This mesmerising violin duet by Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi centrestages Tyagaraja, the guru of their ancestor -- with a bow to Mutthuswami Dikshitar in the grand "Hariharaputram". The siblings begin and end with father and guru Sri Lalgudi G Jayaraman's varnam and tillana, both set to ragas unusual in choice - Hamirkalyani and Kalyanavasantam. In their emotive interpretation of evergreen tradition, the violinist duo establish their parampara, as also the essence of "Lalgudi aesthetics".
The perfect synchronisation of the twin instruments delights, and fertile imagination thrills, as strength of vidwat weds delicate refinement. Vijayalakshmi makes Kedaragowlai flow with the commanding force of a mountain stream, rippling and swirling across channels long and deep. Sentiment-soaked Kalyani shimmers across jaru glides, bearing the guru's stamp, while also refracting Krishnan's own intense raga vision.
Notably, their music also demonstrates reverence for sahitya, as the strings unfailingly sing out every word -- tone and syllable intact – not only in the kriti, but also in niraval, a singular feat in itself. More over, the Amritavahini gem (Srirama paadama) stands out for the unique modulation and nuancing effects of the Lalgudi bani.
Playful Malayamarutam follows soulful Kalyani, as both violins revel in suddha swara sukham and glittering prayogas. The tanam dances on multiple strings. Even in the pallavi, set to a sprightly sankeerna chapu, amazing virtuosity never draws attention to itself, but serves to heighten the glow of bhava. The popular tukkadas cast the spell of romantic ragas.
From start to finish, maestro Trichy Sankaran (Mridangam) and the brilliant KV Gopalakrishnan (Kanjira) provide invaluable support with rare sensitivity and perfect team spirit. Even their tani soundscape complements the rainbow glints of melody.
What makes this album special is that all four artistes forget themselves as they lose themselves in the music they make together.