Impeccable musical idiom

LALGUDI JAYARAMAN, violin maestro, and Palghat T. S. Mani Iyer, legend who raised the art of percussion to levels of poetry, are two all time greats. The violin concert, recorded more than two decades ago, by Lalgudi accompanied by Mani Iyer broadcast by AIR Chennai on October 31, was a splendid performance in qualitative terms.

Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan, a worthy chip of the old block, lent impressive support on the violin. The Lalgudi varnam in Kanada served as a sprightly harbinger. Tyagaraja's "Sri Narada" in Kanada with the vidwan's characteristic fluent, precise swara festoons, adorned the pallavi.

Varali, delineated with rich, smooth, flowing prayogas and the delicate gandhara handled with gentle care, spoke volumes of the vidwan's impeccable musical idiom. Dikshitar's "Mamava Meenakshi" and the sparkling kalpanaswaras instantly targeted the heart.

"Padavini" is the only kriti Tyagaraja rendered in raga Salaga Bhairavi. The song rendition and the pleasing swara passages merging perfectly with the eduppu without any aggressiveness, made one wonder whether it was possible to categorise the excellence of quality. The Khamboji alapana traversing a wide range, "O Ranga Saayi", one of Tyagaraja's Srirangam Pancharatnas, the exquisite swara patterns in the madhyama and dhurita kalapramanams and the kuraippu were vintage stuff. Palghat Mani Iyer's genius and versatility are beyond description. He was a simple man of few words, it was his mridangam that always did the talking and how! His accompaniment and tani avartanam moved much higher than mere performance levels and had the rasika totally mesmerised. Lalgudi's tillanas are exceptional, a brilliant amalgam of melody and rhythm. His tillana in Behag, in Adi tala tisra gati, prefaced by a mellifluent raga sketch, had a transporting quality leaving one yearning for more.


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