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Music that marks a puritan

B.R.C. IYENGAR

Lakshmi Rajagopalan’s rendition was a treat to the spiritually inclined.



Neatly presented Lakshmi Rajagopalan’s rendition was impressive.

The vocal music of Lakshmi Rajagopalan, arranged by Chandrasekharendra Educational Society last week, gave glimpses of latent talent in Carnatic music. Lakshmi evidently is a puritan and pure and chaste music is hard to appreciate; this perhaps is the reason why she has not been as popular as accepted musicians are.

The Society was justified in projecting her art.

Devoid of mannerisms and theatricals, her music is highly spiritual and therefore melody takes a secondary role, underprivileged by blatant technique.

What strikes most, and rightly so, is the incorruptible alignment with the sruti; this feature particularly at thara shadjam makes a spectacular impact.

The selection of the items was rather unusual in the sense it included numbers of Tamil songs and Thyagaraja was represented only by a minor piece, a feature which was unfamiliar to the Telugu audience. Nonetheless, the copiousness of repertoire and fertility of rendition was impressive. The manodharma features like neraval and swarakalpana too were notable. Her involvement in bhakthi was obviously the reason to overlook some of these essential features like overall imbalance in the concert.

The concert started with natakuranji varnam which was neatly presented.

The selection of the next raga rithigowla was idyllic but the choice of the Tamil song was a little disappointing to the Telugu audience. Kanjathalayathakshi in kamalamanohari is a song not recently heard and the audience enjoyed it.

The following raga poorvikalyani was elaborate and produced the nuances of the raga in all its colours; it was again a Tamil song that followed it. Punnagavarali is a difficult raga to elaborate and Lakshmi stuck safely to the krithis kanakasailaviharini, but the confusion is changing over to madhyamasruthi was a little disturbing. Annapurne in sama was impressive.

It was in the raga alapna of thodi that Lakshmi made a mark swelling into praise, luxury and affluence of expression.

Her staying power at thara shadja is exemplary. In keeping with the sophisticated alapana of the raga, ninne namminanu of Shyama Sastry in misra chapu was the right choice. Correct kalapramanam and right emotion marked the version. She, however, missed some of the contemporary sangathis in the krithi, which could be identified only by a connoisseur.

B.S. Narayanan, the disciple of T.N. Krishnan, who was on the violin, contributed sizeable measure of aesthetics and added needed colour to the concert.

Borra Sriram is a reasonably good mridangam player, but he has had barely chances for accompanying big artistes. Balasubramanyam on the ghatam has still a long way to go.

In essence, the concert was a treat to spiritual-minded audience.

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