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Music Season
The Chennai December Festival

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Music Season

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BHARAT KALACHAR

Live up to their standard

G. SWAMINATHAN

The Bombay Sisters’ vidwat stood out, especially in the exposition of Kalyani and Thodi.

Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Strong and solid: Bombay Sisters.

Sisters Saroja and Lalitha have sustained simply on their diligence and unswerving faith in the traditional style set by their gurus Musiri and T.K.Govinda Rao. The duo have set themselves a style and standard and never deviate from it.

They can be proud of an amazing repertoire and every kutcheri is a demo of their knowledge and high musical values.

Their concert at Bharat Kalachar had the customary Nattai number, ‘Jaya jaya nanda’ of Purandaradasa.

‘Brova vamma’ of Syama Sastri in Manji might be a slow moving kriti but the impact it created was something tranquil.

A brief stint in Sahana by Saroja gave a prelude to the less heard ‘Karunai seivaye’ by Neelakanta Sivan.

The high points of their concert were the Kalyani vinyasa by Lalitha and the peerless Thodi composition of Tyagaraja ‘Karuna jooda vamma.’ The sisters’ alapana always steered clear of unwanted flights but strong and solid phrases progressing step by step by emphasising the core of the raga.

These were reiterated in Kalyani by Lalitha and Thodi by Saroja.

‘Himadri sudhe’ of Syama Sastri had its share of niraval and swaras at ‘Syama Krishna sodari.’ In Thodi it was the pallavi that itself taken up for niraval.

The swaras were streamlined and once again relied more on the combination philosophy based on arithmetical wisdom.

To maintain the even tempo of the concert, there were fast and lively kritis such as ‘Mana vyla’ in Nalinakanti and ‘Vara ragalaya’ in Chenjukhambodi (both by Tyagaraja).

Usha Rajagopalan can be called now the younger sister of the vocalists; her understanding and repetition in treading the sisters’ path cannot be more faithful than her interpretations of Sahana, Kalyani and Thodi.

There is no second opinion about the competence of Palladam Ravi and H. Sivaramakrishnan.

But only they were over exuberant especially the latter and the imbalance in audio added to the woe by magnifying the overpowering sharp rhythms of the ghatam to the point of exasperation.

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Music Season

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