Friday Review

Innovative, yet traditional

J S Sriram

J S Sriram  

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Lalgudi siblings present an enchanting violin concert for SICA.

HYDERABAD: Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and his sister G.Vijayalakshmi were featured in a delightful violin duet at Ravindra Bharati, last week under the aegis of South Indian Cultural Association. They were given the company of noted mridangam player V. Kamalakara Rao and ghatam player K. Haribabu. These siblings grew up in an atmosphere of music of their father Jayaraman and grandfather Gopala Iyer and their style is branded after Lalgudi, characterised by boundless innovation, yet strictly adhering to tradition. Both are specialists in capturing the mood of the composition they present at that moment. This apsect was evident right in the opening number Asaveri varnam Jalajakshi composed by their father Jayaraman. This was followed by an exceptional Annamacharya kirtana, Vandeham Jagadvallabham in Hamsadhwani khandachapu talam. This was a brilliant piece and the duo presented it with the required humility the composition demanded.

The duo then went for rarely heard composition of Thyagaraja Muddumomu Elago in Suryakantham, which was tagged with neat swarakalpana. This was a rare composition that talks of how the sages and others had a look at Srirama’s face in his ‘Aranya Vasam’.

The play of the number carried that emotional touch. Rangapura Vihara in Brindavana saranga of Dikshitar was then taken up and presented with dedication to the Lord. It was simple kirtana presentation. It was followed by another composition of Thyagaraja Srikantha Neeyeda Balatibala in Bhavapriya. The swarakalpana part was neat execution. This was followed by another Thyagaraja number, a popular one, Rama Nee Samanamevaru in Kharaharapriya. This was treated more as submain number with fine ragalapana and swarakalpana.

Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi chose Manasu Vishaya of Thyagaraja in Natakuranji as their main number of the concert. Thyagaraja penned this addressing the conscience of a person cautioning him never to hesitate to ask for blessings of Srirama. The duo played the raga in great detail with occasional finer touches displaying instrumental virtuoso skills. The presentation of the kirtana was in the Gayaki style that the Lalgudi family is known for. Their play with vocalist touch gave sumptuousness to the sahitya element to those who knew the text of the kriti. The swarakalpana too was in the same mood of the presentation that was well received.

Later the duo presented Radha Sametha Krishna and Krishna Nee Begane Baro in Yamuna kalyani. There was a Tamil classic Enna Tavam Seidine in Kapi of Papanasam Sivan. They concluded with Lalgudi Jayaraman’s popular tillana in Tillang.

Kartikeya Gana Sabha’s concert



Sri Kartikeya Gana Sabha featured young vocalist Jonnalagadda Satya Sriram in an engaging vocal concert, last week. He was accompanied by B. Pavan Singh on violin and Karra Srinivas on mridangam. Sriram was trained in the laya-oriented musical tradition of illustrious musician Akella Mallikarjuna Sharma. Being the son of exponent of bhajans J.S. Eswara Prasad and vocalist mother Chidrupa Lakshmi, he shaped up as highly promising vocalist.

Sriram launched his concert with Sahana Varnam set to jhampe thalam and presented it in two speeds. This was followed by Sri Guruguha Tarayasumam, a composition of Dikshithar in raga Sudha Saveri. His delineation of the raga was neat marked with subtle but high speed gamakas. The sangathis recalled violin technique. His voice is well cultured. He presented swarakalpana in two speed Tisra gati mathematical patterns. The accompanists rightly responded elevating the impact of the number. The next number was Swati Tirunal’s composition Parama Purusha Jagadeeswara Jaya Jaya in raga Vasanta. It was a plain krithi rendition.

Dhanyasi was the choice for his sub-main piece of the concert in which he presented rarely heard number Nannu Palimpa Ravamma Lalithamma of Lalitha Dasa. Raga delineation was commendable given that it is not very easy to bring out that pleasure.

Parama Pavana in Ranjani of Meesu Krishna Iyer that figured later was backed up by short but power packed swarakalpana in tisra gati sancharas. It was unusual experiment of opening numbers with giving sketch of the ragas. Thus Sudha Saveri, Dhanyasi and Ranjani for earlier numbers came out well. Vasantha and Sahana too were brief in delineation. The main piece of the concert was Manasu Swadheenamaina of Thyagaraja in Sankarabharanam. Alapana was in considerable detail and had some methodical improvisation exploring all the possible sancharas for beautification. Pavan singh on the violin too did well in his turn and expounded the raga melodiously. Krithi rendition was reasonably good and the neraval at the line Raaja Raajesa Niranjana Nirupama carried melodic appeal. That was further enhanced in the swarakalpana that followed. The swaraprasthara rallies between vocalist and violinist added lustre to the number. Mridangam support by Srinivas was spiced up by his brilliant tani avartanam.

The final numbers of the concert were Sri Hari vallabhe of Mysore Vasudevachar and a tillana of Balamurali in the raga Kapi.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 12:41:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/Innovative-yet-traditional/article14628504.ece

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