Violin duet Lalitha and Nandini burnished every swara with plenty of soul. G. SWAMINATHAN

Meticulous planning, comfort zone playing and best choice of kritis made the violin duet of Lalitha-Nandini, at Sastri Hall, Mylapore, enjoyable. It was gratifying to note that in between their musical expeditions of different genres, the sisters also provide space for tradition-bound playing to the pleasure of connoisseurs.

The Surutti varnam added extra sheen to the concert as the siblings burnished every swara with plenty of soul. Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Gajavadana’ in Sriranjani with swara suites opened up the unlimited shades of the beautiful raga. Latangi was developed by both, emphasising its vivacity.

Chiselled phrasings

Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s ‘Aparadamula’ and their expansion on ‘Kripa Jesina’ with niraval and swarams was testimony to their strong base in the classical idiom. The Kharaharapriya raga treatise for Tyagaraja’s evergreen ‘Chakkani Raja’ was approached by Lalitha with veneration; she built it up with carefully chiselled phrasings. The kriti was rendered at a leisurely pace to provide enough importance for the swaras at ‘Kantiki Sundara.’ The spirit with which the sisters exchanged swara sallies added weight to the rendition.

On the lighter side, the duo played a rare composition of Muthiah Bhagavatar in the unusual raga, Buddha Manohari, ‘Om Namo Narayana’ of Ambujam Krishna in Karna Ranjani and a javali as a tribute to Brinda Amma.

S. Sridharan on the mridangam and G. Ravichandran on the ghatam kept rhythm with the right perspective. Their thani was energetic.

(During the December Season, the sabhas vie with each other getting artists and conducting programmes. But, it would help the audience if the organisers show equal interest in sprucing up the auditorums. Sastri Hall’s ceiling is peeling off and this scribe had to shift to three different locations to protect himself from the dripping of water from the open gaps in the ceiling.)