Srimathi’s Abhogi ragam was poignant and Anuradha’s Begada alapana had both verve and finesse.Bala Shankar
The normal expectations from a violin duet concert are an engaging programme, pleasant bowing, vibrancy inimitable to an instrument and a stimulating exchange between the two main artists. Lalgudi Srimathi and Anuradha Sridhar's concert met most of these. One, however, felt a sense of disconnect in some parts, primarily from sluggish pace, on top of a delayed start and periodic distractions on sound dynamics and light issues.
The technically pristine Lalgudi style and the choicest sangatis were in full view. The duo began with ‘Merusamana’ (Mayamalavagowla, Tyagaraja) that seemed to be on a slower gear to be impactful. Swarams at ‘Merusamana’ enlivened the proceedings. Abhogi ragam was beautifully depicted by Srimathi with many poignant calibrations at the higher notes. ‘Sabapathikku’ (Gopalakrishna Bharati) could also have been stepped up a bit to veer away from the sag. Niraval at ‘Kripanidhi’ and the swarams that followed provided a comprehensive treatment of the ragam that is seldom elaborated.
Begada (‘Nadopasana,’ Tyagaraja) brought in the cheers, with Anuradha essaying a raga alapana that had both verve and finesse. Her manoeuvres at high speeds teemed with confidence and musicianship. Nadopasana is a treatise from Tyagaraja and the mother-daughter duo gave it the high honour it deserved.
‘Vachamagocharame’ (Kaikavasi, Tyagaraja) was a cameo act by the duo. The unique scale of the ragam (especially the ‘da’ accent in arohanam) was punctuated at every opportunity to sketch a characteristic kaikavasi. Engaging swarams at ‘banambu’ climaxed the piece. Anuradha’s Madhyamavati ragam was mostly in the mellow mood with sweetly spun melodies. The Lalgudi Pancharatna kriti of Tyagaraja (‘Devasree Tapasthirtha’) in misra chapu was an apt choice for violin, with numerous sangatis and their tender sways streaming brightly through the fingers and bows of the violinists. Swaram appendages at Devasri contributed to leaving a lingering mystique of Madhyamavati. R Ramesh on the mridangam and S. Venkatramanan on the ganjira were quietly eloquent in their support to the main artists.