Kanyakumari and Ramakrishnan in a violin duet

A. Kanyakumari and L. Ramakrishnan performing at Vani Mahal during the December Festival 2018

A. Kanyakumari and L. Ramakrishnan performing at Vani Mahal during the December Festival 2018   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Listening to the violin duet proved to be an evocative experience

It was vidushi A. Kanyakumari in a violin duet with her long-time disciple, L. Ramakrishnan, for Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha. The evening at Vani Mahal was a melodious journey down memory lane.

Invariably in a Carnatic instrumental ensemble, the listener looks for close affinity in the performance of a song/tune to its lyrics. But where his own familiarity with given compositions is at issue, the flight of imagination takes the upper hand, as it happened that evening.

The recital afforded time to reflect on some recent readings which, though unrelated to the Carnatic tradition, nevertheless seemed worth engaging with during the two hours. This scribe found it curious that, at a certain point in the history of Europe, instrumental music was regarded the purest form of the classical genre. Hence, compositions were written exclusively for instrumental performances.

As the varnam in ragam Sri commenced, there appeared an instant clue to differentiate the two violinists. While it has long been the practice with Kanyakumari to deploy additional amplification for her violin, L. Ramakrishnan makes do with the regular sound system. The contrast was striking enough as the artistes began the Hamsadhwani song ‘Mooladara murthy’ of Papanasam Sivan.

Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna kritis are always a listeners’ treat, whether in a vocal or instrumental format. It was no different with the piece in ragam Gowlai: ‘Duduku gala.’ But the song thereafter in ragam Karnataka Behag, a derivative of Harikhambodi, was refreshingly new. Kanyakumari pointed out later that ‘Nenendu vedakuduraa,’ was another piece connected to the legend about Tyagaraja’s lost idol of Lord Rama.

The centre-piece of the evening was ‘Kaligiyunte,’ Tyagaraja’s kriti in Kiravani. The essay exhibitions from the two maestros were evocative, both of the composition’s countless recitations by vocalists and their counterparts through the decades.

Thani avarthanam by the percussion trio received a rousing reception from the audience. Triplicane K. Sekar on the thavil, Rajendra Nakod on the tabla and B. Rajasekar on the morsing each seemed no less appreciative of the other’s delectable display.

‘Chinnanchiru kiliye,’ ‘Venkatachala nilayam’ and a popular film song of T.M. Soundararajan, in Shanmukhapriya, followed to bring curtains down on a joyful evening.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 12:53:24 PM |

Next Story