Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Music

Cascade of swaras

Gayathri Venkataraghavan, performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Mylapore on Friday. Photo: S.S. Kumar

Gayathri Venkataraghavan, performing at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Mylapore on Friday. Photo: S.S. Kumar  

It would have been more appealing had Gayathri limited the swara segments in her otherwise lively concert

Her cheerful appearance seemed to attract a full house to Gayathri Venkatragavan’s concert for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Starting with a sloka on Ganesha she launched the programme with ‘Vatapi Ganapatim’ in Hamsadhwani. The niraval was at ‘Pranavaswarupa,’ but the swaras were taken for the pallavi, which was like a wake-up punch.

After ‘Entaro Mahanubhavulu,’ Gayathri went on to essay Pantuvarali, which had traces of Hindustani occasionally, with heady and lively sangatis. A slower tempo would have made it a little more appealing. Padma Shankar on the violin was good.

The chosen kriti was ‘Ennaganu Rama Bhajana’ and the niraval was done for the first two lines of the charanam starting with ‘Ramachiluka’ and the cascading swaras were sung at four different places one after the other such as ‘Ramachiluka’ and ‘Premamaata.’

An emotive sloka on Devi was rendered in Ritigowla followed by ‘Janani Ninnuvina.’ Swaras were sung for ‘Thamasambu Seyakane’ changing the tempos for the words and the notes alternately.

In fact it would have been a lot more satisfying if swaras had been avoided. The main raga was Khambodi. The elaboration was indeed interesting, except for a pause occasionally as well as singing at the base and madhya sthayi would have made it certainly more appealing.

Even though Padma was able to do equally well, in comparison to the high octane, top octave singing of Gayathri, her essay seemed to lose sheen.

As always the niraval and swaras were at ‘Manikkam Vaidooryam..’ to which she added the pallavi line to complete the meaning.

No need to say that Erode Nagaraj on the mridangam and Guruprasad on the ghatam provided understanding support.

Their thani drew a lot of appreciation from the audience, particularly from a few percussion artists in the audience.

The Kandagati korvai in ‘Melkaalam’ and the ‘gopuchayati’ Korvai earned hearty applause. After Lord Kapali, it was the turn of Karpagambal with ‘Karunai Deivame’ in Sindubhairavi.

A few points to share about this auditorium: The ramp up to the greenroom is not user-friendly.

There are bunches of wires protruding on the floor, considering the fact that the majority of the audience are senior citizens, they can easily trip over and hurt themselves.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 5:47:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Cascade-of-swaras/article11601483.ece

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