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Brand extension, the Lalgudi siblings show the way
CHENNAI: It was a grand concert, and certainly a nice way to greet the arrival of a new year. The violin recital of siblings Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi for Mylapore Fine Arts Club on the morning of January 1, 2012 for Mylapore Fine Arts Club was of Gold Standard. It was an unalloyed and tradition-rooted performance.

Music that flowed from the duet violin bore the unmistakable Lalgudi stamp. Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi have indeed come a long way. They have not only preserved the rich heritage of their illustrious lineage but have been assiduously carrying forward the brand Lalgudi to a newer and expanding audience. This came out very clear during their concert on this first day of a new year. Their care for nuggets was in evidence. To bring the prominence of the New Year and Sunday, the Navagraha kriti of Dikshitar “Suryamurthe (Saurastram)” was played by Krishnan and Viji after a brief alapana by Krishnan.This was preceded by a Varnam of Lalgudi Jayaraman and Saraseeruhasana Priye (Nattai) of Puliyur Doraiswamy Iyer. Vijayalakshmi’s Keeravani alapana was riveting. It was handled with great felicity. It brought tranquility to the mind, as she explored the raga in every detail. Dandapani Desikar’s “Elam Seiyya Vallavan” proved apt for the day. If it pictured the composer’s prostration to the almighty, the composition is also a favourite of Vijayalakshmi. Swaras and improvisations added luster to the kriti, making it lot richer and more beautiful. Krishnan’s alapana in Kamas was articulate. Sujanana Jeevana of Thyagaraja shone like a gem. While Vijayalakshmi played the upper octaves, Krishnan played the lower ones, making the whole exercise enjoyable. Thyagaraja’s “Suki Evvaro” in Kanada was played with ranjakatvam. It was classy. The vocalization of the violin was perfect. Tani avarthanam between T.V.Gopalakrishnan on Mridangam and Ghatam V.Suresh was electrifying. The teacher-student percussion combination stayed within their territories even as they combined to produce a scintillating duet. A composition of their grandfather Lalgudi Gopala Iyer, “Tamadam Tagadayya” in Mohana Kalyani was played with poise. Creativity goes hand in hand with the Lalgudi tradition. RTP (Ragam, tanam and pallavi) was chosen in raga Kannada in Adi talam. Their Manodharma Sangeetham was in full display, as they chose the Pallavi as “Sada Un Arul Vendinen Engum Niray Param Porule”. Sada stood out as Svaraakshara each time they played the lyrics in ragas Saveri, Atana, Vasanti, Hindolam, Mohanam, Sama, Chandrajyothi, Vagadeeswari and Bagesri. It was a good brain-toner for the connoisseurs. It revealed their genius in spot- creation. Krishnan reversed back all these ragas and to the main raga Kannada. It was surely an `acrobatic feat’. The next session saw them elegantly present compositions such as Janaki Ramana (Kapi), Chandrasekara (Sindhu Bhairavi) and a Virutham of Arunagirinathar “Aingaranai Oththa Manam” (Hamir Kalyani). There was perfect synchronization between the siblings. Curtain was brought down to the over three-hour concert with a Dvijavanthi Tillana of their father and guru Lalgudi G. Jayaraman.

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