Music

Enhanced ragas’ elegance

Lakshmi Rangarajan at Mylapore Fine Arts. Photo: K. Pichumani

Lakshmi Rangarajan at Mylapore Fine Arts. Photo: K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

Lakshmi Rangarajan’s soft, unhurried approach was steeped in classicism.

The two prime aspects of Carnatic music have been composition and exposition. In practice, the composer takes a back seat, for, the composition reaches the rasika, as interpreted by the artist. A vaggyeyakara is at once a skilful wordsmith and an inspired musician. One such composer is Subbarama Dikshithar, grandson and adopted son of Baluswami Dikshithar, who was the youngest brother of Muthuswamy Dikshithar.

Lakshmi Rangarajan rendered his magnum opus, ‘Sri Sankaracharyam’ eliciting its rapturous melody blended with the words of exquisite poetry.

This piece has two sub-pallavis, a rarity. The supple, but expansive Sankarabharanam alapana was soaked in classicism. The sancharas in the higher octave were especially charming.

On the violin, Dr. R. Hemalatha was equally bright in her elucidation. The neraval at the charanam, Paramagnana was followed by spinning swaras, concluding with an impressive korvai. Mannarkoil J. Balaji (Mridangam) and K.V.Gopalakrishnan (Kanjira) offered a captivatingly crisp thani.

Mention must be made of Mannarkoil’s excellent playing technique. He is an asset to any concert. He specialises in using the feather-touch pattern. Very rarely does he indulge in beats! In his company, Gopalakrishnan was ultra-soft.

Lakshmi Rangarajan too was melodiously soft throughout. She was in no hurry either. This approach enhanced the elegance of the ragas she handled. In Ritigowla, after a detailed alapana, she rendered Subbaraya Sastri’s ‘Janani Ninnuvina’ with fluent swaras at pallavi. Her Devagandhari alapana for the rarely heard ‘Sri Thulasamma’ ( Tyagaraja) was a fine exposition. Hemalatha too gave a creative interpretation. Lakshmi Rangarajan’s soft approach brought out the quintessence of Sri Raga in Dikshithar’s ‘Sri Varalakshmi.’

Pallavi Seshayyar occupies a prominent role among the composers in the post-Tyagaraja period. Lakshmi Rangarajan rendered his Urmika kriti, ‘Enthani Vinavinthura’. This is her guru TMT’s favourite. The chitta swarams in thisra nadai are very elegantly composed.

She commenced her absorbing concert with a lilting Begada varnam. For Andal’s ‘Azhimazhai Kanna’, she rendered a ragamalika Viruttham in Bilahari, Saveri, and Varali. The only breezy (by her standard) piece was Tyagaraja’s ‘Raga Sudha Rasa’. All good things must come to an end and Lakshmi Rangarajan concluded her recital with ‘Eppo Varuvaro’. Her talent in making full use of the mike is worth emulating by a few of the artists.

(ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com)

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

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

Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 2:40:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Enhanced-ragas%E2%80%99-elegance/article11601508.ece

Next Story