Narada Gana Sabha Music

Thodi set the tone: on Saralaya Sisters

Saralaya Sisters performing at Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall

Saralaya Sisters performing at Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall   | Photo Credit: V_GANESAN

The highlight of Saralaya Sisters’ concert was a song learnt from the late Balamuralikrishna

When this scribe had an occasion to listen to Saralaya Sisters a few years ago, Kavitha and Triveni had defied Chennai’s wet December weather to present a concert that has stayed in mind. The duo’s recital recently at the Narada Gana Sabha was a nice escape from the city’s hustle and bustle on a Monday evening.

As on that earlier instance, the opening presentation from these disciples of Sitalakshmi Venkatesan was a composition of late Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. The varnam in Thodi gave a quite a start to the proceedings.

Interesting insight

The artistes, who learnt the piece from the maestro, recalled his interesting insight. Balamuralikrishna had apparently designated the scale Chuddar Thodi, to demarcate the omission of the ‘panchamam’ in this varnam. Then followed an invocation to Ganapati in Hamsadhwani. ‘Gamganapate,’ was ornated with an imaginative, if short, improvisation.

The two lead compositions of the evening were both kritis of Swati Tirunal. The first one set in Arabhi, opened with ‘Narasimha mamava,’ and it was Kavitha who essayed the scale. It was the turn of Triveni to give an exposition of Varali, after which the siblings depicted the implorations of Papanasam Sivan in his famous song ‘Kaa vaa.’

The second Swati Tirunal piece of the evening was ‘Ramarama gunasima,’ in Simhendramadhyamam. In this instance, the siblings took turns to elaborate the alapana. In view of the somewhat severe air-conditioning inside the auditorium, it was a little difficult to make a note of the nuances. And by the time the temperature was restored to a more acceptable level, the recital came to a close. The accompaniments of the evening were Cheetah Rao (violin), B.S. Prasanth (mridangam) and H. Sivaramakrishnan (ghatam).

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 2:39:03 AM |

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