My first concert of the season at the prestigious Sree Ramaseva Mandali, at Fort High School Grounds happened to be a stupendous concert by the Lalgudi Siblings, GJR Krishnan and Viji, with Trichy Harikumar on Mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam.
- Varnam – MohanaKalyani
- Rama Bhakti Samrajya – SuddhaBangala
- Ramachandram Bhavayami – Vasantha
- Rave Himagiri Kumari (Swarajathi) – Todi
- Hechcharikaga Raa Raa – Yadukula Kambhoji
- Sri Venkatesa – PhalaManjari
- Eduta Nilichithi – Sankarabharanam
- Sobhillu Saptaswara – Jaganmohini
- Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Dharmavathi
- Baaro Krishnayya – RagaMalika
- Thillana – Sindhu Bhairavi
- Pavamana Suthudu – Sourashtram
The concert started with MohanaKalyani varnam by Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. It sounded as pleasing as the famous Thillana the Maestro composed in the same ragam! It went on with some incredible music marred by the sound system that frustrated the artistes and audience alike! Swaras in SuddhaBangala were lovely. Ramachandram Bhavayami was beautiful with some exquisite swaras.
Viji played an amazing and elaborate Todi ragam and the song that followed, was a pleasant surprise for the audience. The Syama Sastri’s masterpiece Swarajathi was soul stirring. Trichy Harikumar played appropriately with gentle touch that enhanced the beauty of the presentation. A quick Hechcharikaga raa raa followed before a brief PhalaManjari outline by GJR. Again a rarely heard song, Patnam Subramanya Iyer’s composition, Sri Venkatesa was presented which ended with mellifluous kalpana swaras.
GJR’s Sankarabharanam made my day! Various special phrases that he played, with the swift bowing was a treat to the audience. But for the disturbance caused by the
spoiler man of the match, the sound engineer, this would have remained one of the memorable explorations of the majestic ragam on the Violin! Trichy Harikumar played extremely well complementing the grand composition Eduta Nilichiti. We couldn’t hear a complete Tani from Udupa as he was visibly frustrated by the sound system already. However, Harikumar continued his brilliance all through the concert.
A brisk Sobhillu Saptaswara was a filler between the main composition and the much awaited Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi. Dharmavathi was presented extremely well by the siblings and GJR played a superb Tanam with some remarkable bowing. Lalgudis are known for their Pallavis in complex patterns and this was no different. Pallavi Sada Ramachandram Bhajeham, Janaka Sudha Ramana was in Khanda Triputa Talam with the first part (Poorvangam) in Trisram and latter half (Uttarangam) in Chaturasram and was presented in different patterns. Phewww… how difficult do they make the lives of students like me in understanding the Pallavi! Ragamalika swaras in Saveri, Reetigowla, BinduMalini, Huseni and Behag blossomed into a garland of flowers that beautified the Dharmavathi (Devi)!
My favorite Thillana, Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman’s composition in Sindhu Bhairavi ended what was a sublime concert.
Sree Ramaseva Mandali has been organizing the festival for 8 decades now – a commendable thing in it’s own right but after seeing many concerts (especially instrumental) disturbed in the past, I appeal to the organizers to get a better sound system. The life of an instrumental concert is in the sound and a little more effort makes their efforts transform into the experience in a much better way.