On a chilly evening at the open venue of Kalasagaram, the eight-day festival of
music concerts culminated with a stirring instrumental music recital. Holding
the divine and graceful instruments, Padmavati and Jayanthi, clad in traditional
Kanjivarams, seated themselves in the center of the stage. The sight itself created
a pleasant mood that soon ascended to an energizing drive as the duo whiffed the
strings, exploring the vivid musical possibilities. The artistes, as though in
a 'Jugalbandic' mood, played jazzily, and yet maintained a harmonic balance and
An intricate 'Ata Taala Varnam' in 'Kambhoji' gave way to a Ritigoula song of 'Papanasam Sivam'. The well-rehearsed artistes then chose Thyagaraja's composition in Vachaspati - "Kanta Choodu Mi" - and proceeded to render a series of Muthuswamy Dikshitar's revered and complex compositions. Melodies like Ananda Bhairavi, Natakuranji, Amruta Varshini and Sama were rendered by Padmavati and Jayanthi with their deft fingers almost dancing on the stringed device.
The highlight of the evening was Dikshitar's "Meenakshi Memudam Dehi", set to Poorvi Kalyani. This entrancing creation extended for over 40 minutes, with mounting concentration by the artistes. Percussionist D S R Murthy accompanied the artistes of the evening.
However, the concert hardly had any audience, and the elderly members of Kalasagaram blamed the chilly weather. These concerts, in a series of five evenings, will be followed by a two-day Tamil Theater Festival, marking the 33rd annual festival of Kalasagaram in Hyderabad.