Chennai-based Carnatic vocalist Gayathri Venkataraghavan presented a riveting concert in New Delhi recently
The Carnatic music scene in the Capital seems to be slowly coming to life after a lull. Gayathri Fine Arts recently had its annual day concerts. Sri Ganesh Sewa Samaj, this past week, organised a concert of the popular Chennai-based vocalist Gayathri Venkataraghavan at its Karunya Mahaganapathi Temple complex, Mayur Vihar, Phase II. The Mahakumbhabhishekam of the temple was performed recently following which began the Mandalabhishekam celebration. Gayathri Venkataraghavan’s concert was organised as part of the Mandalabishekam celebrations. The Samaj’s gesture to include a full-fledged Carnatic music concert in such celebrations deserves appreciation.
Gayathri, endowed with a mellifluous voice capable of expressing beautifully the bhavas of the compositions, naturally delighted the music lovers. She presented compositions of Muttuswami Dikshitar, Tyagaraja and Papanasam Sivan besides some other emotive pieces in her session.
Gayathri took up Dikshitar’s “Bhajare re chitta” in raga Kalyani and Sivan’s “Kartikeya gangeya” in Todi for detailed presentation. She excelled in both, in handling various improvisation techniques, such as the raga alapana, neraval and swaraprastaras. The rapport that she established with the audience in the course of her recital was remarkable; the audience seemed to be enjoying every bit of it.
After Gayathri and her violin accompanist completed the delineation of Todi raga, and after a brief discussion with her mridangam accompanist, she went on to present Sivan’s composition. No sooner did she begin than a section of the audience began to applaud for her selection of the song.
Tyagaraja’s “Sitamma mayamma” in raga Vasanta too was presented well. While presenting yet another Sivan composition, “Nambi kettavar” in raga Hindolam, Gayathri brought the emotive aspects of the lyrics to the fore. Though yet another Dikshitar composition, “Jambupate mampahi”, in raga Yamunakalyani, too came in for good treatment, one failed to understand her selection of this piece as this was close to the piece in raga Kalyani that she had already presented.
Mysore Srikanth on the violin, and Neyveli Skanda Subramanian on the mridangam provided excellent support to Gayathri. While Srikanth’s sketch of Todi was delightful, Skanda’s tani avartanam in Adi tala was riveting. In fact, though each one of the musicians seemed to be highly competent in their respective fields, their cohesive efforts as a team elevated the quality of the recital.
All India Radio, in its national programme “Ravivasriya Akhil Bhartiya Sangeet Sabha” this past Sunday, broadcast the recordings of a Carnatic vocal concert by T.N. Ashok. In a scintillating recital of about an hour-and-a-half, Ashok presented exclusively Dasar kritis. The concert was organised by AIR earlier at Bengaluru as part of its Trinity and other Vaggeyakara Festival. During the broadcast, the announcements were made (both in Hindi and English with good diction) about each song, its raga, the composer and the tala, offering the listener a complete understanding of the pieces sung.
Ironically, this was missing from the violin duet recital of Lalgudi G. Jayaraman and Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, broadcast by AIR-Delhi’s Rajdhani channel this past Sunday at 12 noon.