Gayathri Venkataraghavan @ Kapali Fine Arts, Chennai

Venue: Sastri Hall, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 20 Dec 2006

Organizer: Kapali Fine Arts

Vocal: Smt. Gayathri Venkataraghavan

Violin: Kum. Charumathi Raghuraman

Mridangam: Sri Neyveli Narayanan

Ghatam: Sri Udipi Sridhar

List of songs:

1) pAvanI nIvu gAdA (varnam) – bahudAri – Adi – ?? (O)

2) mAmava sadA janani – kAnaDA – rUpakam – swAti tiruNAL (OS)

3) kAdambarI priyAyai – mOhanam – misra chApu – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (AS)

4) dEvi brOva – chintAmaNi – Adi – syAma sAstri

5) inta kanTE – kannaDa – rUpakam – paTTaNam subramaNya iyer (S)

6) chakkani rAja – kharaharapriyA – Adi – thyAgarAja (ANST)

7) tAyE tripura sundarI – sudha sAvEri – kanDa chApu – periyasAmi thUran

8 ) rAgam tAnam pallavi – kalyANi – kanDa tripuTa (2 kaLai)

pallavi wordings: “vENi sukhapANi maduravANi, dayApari mInAkshi”

kalpana swarams in ragas kalyANi, ranjani & hindOLam

9) tandai tAi (viruttam) – behAg

irakkam varAmal – behAg – Adi – gOpAlakrishna bhArati

1o) yAdava nI bA – kApi – Adi – purandaradAsa

11) pavamAna (mangaLam) – sOwrAshTram – Adi – thyAgarAja

12) mangaLam kOsalEndrAya (slOkam) – suruTTi

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Smt. Gayathri Venkataraghavan gave a very good concert powered by her good voice and with excellent support from all the artists accompanying her. I think her voice is her biggest asset. It is not shrill, has a very soothing effect and is just powerful to the extent required. She uses her voice very well with good modulations wherever necessary. Her music also seems quite influenced by Sri K.V. Narayanaswamy’s; I could find similarity in the styles at many places. One more good thing is that she enjoys what her accompanists play; at least thats what her appreciation of what they play at regular intervals shows. She closed her eyes and shook her head in appreciation whenever the violinist played a good pattern. During taniavartanam, she turned a bit to the right so as to face the mridangam and ghatam artists better and put the talam clearly.

One exciting thing about her concerts is that there is almost always something new to expect. For example today there was a bahudAri varnam I had never heard before. She also sang “kAdambarI priyAyai” which is not heard that much in concerts these days.

The kharapriyA and kalyANi raga alapanas were very beautifully done by both the vocalist and the violinist. Kum. Charumathi Raghuraman diligently followed what Smt. Gayathri sang and was brilliant in her individual essays too.

The pallavi in RTP was structured as follows (B=beat): (starts 1.5B after samam – vE (1B) Ni (1.5B) sukha (1B) pA (1B) Ni (1.5B) madu(1B) ra (0.5B) vA (1B) Ni (+gap = 3.5B) dayA (1.5B) parI (2B) mI (1B) nAkshi (1.5B). Total = 18B which is the count of kanDa triputa (2 kaLai).

Sri Neyveli Narayanan and Sri Udipi Sridhar gave quality percussion support. Sri Narayanan almost played many of the songs on the mridangam. He played especially well for the main song “chakkani rAja”. The taniavartanam had a chatusra naDai and two tisra naDais.

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