Consider this a double post on (L for) Lalgudi (J for) Jayaraman (1930 – 2013), the violinist, vocalist and composer. I grew up listening to recordings of yester year singers, mostly accompanied by Lalgudi. There was a time when I had the entire dancing thillana cassette by heart, but didn’t know lyrics for even one. Even the featured image for this post was a sketch drawn by artist Deva the day after the demise of the violin maestro.
Okay, enough about my love for his compositions, and more about him and his compositions. Young Jayaraman started learning from his father Gopala Iyer and took to performing and accompanying concerts at the age of 12. Like I said earlier, he has accompanied all the leading musicians of his age. He created the Violin, Veena and Venu, and formed a formidable trio comprising himself, Ramani and Venkatraman. The trio had given a number of concerts across the country. His biography, An Incurable Romantic, by Lakshmi Devnath, was released posthumously in 2013.
He composed the lyrics and music for the operatic ballet Jaya Jaya Devi, which premiered in 1994 at Cleveland, Ohio (US) and was staged in many other cities in the United States. He also conducted five orchestral pieces for the All India Radio’s famous “Vadya Vrinda”.
Famous for his dancing thillanas, Lalgudi has composed in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. I am listing down a few favorites:
- Desh thillana on Lord Muruga
- Maand thillana on Kanchi Kamakshi
- Neeve gatiyani, varnam in Nalinakanti
- Innum en manam, pada varnam in Charukesi
Well, for a change, why not listen to a violinist’s composition being rendered in Mandolin by a friend Vidwan Aravind Bhargav, who is the disciple of late Sri U. Srinivas. Here is a video of Dwijavanthi thillana from the artiste’s facebook page.
I am not sure if he used any mudra, but it is relatively easy to narrow down his composition using his pattern brilliance, if you know what I mean. If you don’t, listen to a few compositions of his, then you would understand what I meant by “pattern brilliance”.
This is another musician who has taught a list of more renowned disciples, including his children Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi and Krishnan, and Bombay Jayashree Ramnath, SP Ramh, Saketharaman, Visaka Hari and the likes.
References: Wikipedia, the Hindu