It was a brilliant performance by Athira Krishna.

This critic first listened to Athira's violin concert this past year. The soothing strains that her strings produced established that there was something extraordinarily brilliant about her. Her concert on Wednesday last showed that she has improved and in no small measure.

Bilahari seems to be Athira Krishna's favourite. She presented a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in this refreshing raga, building the edifice step by step, bringing out the essence. The sahitya for the Pallavi, in Khanda Triputai tala was, ‘Raghukula Thilakutai Velasina Ramachandrutai Maapaali Devudu,' as set by T.R. Subramaniam.

She played all three kaalaas in chathusram and the thisram as well. The usual thani avarthanam after the RTP was conspicuously absent.

The thani had earlier followed the Charukesi kriti of Tyagaraja, ‘Adamodi Galathe.' Madipakkam Suresh on the mridangam and Madipakkam Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira presented a neat thani.

Athira has the ability to create different moods through different ragas. Not everyone is endowed with this gift.

If her opening piece, Karur Devudu Iyer's Sri Raga Varnam, ‘Sami Ninne' was like an adventurous train journey through a picturesque landscape, Athira's rendition of Tyagaraja's Bahudari kriti ‘Brovabharama' created a serene, tranquil mood. In the swaraprastara of the latter piece, the concluding korvai had a smooth landing.

Her depiction of Syama Sastri's ‘Devi Brova,' in Chinthamani brought out the meaning of the piece, ‘O, Devi! Now is the time to protect me! Please come over quickly.' Her rendering of the anu pallavi in higher and lower octaves successively was an aural pleasure.

At ‘Sri Kanchi Vihaarini,' the bow produced the right gliding effect. On a listener's request, she played Irayaman Thampi's ‘Karuna Seyvaan Enthu,' on Sri Guruvayurappan. A favourite of Chembai Vaidyanatha

Bhagavathar, Irayaman Thampi had originally set it in Sri Raga. Chembai returned it in Yadukula Khambodi and popularised it.

(ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com)