One of the undisputed masters of Carnatic violin work, L. Subramaniam recorded this album live at a hotel in 1983. The album was originally released by Harmonia Mundi in 1985 and re-released by Ocora in 1989. The raga used in the concert was primarily "Raga Kalyani," though others were used in the customary South Indian concert ending. As in all South Indian classical concerts, there are three major portions of the concert: the Ragam, in which the raga is freely explored without rhythmic accompaniment (similar to the Hindusthani alap); the Tanam, where a small amount of rhythm is added; and the Pallavi, which itself has four main parts but is primarily the main exposition of the raga. The four major features of the Pallavi consist of the neraval (ornamentation on and experimentation with the pallavi proper); the tri-kalam, where the tempo of the pallavi line is varied to three stages; swara-kalpana (an improvised section along with the drummer); and the raga-malika ending (literally, garland of ragas -- multiple ragas are each given a short exposition, here "Raga Satyapriya," "Raga Desh," and "Raga Ramapriya," and then the pallavi is returned to). Subramaniam plays with a fair amount of virtuosity here, as can be expected, with good runs of powerful Carnatic playing abounding throughout the album. Fans of the Carnatic music styles would most likely be thrilled at the playing, as might fans of the Hindusthani tradition. Those unaccustomed to Indian classical music, though, might be put off by the extensive length of works in the genre.
AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg