With a penchant for virtuosity


O. S. Thiagarajan .

O. S. Thiagarajan .  

The Eka Raga concert of Gayatri Venkatraghavan at the Navarathri festival of music at Manoranjitham, Ayyappan Puja Sangham, Coimbatore, was marked by the artiste's penchant for virtuosity, vishranti and cutcheri refinement. All the compositions of the various composers in the rakthi raga Keeravani of the 21st melakarta carefully chosen by her, were competently handled by the vocalist. Her tiny rendition of Chalamela varnam in Durita kaalam was followed by "Nijamukha Rama," a Thevaram, "Varamulo" and Koteswara Iyer's "Velava."

The gamaka-oriented alapana for "Kalikiyunte" in correct pace and the sangati-cluttered kirtana were directed to impress the listeners of her capacity to handle raga with bhava.

Panchabhuta in Kiranavali was a brisk and neat version. Her free-flowing saareeram in the RTP for "Ranjita Janaranjita Manoranjita" showed the depth and richness of her musical frame of mind. There was nalinam in the deft handling of the violin by Akkarai Subbalakshmi. The soft lyricism in her solo versions and swara forays was ear-worthy.

The tani of Manoj Siva (mridangam) and Guru Prasad (ghatam) abounded in laya refulgence and precision.

Gayathri Venkataraghavan.

Gayathri Venkataraghavan.  

With a rich and pliable voice, O. S. Thiagarajan gave a refined quality concert on the third day of the Navaratri festival of music at Manoranjitam, Sree Ayyappan Puja Sangham. Adhering to tradition, the artiste laid stress on classicism and sowkhyabhavam in the cutcheri. Samidaya varnam and "Namaami Vighna Vinayaka" followed by a lengthy Abhogi alapana for the kriti, "Thaamasamiga" made the rasikas tighten their belts. The chattering swaraprastharas were somewhat lengthy.

An expansive elaboration of Kambhoji for "Rangam Sreerangam" and Todi for "Ninne Nammi" with definitive prayogas has aesthetic touches. But, the deluge of swaras following the neraval for the kirtana was somewhat over-stretched. "Gaanamurthe" and "Vinathasuthava" were rendered routinely. Chandramouli on the violin tread a careful course in reflecting the vocalist's style especially in playing the staccato passages.

Balaji on the mridangam provided percussive support.

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