Rare ragas, soft and soothing

CHILDREN TAKING after glorious parents is not rare. It has been long since G. J. R. Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi stepped out of the shadow of their illustrious father, violin maestro Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, to carve a niche for themselves.

Their concert held under the aegis of G. N. Swamy Trust at the Kalikota Palace. Thripunithura, was remarkable for the selection of rare ragas and compositions.

The varnam, with which the duo kick started their concert, was in Neelambari, composed by

Lalgudi Jayaraman. Even the short phrases in the chittaswaram were so soaked in bhava that made one wonder at the scope of a raga generally used only in light compositions. `Sanathana parama pavana... ,' a Tyagaraja krithi in Phalamanjari raga was rendered with gusto with crisp swaras to complement.

Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi followed this up with raga Oormika, a composition by Pallavi Sheshayya in tisra gati adi thalam. Krishnan's alaapana was marked by its tonal purity. Even though they come under the same bhani, there was a marked variation in their styles. When Krishnan goes for a full tone, while bowing, Vijayalakshmi's alapanas are embellished with rare modulations, as it was in the alapana of Poorvikalyani. `Jnanamusagarada... ' was the krithi they presented. Due to fluctuations in the faulty sound system, there were a few slips from the percussion side.

`Smaraharipadaravindam... ,' a rare Swati Tirunal krithi caught the attention of the audience for its emotion. The practice followed by many violinists of vocally presenting a krithi even while playing the same is not the norm with Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi. Such a gesture would have made the appreciation of some of these rare compositions better. After `Paramapurusham hridayabhavayatham... ' in Lalithapanchamam, as Krishnan started out with the delineation of the Bhairavi there was a disruption in the power supply. With the huge oil lamp in front, Krishnan played on, the full timbre bowing reaching out to the audience who packed the hall. After Dikshithar's `Balagopala palayashumam... ' Kamalakar Rao on the mridangam and Mohan Ram on the ghatam gave a decent thani.

Starting with a brief flash of Mand, the ragamalika `Baro Krishnaiyya... ' was presented. One of the finest of Lalgudi thillanas, the one in Desh, was rendered vibrantly and with a lot of feeling; the duo played alternately in two octaves.

At a function that preceded the concert, the Trust felicitated veteran violinist Nedumangad Sivanandan.


Photo by Mahesh Harilal

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