Bhairavi well delineated
BHAIRAVI raga is most easily identifiable and offers vast scope to a musician with artistic and technical excellence, a trained voice (never mind even if it be a little on the thin side provided it has depth) and commendable manodharma. All these were present in good measure accounting for the success of Gayatri Venkataraghavan's vocal recital at the Music Club, IIT.
The entire gamut of the raga was covered in a step-by-step treatment most unhurriedly with brigas and gamakas being more as a decorative aid than piece of showmanship. And appropriately too she chose Swati Tirunal's Navaratri kriti ``Janani Mamava" (whose start has the likeness of Tyagaraja's "Upacharamu") and did the neraval and swaras with precise tala, winning kudos from an elite audience.Padma Shanker (violinist) played more than a supplemental role executing an exquisite Sahana alapana with sweet turn of phrases, while B. Ganapatiraman (mridangam) rightly preferred subtle rather than thundering beats. It was good teamwork. In a way Gayatri's programme bore a puja format starting with Thyagaraja's "Tulasidala" (Mayamalavagowla) and she almost concluded with Annamacharya's lullaby "Jo JoMukunda" (Misra Kapi) before a request from a veteran rasika could be honoured. And the Lord of the Seven Hills wouldn't have minded being woken up to hear Swati Tirunal's enchanting bhajan, "Chaliye" in Brindavana Saranga."Sri Lakshmi Varaham" (Dikshitar-Abhogi) with swaras at the anupallavi, a moving Sahana alapana for Tyagaraja's Sanskrit kriti Raghupate Rama, Papanasam Sivan's ``Kaa Vaa Vaa" (Varali) Tyagaraja's ``Nenerunchinanu" (Malavi) with complex swaras and Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ``Irakkam Varamal" (Behag) were rendered pleasingly.
Chinmaya Sisters (Uma and Radhika) figured in a breezy and gripping concert for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Kala Kendra, with a good patanthara and coordination of voices, the emphasis in their rendering appeared to be brigas and gamakas of speed rather than tranquillity and nidhanam. Uma's Todi alapana contained some rare sancharas giving glitter to the raga. The effort would have registered still better if there had been a more planned progress. Syama Sastry's ``Ninne Namminenusad", neraval and swaras at "Kamakshi Kanjadalayatlakshi" won the sisters kudos. Earlier Radhika's Kalyani alapana was satisfying.Melakkaveri K. Thiagarajan (violin) percussionists Nellai A. Balaji (mridangam), Tiruchi K. Murali (ghatam) offered inspired support.
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