Music

Voices of experience

Bombay Sisters C. Saroja and C. Lalitha. with Usha Rajagopalan (violin), K.R. Ganesh (mridangam) and Madipakkam Murali (ghatam). Photo: V. Ganesan  

If you were looking for some relaxation and loved vintage fare, then the concert of Bombay Sisters, C. Saroja and C. Lalitha provided just that. Their strict observance to the tradition of classicism was apparent throughout.

The concert warmed up with the vibrant ‘Sri Jalandara’ in Gambira Nattai (Mysore Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar) with its enchanting chittaswaram after a sober Sriraga varnam. Then came the feather touch alapana of Ritigowla by Lalitha. Tyagaraja’s ‘Cheraravathae’ followed with full bhava. Suddha Saveri is a favourite of Saroja and, therefore, the niraval on ‘Chutti Chutti Pakshulella’ for Tyagaraja’s ‘Kalaharana Melarahare’ was taken up by her elaborately, sharing the swaras with Lalitha.

The Purvikalyani essay has been Lalitha’s forte and once again, she developed it steadily its charm and splendour unfolding beautifully. True. It may not have had the zip of youth but it definitely carried the depth of experience. The kriti also was a moving one; Syama Sastri’s ‘Ninnuvina Gamari.’

The clear diction and the serene tempo culminated into generous niraval on ‘Paramlobulanu Pokati Pokati’ and the swara circled on gandharam.

The main raga Thodi was expanded by Saroja for Tyagaraja’s ‘Orajubuju’ in Kannadagowla. Saroja’s penchant for the raga for decades helped her present the phrases in such a way as to emphasise Thodi’s regal image. As expected, it was for the Tanam and Pallavi set to chatustrajathi triputa talam in two kalai which ran as ‘Devi Sri Tripura Sundari Deena Dayapari’ The languid tanam was energised with the pallavi covering niraval and trikalam. The ragamalika chain figured ragas such as Bilahari, Varali, Hindolam and Behag. Usha Rajagopalan on the violin, K.R. Ganesh on the mridangam and Madipakkam A. Murali on the ghatam were in sync with Bombay Sisters.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 4:55:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Voices-of-experience/article11604929.ece

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