/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": April 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reliving Beautiful Moments with Vidushis Radha Jayalakshmi, 1962

In an earlier posting we spoke of the visit of the Vidushis Radha & Jayalakshmi to "Parvathi" in 1962. But, we were not ready then with the concert from that performance ( you can guess why? ).

Instead, we posted another one of their performances from "Parvathi", the April 9, 1971 concert with Vidwans Kandadevi Alagirisamy (Violin) and Vidwan Mannargudi Easwaran (Mridangam). This was along with Sri. T. Chowdiah's 1962 speech, highlighting only a few of his words.

Smt. Radha and Smt. Jayalakshmi ( connected both by blood as cousins, and in music through their sheer artistry ) have left many a beautiful memory in "Parvathi".

If connoisseurs of wine are permitted a gush over the quality of a product depending on how old it is, then how much more meaningful would it be for us to be revering these great artists of the past, on music meant, only as 'ambrosia' for the Gods?

To retain the historical perspective to this blog, we are providing you with some sentimental echoes from Sri. K. Srikantiah:

"... Radha-Jayalakshmi have given about 10-12 concerts at Parvati during Ganesh festivals and Ramanavami Festivals.

They have had a close association with 'Parvati' for nearly 3 decades.

During 60s and 70s R-J were a much sought after performing duo. They were always crowd pullers, and invariably their concert used to be a grand success.

Their planning of a 3-hr concert was always excellent. R-J had created aunique niche for themselves in the Carnatic Music World with their inimitable, precise, clear rendition of kritis,comprehensive Raga presentation, creative Swaras, and Devotional Devaranamas with great mass appeal.

R-J were disciples of Sri Balu, who was a favourite disciple of G.N.Balasubrahmanyam. Sri Balu was himself gaining prominence which was unfortunately stopped by his untimely death.

One can discern the GNB baani in all concerts of R-J...."

As before, we also draw upon our own team member in music Sri. R.Sachi to write once again on this vintage 1962 Concert by the duo ( to see his own beautiful blog - please click here )

" We bring you this time excerpts from a Parvathi house concert held in 1962, on the occasion of Gouri Ganesha Festival.

Radha Jayalakshmi were a singing duo famous in the forties to the seventies. Jayalakshmi was a noted cine playback singer as well. They made a place for themselves at the top, alongside MSS, DKP and MLV. Inheriting a brisk and melodious singing style from their guru Sri GNB, they came several times to perform to full houses in Parvathi house concerts and later during Ramanavami festivals.

Held 50 years ago, the featured concert was organized by Mr. K. Srikantiah, then a young man, inheriting the mantle from his late father Sri. K. Puttu Rao (1894-1959). The audience consisted of many cognoscenti, all of whom had known Sri Puttu Rao closely.

An enthusiastic member was Sangeetha Ratna Sri T. Chowdiah. You can, as you listen to the excerpts, hear his ooh’s and aah’s. He was gracious enough to say a few words in the end, which we translate below: "

"So many distinguished people are gathered here, so who am I to speak?

If you want me to speak about today’s music, I request that someone else should cover the other aspects also.

Well, I will speak about two things today: about the great family legacy of Sri Puttu Rao and also about today’s concert.

In this age, it is very rare to find examples where the children preserve the family heritage, rare to see that the children follow in the great footsteps of their distinguished father. In this regard, Sri Puttu Rao should be considered indeed very fortunate.

Sri Puttu Rao was a noble soul and engaged in many activities. He did not simply confine himself to the goings-on of his legal profession and court proceedings. He was a very religious, culturally enlightened, and distinguished, pillar of society. He was himself a very learned man in matters of music and could sing well.

We see fortunately that his sons are fulfilling every dimension of his legacy: to follow the spiritual pursuits of Sri Puttu Rao, one son has taken the vows (in the Sringeri Sankara Math).

To continue further Sri Puttu Rao’s deep interest and patronage of classical music and fine arts, another son (K. Srikantiah) has taken up several activities. And finally, to further the family’s real-world interests and continue the ritualistic traditions, we have the first son joined by the remaining sons. What a rare and splendid example of children following in their venerable father’s footsteps indeed! It seems Sri Puttu Rao has made sure his sons will uphold the family tradition of excellence in each field. I pray to God Almighty to give them long life and success in their endeavours.

Coming to today’s concert, what can I say? I was totally carried away by the music and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful fare. Each raga, every song, sruthi, laya -every aspect was excellent. Even the accompaniments were of a high order and very mature. We know how sometimes accompanists work at cross purposes- then the music suffers.

The whole experience was like enjoying a sweet delicacy cooked with splendid ingredients- all milk, sugar, kesari, badami, pacchakarpura…it was like that.

I am particularly fond of these youngsters Radha and Jayalakshmi. I have known them from the days of their tender youth. They are the shishyaas of my close friend Sri G.N. Balasubramaniam. I have said before… they are to me “GNB in sarees”. They truly embody the excellence of their master. Just as we extol a daughter for being as good as her mother, the disciple should emulate the guru sincerely and be a worthy successor.

Nada is paramount. One should dissolve oneself in the sruthi and live the music. This is after all a spiritual endeavour. The language and words are secondary. Today’s Shuddha Saveri was very good, high-class. Same with Thodi and Kalyani. With such music, the words seem less important.

I also earn my living as a mere musician, otherwise I would have done 'kanakabhisheka' to these artistes for any of those ragas.

The mridangam was resonant like a ghatam.. a well tuned ghatam-it merged with Panchama well.

I have known the family very well....Sri Puttu Rao was very religious and noble, a most generous man. His good deeds have borne fruit… therefore we are having excellent concerts like this one being held in his house. Mr. Srikantiah is a very worthy son of his father. I believe Sri Puttu Rao is feeling very happy today in heaven above.

Rarely are brothers this friendly and harmonious in nature. Not only those, their wives are also very affectionate towards one another. The strong root of this family is their worthy mother whom they all revere so much. The mother ( Smt. Parvathamma) was always engaged in prayer and worship.

To the family, the musicians and all the lucky ones gathered here…. May Lord Ganapathi bless all of you and shower prosperity."

Concert Details

Radha-Jayalakshmi ---- Vocal

R.S Gopalakrishnan ---- Violin

Krishnamani ----------- Mridangam

on Sept 4, 1962 at Parvathi during Gowri-Ganesh Festival.

Excerpts List

01.Pallavi “Sada Sriramam bhaja re Manasa” Kalyani, Bouli, Saraswati, Kuntalavarali*** 02. Tarakka Bindige – Tilang – Purandara Dasa *** 03. Agre Pashyami Narayaneeyam – Bilahari, Saveri, Natabhairavi, Madhyamavati*** 04. Smara Varam Varam – Sindhu Bhairavi -Sadashiva Brahmendra *** 05. Sri T. Chowdiah’s speech *** 06. Mangalam ***