Concerts Lalgudi siblings' presentation was well-planned. Sriram and Anooradha Sriram were winsome and Nisha Rajagopal cast a magic spell on the listeners at the 17{+t}{+h}Pongal Music Festival held in Coimbatore. T.K. Ganapathy

The violin duet of Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Viji Krishnan at the 17{+t}{+h}edition of the Pongal Music Festival held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore, was a well-planned concert showcasing the artistic finesse of the instrumentalists and their absolute control over them. A Lalgudi sahityam in Bahudari was the curtain-raiser and the following ‘Theliyaleru' in Dhenuka was played with élan.

Krishnan's alapana of Kanada for the kriti, ‘Bhajare Bhaja Maanasa' and Viji's raga essay of Vachaspati for ‘Parathpara' were a smooth glide from the nishadam providing a new depth in their presentation skills. Their interpretation of ‘Chetasree Balakrishnam' in Dwijavanti was sublime. In their RTP of Hamsanandi khanda triputa the artists revealed their class, true to the Lalgudi bani. Their raga sancharas in Sahana and Ritigowla revealed their penchant for bhava. ‘Mokshamugalada' in Saramathi was played with melodic intensity. Prasad (mridangam) and Mohanram (ghatam) in the percussive wing wove a neat pattern of rhythmic structure with aural aesthetics.

The jugalbandi of Sriram Parasuram and Anooradha Sriram accompanied by Vijay Anand (violin), Umakanth Puranik (harmonium), Ananthakrishnan (mridangam) and Rajendra Nakod (tabla) kept the unique aspects of the Carnatic ragas followed by their equivalents in the Hindustani music intact. Their winsome presentation of ‘Eranaapai' varnam in Thodi set the tenor for their music session. Anooradha's alap of Nattai showed that she was not very comfortable with her voice in the higher octaves. Sriram's elaboration of Jod that followed next was in assertive style. The artists' sharing of Drut in ek taal like Rupakam in Carnatic music for the kriti, ‘Jaya Jaya Jaya Janaki Kanta' interpreted with swaras was ear worthy. A hymn from Thevaram, ‘Pittha Pirai Soodi' in Mayamalavagowla was presented with aplomb. Their raga exercise of Kapi with Misrapeelu in Hindustani music for the kriti, ‘Jagadodharana' was a soulful presentation. Their akara and brigha-oriented musical phrases in the portrayal of Ravichandrika (CM) and Bagesri (HM) for the kriti, ‘Maakelara' with swaras was awesome. Their abhang in Yamankalyan capped it all. The accompanists faithfully shadowed the main artists. The thani by the percussionists brought out their laya expertise.

Nisha Rajagopal 's vocal concert on the final day was characterised by sound voice culture and delicate expression resulting in sukhanubhava for the rasikas. Beginning her kutcheri with ‘Viribhoni' varnam in Bhairavi in two speeds followed by ‘Bagayanayya' (Chandrajothi), her interpretation of the numbers chosen was grammatically flawless. An uninterrupted flow while traversing the raga contours of Abhogi for the kriti, ‘Sabapathikku' and Pantuvarali for ‘Siva Siva Enaradha' conferred refinement to her neat executions. The highlight of the recital was her raga alapana of Khambodi with majestic pidis translating her vidwat into elegant sancharas with nonchalant ease and a felicitous flow of glistening prayogas softened by melodic graces casting a spell on the listeners. Guruvayurappan (violin) was supportive in his solo versions of ragas, niraval and swaras. Raghunathan (mridangam) and Subramanian (ganjira) provided appropriate punches at the right places and displayed exemplary precision and control.