PERHAPS THE most travelled among the younger crop of violin duos, M. Lalitha and M. Nandini, gave a heart-warming recital at Nalinakanti. Speed, which is their forte was eschewed to a reasonable extent and the musical phrasings and metaphors were more clear and pleasing to the ears.
Karaharapriya was the feature raga and the sisters duelled with each other in the alapana and the song invariably was Tyagaraja's "Chakkaniraja." The neraval and swaras were on time-tested lines, making a good impact on the audience.
After a sedate start with "Mahaganapatim" (Nattai), Vachaspati raga alapana was rendered flawlessly for "Paratpara" (Papanasam Sivan).
"Needayarada" (Vasantha Bhairavi) and "Manavyala" with delightful swaras, the sallies worked up interest.
"Adikondar" (Madhavamanohari - Muthu Thandavar), a rare piece, spoke of their repertoire. Kumbakonam Saravanan gave good support on the mridangam.
Lec-dem for youth
Any concert by Thanjavur Sankara Iyer turns out to be a mini lec-dem. It was no different at Nalinakanti. After a rare sanchara or swaraprastara he would stop for a while to give their nuances. No doubt they were very useful and intellectual which would have been of immense value to young students.
But the audience consisted mostly of elders and vintage rasikas, with very few young aspirants.
The start of the Vanajakshi varnam appeared original and quizzed the audience.
Once the veteran got into the mood it became quality music. "Aen Palli Kondeer" (Mohanam - Seerkazhi Arunachala Kavirayar), and the not often heard Syama Sastri's jatiswaram "Rave Himagiri Kumari" after a comprehensive Todi alapana and finally a scintillating Sankarabharana alapana for the ever popular "Endukuppeddala" and his "Manadirku" (Sindu Bhairavi) gave a super status for the veteran's concert, giving satisfaction to his many stoic supporters.
Though age and ill health has affected his shariram it has not affected his zest for traditional music, built on the bedrock of sampradaya.
S. Varadarajan (violin) and Umayalpuram Mali (mirdangam) played their roles to perfection and their cooperation won the vocalist's appreciation wholesomely.
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