Review: Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi – Samarpanam @ Purcell Room (London, 8th June 2014)

Despite what the announcer said introducing the concert, Samarpanam is not “a tribute”. Samarpanam is a cut above: it is an enlivened representation of a centuries-old tradition which goes side by side with an act of dedication and devotion to one of the most glorious figures of Indian music: Lalgudi G. Jayaraman.

The event, which was organised by the Indian art development trust Milapfest and went on stage at the Southbank Centre, was a symbolic reenactment; a continuation of a honoured familiar tradition which joined the unforgotten art of a charismatic musician like Lalgudi G. Jayaraman to his son Krishnan and his daughter Vijayalakshmi.

Samarpanam, which translated means consecration, is a pure and sublime recognition of the strong legacy that Jayaraman has left to Indian Carnatic music.

His successors, accompanied by the outstanding percussionists Prathap Ramachandra and RN Prakash, showed the audience that they’re worthy heirs of Lalgudi Jayaraman. Their violinistic skills are of the highest order: their talent enchanted, amazed and moved the spectators for almost two hours.

Their violins ran one after the other, they conversed together, they played, suddenly they separated themselves, but after a while they rejoined again harmoniously in inventive duets and touching climax.

The gig was a series of captivating moments: a succession of rhythms and melodies, of solos and choral pieces. And the Purcell Room, all dressed up for the exclusive occasion with a kaleidoscopic variety of saris, cholis and leengas, enhanced the folkloric atmosphere.

Samarpanam has been indeed one of the best portrayals of South Indian music: a concert which recalls some of the most popular ragas written by Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, rejuvenating them but always having a special consideration for their transmitted significance.

Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi are the living proof that it is possible to evolve and experiment yet preserve a strong bond with tradition. They have a total-commitment to their art, which comes from the eminent figure of their father, but it is finally fulfilled in their eclectic talent.


Thanks to Milapfest and Southbank Centre

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