Gayathri Venkataraghavan could have done with more time at her disposal, while Nagaraj and Manjunath suffered due to issues unrelated to their art

Dwarkalaya recently organised a three-day event as part of its music festival titled, “8th Chithirai Isai Vizha”, at the auditorium of the Delhi Tamil Sangam. On the first day, Chennai-based Gayathri Venkataraghavan’s vocal recital was delightful. Despite starting her concert considerably late due to the lengthy inaugural session, as well as the two short concerts that preceded it, Gayathri managed to put up an impressive shown within the reduced time span at her disposal. The organisation also honoured artistes and other personalities for their contributions to the field of classical music, dance, art and culture. While the Dwarkalaya President’s welcome address resembled that of the address of the Chairman of a company during the Annual General Body meeting, the flamboyant compere could not even get the name of an awardee right.

Gayathri started her concert with a Tamil composition “Ganapati talai” in raga Natta punctuating it with swara formats that flowed with rich creativity. She then took up Tyagaraja’s “Sasivadana Bhakta” in raga Chandra Jyoti. In the raga alapana, Gayathri brought out the features of this raga. The swaraprastaras towards the end, though brief, were enjoyable. Yet another composition of Tyagaraja, “Sitammamayamma” in raga Vasanta, and the fast paced Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bagavathar’s “Sudhamayee” in raga Amritavarshini too were well presented. Subbaraya Sastri’s “Janani ninuvina” in raga Reetigowla and Gopalakrishna Bharati’s “Tiruvadi Charanam” in Khamboji came in for detailed presentation. Gayathri excelled in these, including the raga alapana and neraval of the phrase “Adutthu vandaen naitallalagadhu Harahara endru sonnalum podhadhu” for the latter song. While M.R. Gopinathan’s support on the violin was delightful, Mannarkoil Balaji’s mridangam support was lacklustre.

One felt that Gayathri’s performance would have been much better had she had some more time at her disposal. Instead of having the award functions on two different days, the organisation could have had these on one single day and left the music concerts undisturbed on the remaining days.

On the last day the recital of Anil Srinivasan on the piano and Jayanthi Kumaresh on the veena together was thoughtfully dedicated to the memory of Lalgudi G. Jayaraman the violin maestro who passed away recently.

Elsewhere, at an event organised by the Andhra Cultural and Welfare Society which featured a violin duet by Mysore M. Nagaraj and M. Manjunath, it was a much messier affair. Their concert was interrupted frequently by activities such as lighting the lamp, honouring personalities and the address of the chief guest.

Nagaraj and Manjunath began their recital with Muttuswami Dikshitar’s popular composition “Vatapiganapatim” in raga Hamsadhwani which culminated with fast paced kalpana swaras in which the duo exercised good control over laya. Tyagaraja’s fifth Pancharatna kriti, “Endaro Mahanubhavulu” in raga Sri was the next item, which the duo handled well.

Two more Tyagaraja’s compositions, “Sobillu” in raga Jaganmohini and “Nagumomu” in raga Abheri came in for somewhat detailed presentation. The duo played Bhadrachala Ramadasar’s composition “Palukelabhangara” in raga Ananda Bhairavi emotively. MLN Raju on the mridangam and Nemani Somayajulu on the ghatam provided appropriate support.