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Monday, 13 January 2020

LALGUDI G J R KRISHNAN’S VIOLIN CONCERT AT BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN, LONDON


Among the team of overseas teachers for our annual 3-week Summer School, was the renowned Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, son of the late and renowned Carnatic violinist, Lalgudi G Jayaraman.

I had the occasion to sit in on one of GJR Krishnan’s violin classes: his empathy and strong communication with us all was palpable. Furthermore, at The Bhavan on 4 August 2019, we were privileged to hear his impressive solo performance. Accompanied by Bhavan’s resident percussion teacher, M Balachandar (mridangam), and Pirashanna Thevarajah (ghatam), Krishnan enthralled us all with his brilliant and sensitive playing.

He began the concert with a varnam in Nalinakanti – a composition of his father and guru, the late Lalgudi Jayaraman. He briskly followed this with Tyagaraja’s Ennadu jutuno in Kalavati– a rare raga beautifully rendered. One of the Tiruvottiyur Pancharatna kritis of Tyagaraja, Evasudha, ensued in which his scintillating swara passages thrilled us all.

A complete contrast in mood was the next item, Muthuswami Dikshitar’s, Sri Rangapuravihara (Brindavana Saaranga). In the stately vilambita laya, Krishnan’s lyrical playing bewitched us all

Followed next was the ragam-tanam-pallavi. Krishnan had chosen the 56th Melakarta, Shanmukhapriya, and treated us to an elaborate alapana; he then executed a fine tri-kala tanam. Krishnan demonstrated his utter felicity with bowing and string techniques such as glissando and pizzicato. The pallavi that followed was in the 9-beat Khanda Triputa tala, each beat taken in two rhythms, first quadruple, then triple –Chatursra and Trisra gati/nadai. 

Lighter pieces then followed, such as Manasa sancharare (Sama) by Sadasiva Brahmendra and Chinnanchiru kiliye of Subramanya Bharati. Lalgudi Krishnan concluded his evening with a Lalgudi tillana in Sindhu Bhairavi.

Review by
Dr. John R Marr.

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