CARNATIC MUSIC Music

A delightful evening of music

Priya sisters

Priya sisters   | Photo Credit: 03dfrpriya

A ringside view of a concert presented by the Priya sisters in New Delhi in memory of Tygaraja.

The Karnataka Sangeetha Sabha, this past this weekend, organised a two-day festival to pay homage to the saint composer Tyagaraja at the auditorium of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s Venkateswara Temple in the Capital’s Gole Market area. The event was organised in association with Team AP/TS Bhavan and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam.

On the first day, the Chennai-based Carnatic vocalists Shanmukhapriya and Haripriya, popularly known as the Priya sisters, were featured in a concert. The delayed start of the concert by more than an hour and the microphone not being up to the mark played spoilsport to an otherwise delightful evening of music. In addition, Shanmukhapriya’s voice too was not in fine fettle which became evident when she presented the raga alapana, neraval and kalpanaswaras individually.

Since the sisters were participating in the homage to Tyagaraja, one naturally expected them to take up a good number of his songs. But they disappointed us by taking up only three songs of Tyagaraja. Their mother tongue being Telugu, a language in which Tyagaraja composed most of his songs, it would have been much more enjoyable had the artists made it a Tyagaraja-centric concert. Thankfully, they did choose a Tyagaraja composition as their main presentation.

The duo began with Tyagaraja’s “Evvare Ramayya” in raga Gangeyabhushani (the 33rd melakarta raga). Apart from singing it emotively and bringing out the lyrical value, they also suffixed kalpana swaras that indicated their depth in the creative sphere of concert singing, even in the initial stage of their recital. “Aragimpave” in raga Todi and “Enduko baga teliyadu” in Mohanam were the other two compositions of Tyagaraja that they chose to sing. Haripriya presented fine alapanas of both these ragas, though the Todi raga alapana was shorter in duration. Taking up song in Todi at such an early stage of the concert also came as a surprise. They also sang kalpana swaras for this song. In the Mohanam composition, they sang nereval of the anupallavi portion and later kalpana swaras.

They handled well Subbaraya Sastry’s slow tempo “Venkata Saila vihara” in raga Hamir Kalyani and in a riveting tempo. Earlier, the sisters had taken up Bhadrachala Ramadasa’s “Ennakanu Rama bhajana” in raga Pantuvarali for a somewhat detailed presentation. Shanmukhapriya, in the initial stages and Haripriya in subsequent stages, together delineated the raga, bringing out its features. Creative swara patterns flowed towards the end of the song.

Chennai-based accompanying artistes M.A. Krishnaswamy on the violin, Neyveli Skandasubramaniam on the mridangam and Madipakkam Murali on the ghatam provided excellent support to the sisters. While Krishnaswamy’s take on the ragas Todi, Pantuvarali and Mohanam were delightful, quite an elaborate tani avartanam of the percussion artistes was enjoyable and well received by the audience.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 1:43:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/a-delightful-evening-of-music/article7061599.ece

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