Jingle Bells during Margazhi: T.N. Krishnan enthralls a packed house


The Margazhi season is at its peak now, and December 25 is a special day for the rasikas in Music Academy. The hall is packed at 8.50 am, with audience gathered to listen

to one of the most awaited concerts of the year to begin. The strains of three violins tuning-in breaks the early morning silence and someone comments, “So punctual.” The curtains rise – nonagenarian T.N. Krishnan, flanked by daughter Viji Krishnan Natarajan to his left and son Sriram Krishnan to his right, greet the audience and the concert begins with a gentle rendition of Viriboni varnam in Bhairavi. The trio are supported by Tiruvarur Bhaktavatsalam on the Mirudangam and Vaikom Gopalakrishnan on the Ghatam.

The gentle pace of the violins is matched by the tone of the percussionists and the combination holds on to the listeners in the packed auditorium, foregoing even the filter coffee in the canteens – normally a formidable rival especially given it is a morning concert – to stay on.


Looking back

It was nice that they chose to play popular songs – that much easier to identify the ragas… for novices like me it’s a treat! Janani in Reetigowlai followed sweet Hamsadhwani. The understanding between the three was apparent, with Viji’s slower, deeper style being complemented by Sriram’s pace and with Dr. Krishnan balancing them. It was sweet how during the Ragam Tanam Pallavi, following the main exposition, playing different ragas, Viji added a line of “Saare Jahan Se Accha,” during her turn.

It was touching to see the affectionate bonding between the siblings and their father. As the concert drew to a close, Viji asked her father, “Would you like to play Jingle Bells now?” and as they always do, every year, this year, too, the musicians rendered a carnatic version of “Jingle Bells,” and “Wish you a merry Christmas.” It was a concert to remember and cherish.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:24:08 PM |

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