Their chaste music and swift rendition made Ranjani and Gayathri's concert spell-binding.
Growing popularity of Ranjani and Gayathri is due to their vidwat in which they excel every time they give a concert. There was absolute silence in the jam-packed auditorium. This proves that one doesn’t have to sing to the gallery, instead it is better to elevate the taste of the rasikas to chaste music, and also, like in Western countries, the audience discipline is possible here.
The concert commenced with Dandapani Desikar’s kriti, ‘Aanaimukathone’ in Deva Manohari which set the mood and pace for the concert. After a swift ‘Ramachandram Bhavayami’ in Vasantha with kalpanaswaras at ‘Kakustham Dhimantam,’ came Ranjani’s exemplary alapana of Dhanyasi which left the audience spell-bound. Tyagaraja kriti ‘Ramabhirama’ with niraval at ‘Sangitamu Baadumanu’ giving the required ‘kuzhaivu,’ and both soft and aggressive swaram, each complimenting the other was very beautiful. The percussionists, Arun prakash on the mridangam and K.V. Gopalakrishnan on the ganjira, were excellent and accommodative, and also restraining wherever necessary.
Gopalakrishna Bharati’s ‘Thillai Ambalathanai’ in Surutti was full of bhavam with due respect given to the lyrics and meaning. The pacy ‘Saravana Bhava,’ the Muthaiah Bhagavatar’s kriti in Pasupathipriya was simply superb.
The highlight of the evening’s concert was the alapana of Vachaspati which was like dressing up a doll taking care of every minute detail: after giving life to it, in between to prevent evil eye, keeping a “Dhrishti pottu” by creating a smooth Sruthi Bhedam to Raga Vaasanthi. The rendition of Swati Tirunal’s ‘Pahi Jagajanani’ and the niraval and swaram at ‘Mohanataragatri’ can be described as ‘ultimate.’ It was like diving into the ocean to get the pearl.
Though the vocalists had set up a high standard, the violinist H.N. Bhaskar gave good versions of Dhanyasi and Vachaspati and he definitely lived up to it. The thani was excellent and one felt that they had more time to showcase their prowess. The tail pieces included ‘Saravana Bhava Enum’ in Shanmukhapriya preceded by ‘Oru Tharam Siva Chidambaram’ in Saveri, Bahudari and Shanmukhapriya, and a Dasar nama, ‘Nanege Badavanu’ in Behag (listener’s request) and an Abhang in raga Janjuti, which were like desserts to a satisfying meal.
Keywords: Ranjani and Gayathri concert