THEME Salem Gayathri Venkatesan tackled the raga with skill and creativity. V. BALASUBRAMANIAN
A t this year's Music Education Trust festival series, each day was dedicated to a ragam. Performers were expected to plan their schedule in such fashion.
Kapi was the ragam given to Gayathri Venkatesan who sang in the company of T. Hemamalini (violin) and K. Ramakrishnan (mridangam).
Gayathri opened the account with a varnam in Kapi composed by vidwan T.R. Subramaniam. The varnam tested the skills of the singer spreading over all the ranges.
Endowed with a sweet voice whose timbre remains the same irrespective of the stayi, Gayathri went on to present an alapana that was well within the classical parameters. She employed short phrases to bring out its beauty. Hemamalini followed suit.
‘Bandha Ella Barali' (Adi-Dasar) was rendered with perfect diction. Concerts of this kind are a real test of the singer's skill. Thus her brief alapana of Kapi for a javali, ‘Bhaye Rani' (Tirupati Narayanaswami) that followed was distinctly different. The composition was full of passion. Gayathri proceeded to present a lengthier delineation of the ragam. Her alapana was marked by spontaneity. Her manodharma went to work to portray the raga in a slow paced manner. One could sense the efforts taken by her to keep vigil on not repeating phrases already sung.
Taking a cue, Hemamalini offered the gist of the ragam. ‘Intha Sowkhyamu' (Adi-Tyagaraja) was well executed with swaras in two speeds. K. Ramakrishnan presented a thani that was lively.
Next came the RTP where the thanam was treated extensively. The pallavi set in misra jati tirupdai talam (rettai kalai) had interesting lyric ‘Kapi Ragamay Karna Sowkhyamu Sarasabharitamu Shringara Rasayuktha.” All components of pallavi singing were completed with ease.
‘Kartigeyanai' (Mayuram Visvanatha Sastri) and ‘Enna Vinai Seidhanai' (Sathanoor V. Parthasarathy) that had a lot of similarities to the famed ‘Enna Thavam Seidhanai' were the other songs in Kapi that were presented in the end.