Lalgudi G Jayaraman (b 1930) comes directly in the line of disciples of Thyagaraja, the one shining icon in the history of Carnatic music (another name for south Indian classical). In this album Lalgudi Jayaraman shows his mettle in the near extinct Carnatic musical genre of Ragam Thaanam Pallavi (shortened as RTP), a distinctive item which is based almost completely on the improvising ability and creative fecundity of the musician.
The first portion of the exercise, ragam, consists of a detailed elaboration of a Raga, which is the bedrock of Indian classical music. This is pure music at its unalloyed best with the audience drawing immense pleasure in the unfoldment of the lineaments of a melodic entity and their ability to involve themselves in its beauty. This is followed by thanam, which takes forward the melodic improvisation of the raga in a slightly faster manner and with a more tangible element of rhythm in the effort. Then a short composition of one or two lines (the Pallavi proper) is taken for improvisation.
The melodic and percussive celebration based on one major raga leads to another brilliant musical activity a foray into Swara Raga Malikaa a scintillating essay of three beautiful ragas. First comes Kedaram, a beautiful and majestic raga, it has the capacity to create a vibrant musical atmosphere. Lalgudi makes such an unforgettable bow to this great raga named after one of the peaks of the Himalayas, and lets the swaras (notes) fly in all the directions. This is followed by Malayamarutham, a haunting morning raga. The mood of morn and mist and mystery is unmistakable. With Lalgudi in the driving seat, each swara gets the needed emphasis for the gleaming picture of the raga. Capping the magic of that raga, comes another dainty beauty named Brindavanasaranga. This is a very evocative air, redolent with unspeakable loveliness. That Lalgudi the master is capable of becoming Lalgudi the magician is evident from such passages.