting feature of Kharaharapriya and Sankarabharanam was not mere solidity, but the merit was his bhani that flashed aesthetics from every sanchara or a sangati in the songs.
While the picture of Kharaharapriya was poetic and lyrical, Krishnan's Sankarabharanam was a measure of his maturity to probe the deeper levels of the raga's majesty. In every respect Krishnan brought to bear on his concert a positive attitude of mind and faith in Carnatic music's heritage.
In the presentation of the kirtana 'Rama Nee Samana' all the nuances of the sangatis in the pallavi were cherished and fondled. He handled the niraval to heighten the emotional dimension of the passage. The appeal became explicit to ears tuned to its delicacy.
The rendering of the song 'Enduku Peddala' tickled the ecstasies of performances by veterans heard over the years. It captured the striking grandeur embedded in the minds of rasikas. His management of the kirtana was an eloquent visualisation of its classic enchantment.
Mridangam is considered an instrument of subtle nada, but does not seem to be so to Guruvayur Dorai who put faith in punitive slaps during accompanying songs or in the thani with Vaikom Gopalakrishnan (ghatam) and Srirangam Kannan (morsing).